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Tips for operating a CNC mill

CNC Mills are popularly known as machining centers. These machines are computer controlled. They offer high quality of precision and speed. Once the computer is set up according to specific requirements it runs automatically using a rotating cutter to cut the material. These mills are cost effective method than traditional hand engraving.

For every machine to work efficiently, there are many optimal setups and configurations. After years of experience in the precision machining industry, Woodstock Precision Machining knows what it takes to make your cutting tools work at its peak. We conduct a lot of experiments every day to find out the best methods of operating a CNC mill and find out innovative methods for CNC machining.

Here are some of the tips that you can follow for operating CNC mills for your Business-

Get a quality vise- A good vise is extremely important to get your holding you work-piece. Work-holding is essential for proper functioning of you machine. If you neglect this, you will face problems because you work-piece will shift before you even notice. 

Get a good clamping kit- A good vise is useless without a decent clamping kit which will hold it firmly on the table.

Use pieces of O-Ring cork stock – This is a great trick for work-holding. Just add small pieces of O-Ring cork stock to the soft jaws for perfect work-holding.

Add interior slug into the chips- This is more useful than just keeping the interior slug intact. It will help the machine to work properly for long intervals without giving any special attention and will also save you from taking care of lots of M01 lines of code.

Use decent Cutters.

Misting Setup- If your machine does not have flood coolant system, use a misting setup. This will help you to preserve the life of the cutters and avoid breakage.

You can use a large diameter end mill instead of a slug- The gap between the wall the slug can work perfectly, allowing a lot of space to the slug to move and work properly.

Check your rapid planes very carefully while using bolts or clamps- This allows you to secure a part for full profiling.

Run a second drill cycle for some parts- For producing some parts, you can run the second drill cycle. But make sure you do partial pocket through the drilled holes before doing this.

Cut thin materials at once- This will save you a lot of time. Just combine all the thin materials and put a soft cap over it. Then cut all of them at once. The soft cap helps in distributing the pressure equally in all points.

Use pattern-C clamps for fast and secure holding- These clamps are extremely strong and work perfectly with your milling machine to hold the work-piece firmly at its place.

To make the remaining slugs soft and flexible you can do pre-drilling to take out most of the material.

Use your cutting stacks very carefully.

Re-cut the counter bores and use flathead screws to make most out of the commercial soft jaws.

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6 Common Material Deformations

In this article, we will be revealing the top 6 common material deformations that newbies produce and how you can avoid it.

1. Normal Flank Wear

Normal Flank Wear is a type of material deformation that can either be caused by low coolant
pressure and extremely high speed that is being used during the cutting process. Since your material
is heat resistant, it does not necessarily require that you put the machine at the highest speed.
Selecting a more wear resistant cutting tool grade can also help.

2. Cratering

Every machinist wants to produce a smooth and nice finish on the material, cratering is one of
the common material deformations that produces rough and uneven cut. One of the possible reasons
could be using too high of a speed during the cutting process.
Remember that excessive temperature can cause rough finish on the material. If after slowing
down the cutting speed, if it still it produces cratering deformation problem, you should select a more
wear resistant grade material cutting tool.

3. Plastic Deformation

Another deformation caused by extremely high cutting temperature is plastic deformation. Aside
from using slower pace of cutting speed. The plastic material’s grade also matters, if it’s not hard enough it
cannot withstand the whole machining process. You should slow down the feed rate to produce better
cutting finish.

4. Notching

This material deformation can be possibly solved by varying the depth of the cut of the material.
Make sure that your material is made from a high quality mill too. When making a depth cut, use a slower
speed for a smoother and nicer finish.

5. Thermal Cracking

When the surface has too high of a temperature, this can cause cracking on the material. You can
can try eliminating the use of coolant during interruptions. The grade of the material also determines
the result of the finish. If ever the material continues to product thermal cracking after performing
the possible remedies, change your chip former and/or the the material for your project.

6. Edge Fracture

This deformation can be possibly solved by reducing the depth of the cut set for the material .
Edge fracture occurs when there’s too much temperature applied and if the material’s grade is too

These are the 6 common Material Deformations that most newbies produce when they just get
into machining. These are learning curves that every aspiring machinist should learn about, but if you
can avoid and take note of these lessons in advance, then you will find learning machining more

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