When machining, tool changes can be a major time killer. Sadly most milling tools are designed to complete a single task because it is difficult to produce multifunctional tools that can handle high speed machining. One of the most useful tools in the machinist’ arsenal is the chamfer end mill. These end mills are far more useful than most machinists give them credit for and today we will be discussing all of the tasks your chamfer tools can accomplish.
First things first, a chamfer tool is designed for chamfering. Chamfering is the process of breaking a sharp edge on a piece by creating a flat transitional surface between the two sides. Typically this involves adding a 45 degree chamfer to transition between the two sides that meet at a 90 degree angle. This helps to soften edges and makes your components much easier to handle.
A lot of folks confuse a chamfer with a bevel, but there are a few crucial differences. A chamfer creates a transition between two sides that meet at an angle while a bevel angles an entire side of a piece. Luckily, a chamfering tool can fulfill both of these applications. It may take a few passes to bevel a large edge, but beveling edges that are as deep as the cutting angle can be achieved in the single pass.
In addition to finishing hard edges, your chamfer end mills can also be used to deburr your workpiece. Burrs happen when you are milling and they can be potentially dangerous little barbs all over the finished piece. Manually going over a finished component to deburr it is an extremely time consuming process.
Like many end mills, chamfering end mills can be used with an extremely light cut depth to quickly and cleanly deburr your finished piece. Because chamfering and deburring are amongst the last steps in the machining process, you can easily program both of these jobs to occur simultaneously. This will leave you with a smooth finished piece in a fraction of the time that it would take to pick over every edge in search of burrs.
If you need to drill some holes in your workpiece, you probably already know how important spotting can be if you need accurate holes. Spot drilling is the process of using a short rigid drill to mark the location of holes so you can achieve accurate results when you are using twist drill bits, which have a tendency to “walk” off their mark when drilling into a hard flat surface.
Chamfer mills and spot drills are nearly identical tools. The biggest difference to consider is the tip angle. You will typically want to spot drill using a tool that has a wider angle than the twist bit. This will ensure that the bit seats itself in the spotted hole properly. A 90 degree chamfer tool can easily spot drill for some bits, but others will require larger angles. Be sure to check your bits so you can determine whether or not your chamfer bit can be used for spotting. Like spot drills, it is also possible to countersink a drilled hole with a chamfering tool.
If you are looking for some high quality chamfer end mills, you need to check out the solid carbide cutters from Online Carbide. They are an American manufacturer specializing in creating precision machined solid carbide end mills and drill bits. If your shop needs some high performance tools, Online Carbide has the cutters you need.