Fly cut­ter

The Shed - - Milling -

Fly cut­ters pro­duce good, flat sur­faces in one pass — as­sum­ing that your ma­chine is set true. Ev­ery garage ma­chin­ist should have sev­eral dif­fer­ent-sized fly cut­ters. Typ­i­cally a sin­gle-point cut­ter uses a HSS or car­bide tool bit.

When us­ing a large di­am­e­ter cut­ter or a fly cut­ter, if there is a no­tice­able back-cut as the cut­ter passes over the work­piece be­ing ma­chined, the spin­dle is prob­a­bly out of true.

The depth of cut for a fly cut­ter will be small com­pared with that of other cut­ting tools so ma­te­rial re­moval will be slower, but the ad­van­tages far out­weigh this draw­back. Us­ing fly cut­ters will al­low you to keep your ex­pen­sive cut­ters for flnish­ing work rather than gen­eral ma­te­rial re­moval. You can grind a form on the cut­ting edge of, say, a par­tic­u­lar ra­dius, then ma­chine this ra­dius into the work­piece.

One of the great­est ad­van­tages of fly cut­ters is the ease with which they can be re-sharp­ened on any off-hand grinder, un­like end mills and slot drills, which have to go off for spe­cial­ist re-sharp­en­ing. When you are cal­cu­lat­ing the speeds for fly cut­ters, the di­am­e­ter that the cut­ting edge sweeps should be used in the spin­dle speed equa­tion.

Danger: When you are us­ing your milling ma­chine for fly cut­ting, only the body of the fly cut­ter may be vis­i­ble at speed and the ac­tual cut­ting edge, which is fur­ther out, may be­come in­vis­i­ble to the eye. Keep your fin­gers well away.

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