Slot drills and end mills

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Slot drills and end mills

Postby bob Salter » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:38 am

I've been working from Mike Nelsons pages but somehow managed to read end mills for slot drills. Would slot drills give a better finish or are they pretty much interchangeable?

Thanks
Bob
bob Salter
 
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Re: Slot drills and end mills

Postby Richard Evans » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:52 pm

An end mill is not designed to be in contact with the work on both sides, but a slot drill is, hence used for slots. If you only have an end mill available for the slots, the reality is that if it is sharp it will probably do the job acceptably with slow feeds. This is because wood is more forgiving than metal. I would always prefer a slot drill if possible. You almost certainly need 'long series' slot drills for the depth, depending on the maker.

When slotting a chanter I hold the chanter at both ends and also clamp it into a small vice in the middle, which is then fixed to the milling table. If I forget this, the end result is a slot which is too wide, due to the wood flexing.

I fix the top of the chanter in a 1" square brass block which in turn is held in a vice on the machine table. This means that so long as the chanter is fixed in the block, it can be removed from the vice and rotated 90 degrees to machine each face in turn. The other end of the chanter is located by a centre point held in a vice which gives me a fixed point for the replacement of the chanter.
I do the slots and key holes/seats, take it out, fit the linings, machine the waste away from the blocks, then put it back in the milling machine for the finger holes.

Probably too much information... once I get started on this stuff, I tend to keep going!

Cheers
Richard
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Re: Slot drills and end mills

Postby Richard Evans » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:54 pm

I forgot to say that end mills do not plunge at all cleanly, they are designed to be fed in sideways.
R.
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Re: Slot drills and end mills

Postby bob Salter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:06 am

Thanks for that. The square block is a great idea. Im cutting slots in the lathe using a heavy duty flexi drive clamped in a vice on a vertical slide at router speeds. Im going to swap that arrangement for a milling motor soon though. Im toying with the idea of buying a mini mill as well but for now must manage with what I have. Ill buy a slot drill or two and see how I go.

Thanks again
Bob
bob Salter
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:35 am
Location: Scone, Perth
Full Name: Bob Salter


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