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Training - End Mill Applications

Application Considerations
End mills are used for producing precision shapes and holes on a Milling or Turning machine. The correct selection and use of end milling cutters is paramount with either machining centers or lathes. End mills are available in a variety of design styles and materials.

Titanium coated end mills are available for extended tool life requirements. The successful application of end milling depends on how well the tool is held (supported) by the tool holder. To achieve best results an end mill must be mounted concentric in a tool holder. The end mill can be selected for the following basic processes:

  1. FACE MILLING - For small face areas, of relatively shallow depth of cut. The surface finish produced can be 'scratchy".
  2. KEYWAY PRODUCTION - Normally two separate end mills are required to produce a quality keyway.
  3. WOODRUFF KEYWAYS - Normally produced with a single cutter, in a straight plunge operation.
  4. SPECIALTY CUTTING - Includes milling of tapered surfaces, 'T" shaped slots & dovetail production.
  5. FINISH PROFILING - To finish the inside/outside shape on a part with a parallel side wall.
  6. CAVITY DIE WORK - Generally involves plunging and finish cutting of pockets in die steel. Cavity work requires the production of three dimensional shapes. A Ball type End mill is used for the finishing cutter with this application.

Types of Milling Procedures

End Milling


Metal removal process that is achieved by feeding a workpiece into a revolving cutter. The cutter will remove material as chips.

Conventional Milling


Cutter direction for a milling operation. The cutter tending to push the workpiece away from the part, increasing the required feeding force. First choice for manual machining. Sometimes called up milling.

Climb Milling


Cutter direction for a milling operation. The cutter tends to "climb" into the workpiece which relieves feed force requirements. First choice for CNC machining. Increases cutter tool life. Sometimes called down milling.

Ramp Cut


Axial feeding into a part. CNC machine movement in the Z axis direction and an additional axis ( X or Y ). Angled plunging into the face of a part, feeding in other than an axial direction. Requires a center cutting End mill. Ramp cutting will assist the end mill into entering into a part face.

Plunge Cutting


Axial feeding into a part. CNC machine movement in the Z-axis direction. Direct plunging into the face of a part. Plunge feeding in a axial direction. Requires a center cutting end mill.

Peripheral Milling

The machining of an edge surface of a part. Peripheral milling is accomplished by presenting the workpiece to the circumference or the periphery of the milling cutter.

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