Running Machines For A Machine Shop

1611 Words Apr 26th, 2016 7 Pages
If you’ve worked in a machine shop at all in the last 30 years, you know that anytime a machine is set up, the operator is faced with an immeasurable number of choices. Everything about running machines is about choosing from the many ways of doing it. There is definitely “more than one way to skin a cat” when working in a machine shop. For example, think about one of the most simple machine tools, the tried and true Bridgeport knee mill. We have all used one, maybe for 5 minutes to clean an edge or for multiple days building intricate parts. Either way, you may not have noticed all the choices you had when setting up and running the machine. Just to clean up that edge there were decisions whether to use a vise or a clamp set. Or whether to use a power feed or not. Often you subconsciously decide what axis you will be cutting with, what sort of tool-holder to use, and many other physical factors. One of the hardest decisions to make in all of this is what type of cutter to use. It seems simple, many operators just grab an end mill; but to achieve a good quality cut and desired end mill life, there is much more to it. To find out just how many choices there are, a quick search for ½” square end mills at MSC brings up over 1500 choices. That’s a lot of choices! So what do most of us do? Well we grab one that looks like something that we have used before. But as we all very well know, doing things “the way we’ve always done them” is anything but the best way to work in the…
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