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Tool Holders | Boring Tools | Cutting Tools | Workholding | Tool Measuring |


Detail D Scale 5 : 1 CONTENTS FEATURES


ARTICLES 7 SuperATV’s Performance 10 10 Tips for Tool Holders 12 Successful 5-Axis Machining 22 Machine Performance 28 Next Steps in Digitalization 30 Peterson Machining 34 Evolution of Workholding NEW PRODUCTS










COVER BIG KAISER modular boring tools provide the flexibility to assemble the perfect setup for your application. Their precision and ruggedness significantly reduce costs and cycle times; delivering measurable performance advantages.

Boring with the Right Angle

Matching lead angle to application is just as important to quality and productivity requirements as other modular boring tool components. Jack Burley

There are so many factors to consider when specifying the components for a modular boring tool: select a boring head, decide on what size of tool, how many extensions are needed to make it long enough, then find the right spindle adapter for the machine. One might think that these choices are the most important and critical to boring success, but there is still work to be done. Considerations for selecting the right insert holder and lead angle for the application must also be looked at based on the application. Conventional wisdom says to use the longest lead angle possible, thinning the chip because it allows you to increase speeds and feeds. We view it differently. We prefer lead angles closer to 90 degrees, because it applies the least amount of radial pressure against the tool. This is a much better approach for combating chatter and vibration, which go hand and hand with part productivity and tool life. The rough and fine boring tools and insert holders we make reflect this approach. The rules for twin bore roughing and single point fine boring are similar, but not the same. Twin cutter rough boring tools come with a choice of two types of insert holders.

Rough Boring Balance

Rough Boring Step

Zero-degree lead or 90-degree square shoulder type with a diamond shaped insert such as CCMT inserts with two cutting edges will produce a true 90-degree shoulder in a bore for a bearing or seal assembly to fit to a precise depth.

First is a zero-degree lead or 90-degree square shoulder type with a diamond shaped insert such as CCMT inserts with two cutting edges. This will produce a true 90-degree shoulder in a bore for a bearing or seal assembly to fit to a precise depth. While CC-type inserts can be used for balanced cutting, the first choice for setting up a twin bore is to use stepped cutting. This provides the least amount of radial engagement resulting in more stable cutting forces on longer tools exceeding L/D ratio of 5:1. Twin cutters with CC inserts can also be used for through hole applications. However, when the tool is almost exiting the bore, there is likely to be a ‘punch out ring’ and these can cause havoc with the chip auger. Also, the bore will have a very

rough edge and require a heavy chamfer to clean up. This makes our second option, SCMT inserts, the better choice for through-hole applications whenever possible.

SC types have four cutting edges and a 6-degree positive lead. These are traditionally used for edges and a 6-degree positive lead. The positive lead angle reduces thrust forces upon exit, avoiding the ‘punch out ring’ and breakout where the bore ends. SCMT inserts are the better choice for through-hole applications whenever possible. SC types have four cutting


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balanced cutting, but tooling innovations are changing that. In theory, a stepped cutting tool requires that the inside insert (smaller diameter) is leading the outer insert (larger diameter) by at least


A fine boring tool is not designed producing a square shoulder. When fine boring to a square shoulder, we have designed the insert to have the 3-degree negative lead so that the insert can stay off the shoulder. The tool thereby only needs to ‘kiss’ or blend into the existing corner radius.

half of the feed per revolution. Older twin bore heads that used cam screws or height adjusting screws could not adjust enough height difference to use square inserts. Our new SW heads are capable of up to .016" height separation so it is possible now to use them for stepped cutting methods. In other words, a tool with a step of .008" should not exceed .016"/rev feed or else the outer insert will be cutting at the same diameter as the inside insert. With a tool at 6° lead, this ratio is no longer valid, and a larger step is necessary to enable each insert to bore the diameter it’s set to. This is an instance where thin chips are a good thing. The positive lead angle reduces thrust forces upon exit, avoiding the ‘punch out ring’ and breakout where the bore ends. Stack plate weldments, where the boring tool enters and exits layers of steel plates welded together, are another example of where SC inserts come in handy because they do not produce discs or rings that can get trapped between the layers and cause catastrophic tool failure.

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When it comes to fine boring, the lead angle generally does not influence part quality. When we consider that the depth of cut rarely exceeds half of the radius of the insert, the angle is almost negligible to cutting forces or chip formation. However, there are two choices of insert holders for fine boring tools as well. The standard insert holder uses a triangular insert. In addition to three cutting edges, there are far more geometries, radii, and grades than any other insert. The lead angle is 87 degrees or negative three degrees. The common mistake is to disqualify this insert holder and choose the 90-degree type when boring to a shoulder. In reality, it should always be applied for both square shoulder boring and through hole operations. A fine boring tool is not designed or practical for producing a square shoulder. The square shoulder feature should be left alone after the rough boring operation is completed by a twin bore or a circular milling tool. When fine boring to a square shoulder, we have designed the insert to have the 3-degree negative lead so that the insert can stay off the shoulder. The tool thereby only needs to ‘kiss’ or blend into the existing corner radius and we usually recommend to ‘stay off’ the bottom by about .002" to be sure. The same rules of engagement apply to the CC type of insert holder, even though it can create a true 90-degree shoulder. Only under very strict requirements of workpiece integrity, where blends are not allowed, such as some flight-critical aerospace parts, should the practice of creating the bore and shoulder together be used. And if this is the case, the programmer should back off on the feed rate about 75

Type TC

Type CC

Type CC

The standard insert holder (Type TC) uses a triangular insert. In addition to three cutting edges, there are far more geometries, radii, and grades than any other insert. The lead angle is 87 degrees. The common mistake is to disqualify this insert holder and choose the 90-degree type when boring to a shoulder. In reality, it should always be applied for both square shoulder boring and through hole operations.


percent when the tool is within .005" of the shoulder to minimize chatter of the shoulder. Also, in this case, only select an insert with a pressed geometry. Do not use an up-sharp, positive insert with a three- dimensional chip breaker; it cannot produce the shoulder at a consistent angle.

on the rare part print where a larger bore transitions to a smaller bore and the part print asks for the angle to be 30 or 45 with no blends. The second reason for offering them is to produce chamfers on bores. Many customers like to have an adjustable tool to produce a wide range of bore chamfers and these insert holders will provide that feature. There are clear advantages to matching the right lead angle, an in turn insert holder, to the right application. When assembling a modular boring tool, don’t overlook this selection. It can be just as important to quality results, productivity and tool life as other factors that often get much more attention.





We sometimes get questions about why we offer insert holders in the catalog for fine boring heads with 30-degree or 45-degree lead angle insert holders. It’s There are clear advantages to matching the right lead angle, an in turn insert holder, to the right application. When assembling a modular boring tool, don’t overlook this selection.

CONTRIBUTOR Jack Burley is the Vice President Sales & Engineering at BIG KAISER Email:

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Tool Holders | Boring Tools | Cutting Tools | Workholding | Tool Measuring |


Fueling SuperATV’s Performance

John Westrick

much larger manufacturing and warehouse space, a 600-acre test facility and a team of in- house designers, engineers and fabricators—every idea, prototype and production-ready part is built and tested with the utmost care. In order to keep to their commitment, SuperATV requires equipment that can keep up with the speed of their production—and their ideas. Powering Up Performance To ensure equipment is running efficiently and producing parts and accessories that deliver

Switching to the MEGA DOUBLE POWER chuck has decreased roughing cycle time by 19%.

When Harold Hunt first started SuperATV in his garage, it was to fill a small need for off-road enthusiasts like himself. It turns out, that need was much bigger than Hunt could’ve ever imagined. As the demand for his exclusive 2" Sportsman lift design grew, so did SuperATV’s product line. Their passion to fuel riders, and their rides, drives SuperATV to constantly innovate

and improve every part of every machine available. Today, the company offers a full range of aftermarket ATV and UTV parts and accessories—from axles to long travel kits—that are designed to amp up machine performance and take things to the next level. No matter how much SuperATV grows though, you will find the same commitment to quality and affordability. With a


on their unwavering quality standards, SuperATV looked to make upgrades that best suited their operational needs. One of those decisions was to invest in BIG KAISER’s MEGA DOUBLE POWER milling chuck to replace their current end mill tool holders for faster, heavier duty machining.

provide more gripping force than some of the other options. Plus, their size can help dampen vibrations that lead to chatter. “The end mill tool holders we were using couldn’t utilize the full spindle range of tooling due to some balancing issues. While our previous max RPM was 8,000, we can now we use the full 12k if needed,” adds Westrick. The MEGA DOUBLE POWER chucks are precision ground and balanced with a high rigidity design for heavier duty machining. In fact, every component of the tool holder is specifically designed for higher speed applications. It’s the ability to handle fast tool changes and deliver reliable, precise performance that motivated the team to invest. They’re so happy they did too, because it’s already having an impact on cycle times and productivity in their warehouse. Driving A Better Bottom Line Many top manufacturers around the world invest in superior tooling because they understand

the value and return that will come with that investment. Like those companies, SuperATV is already seeing the benefits of upgrading. In fact, Westrick will tell you how they have, “achieved about 19% decrease in the roughing cycle time since changing to the MEGA DOUBLE POWER chuck.” That’s just the beginning of what’s possible for SuperATV and the growth they have ahead. Back when Hunt first started making his lift kits in that small garage, he saw the opportunity for something great. That same vision exists in every aspect of SuperATV today. From the precision, longer tool life and decreased downtime that can come from investing in premium tooling to the new, innovative parts and accessories they are helping to create—it’s all helping to fuel SuperATV’s business and better meet the demand of their passionate and growing family of customers.

SuperATV invested in MEGA DOUBLE POWER milling chuck from BIG KAISER to replace its current end mill tool holders for faster, heavier duty machining.

CONTRIBUTOR John Westrick is the Machining Supervisor at SuperATV

“With over 20 years in the

tool and die industry, I have learned that running mill chucks will sometimes help with chatter, taking the harmonics away from the spindle and absorbing it into the chuck,” says John Westrick, machining supervisor at SuperATV. With so many tool holder varieties and options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best fit for a specific operation. Milling chucks, like the MEGA DOUBLE POWER from BIG KAISER, are a great solution for high-speed machining and aggressive milling because they



Runout greatly influences part quality and tool life. At the acceptable average runout of .0005", tool life is cut in half. As cutting tool diameters get smaller, the acceptable amount of runout must decrease substantially. Tool life in most applications can increase over 200% when the BIG KAISER MEGA Chuck system is utilized due to our highly accurate, low runout New Baby Collets. Use MEGA Chucks to Increase Your Tool Life


EXPANDED BBT30 TOOL HOLDER OFFERING, PRODUCTION IN U.S. Inch standard sizes for the U.S. market added to the production of its BIG-PLUS BBT30 basic arbors. •Custom tools can be ordered, produced and delivered more quickly •An inch-based BBT30 shrink fit series is being introduced to complement the 10 metric sizes currently offered. Standard items available in sizes 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" •A single blank size has been added to give customers the ability to make special tools on their own. Additional grinding services and custom manufacturing available

EXPERIENCE THE ECONOMY OF QUALITY Invest in world-class BIG DAISHOWA Tool Holding to eliminate inconsistent tool changes, increase tool life and reduce cycle time.

Tool Holders | Boring Tools | Cutting Tools | Workholding | Tool Measuring |


10 TIPS for Improving Tool

The four critical requirements for tool holders are clamping force, concentricity, rigidity, and balance for high spindle speeds. When these factors are dialed in just right, there’s nearly no chance of holder error and considerable cost reduction is achieved thanks to longer tool life and reduction of down-time due to tool changes. Easier said than done, we share some quick-hitting advice for top tool holder performance in different situations.

1. Balance holders as a complete assembly

4. Rigidity can harm tapping operations

What many don’t realize about tapping operations is that a perceived strength of collet chucks, their rigidity, can actually be detrimental. Rigidity does very little to counteract the dramatic thrust loads imposed on the tap and part, exacerbating the already difficult challenge of weathering the stop/ reverse and maintaining synchronization.

Long-reach milling has some unique demands; when setting up this kind of job, always balance tool holders as a complete assembly. While many tooling providers pre-balance their holders at the factory, it’s often inadequate, especially for long- reach applications. 2. Holder damage can go from bad to worse quickly Wear and tear on holders can be costly in the end, but there are ways to protect against it. Inspect and care for holders. Trauma on a holder or spindle— dings, scratches, gouges, etc.—can magnify quickly. One bad holder can spread its problems like an illness. If you’re seeing disruptions like these on your holders, get them out of the rotation. 3. The rule of thumb on holder dimensions Looking for affordable ways to avoid vibration? Start by opting for a holder with a combination of the largest diameter and shortest length possible.

5. Balancing is crucial to five-axis machining

Five-axis machining introduces a whole new set of tooling challenges. While important in any type of machine, balance may be of most importance in ‘full five-axis work’. A well-balanced holder helps ensure the cutting edge of the end mill must be consistently engaged with the material in order to prevent chatter and poor surface finish quality. 6. Consider spindle speed when choosing between shrink-fit and hydraulic If you have to choose between shrink-fit and hydraulic holders in a long-reach application,


Holder Performance

Alan Miller

consider the spindle speed required. If a hydraulic chuck exceeds its rated RPMs, fluid is pulled away from the holder’s internal gripping gland, causing loss of clamping force. But when used within its recommended operating range, a hydraulic tool holder offers superior runout and repeatability. On average, a good shrink-fit holder has about .0003" runout, while a hydraulic chuck offers .0001" or better. 7. Don’t overlook the tool’s effects on holder performance The cutting tool affects holding ability more than most machinists and engineers realize: a. Polished shanks reduce friction. b. Oil and coolants reduce gripping power. c. Cutter shank roundness is often assumed to be close enough to perfect to ignore, but in reality a 25 millionths tolerance is necessary for high-speed performance.

the supply chain and/or sales process. The easiest way to figure if an interface is BIG-PLUS is to place a standard tool into the spindle and see how much of a gap there is between the tool holder flange face and spindle face. Without BIG-PLUS, the standard gap should be visible, or about .12". If it is BIG-PLUS, the gap is half of this amount, or only .06". These values change depending on 30 taper, 40 taper or 50 taper sizes, but the gap is visibly less than usual. 10. Use positive offsets during holder setup It may be how it’s traditionally been done, but touching off holder assemblies in each machine to establish negative tool offsets based on the zero- point surface—the vise, machine table, workpiece, etc.—is not the most efficient process. We think the choice is pretty clear: adapting machines to a single presetter so they can receive positive gage lengths is superior to using all types of machine-specific negative offsets. This is a change to “the way things have always been done” that can be met with some resistance, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively small and simple step that makes life much easier. It’s essentially a relatively low-cost opportunity to introduce more standardization of holder setup to the shop floor. Holders are the bridge between the machine and the part. That’s a lot of pressure—literally and figuratively. It’s important to select, care for and use holders carefully from the day they are purchased until they’re tossed into the recycling bin. From collet chucks to coolant inducers, BIG KAISER is North America’s source for standard-bearing tool holders that guarantees high performance.

8. Not all dual-contact tooling is the same

Anyone in the market for BIG-PLUS ‘dual-contact tooling’ should consider this simple statement: Only a licensed supplier of BIG-PLUS has master gages that are traceable to the BIG grand master gages and have the dimensions and tolerances provided to make holders right. Everyone else is guessing and using a sample BIG-PLUS tool holder as their own master gage—a practice that any quality expert will advise against. Look for the marking: “BIG-PLUS Spindle System-License BIG DAISHOWA SEIKI.” 9. You may have a BIG-PLUS spindle and not even know it You’d be surprised how often we hear from our certified regrinders or engineers in the field about folks that didn’t realize their machine had a BIG-PLUS spindle—the message can get lost in

CONTRIBUTOR AlanMiller is the EngineeringManager & Product Manager BIG at BIG KAISER Email:


Gearing Up for Successful 5-Axis Machining John Zaya

Five-axis machining is a valuable capability for many businesses, but having a powerful machine is just one part of the equation. Mission-critical parts like impellers and blades, medical components, molds, gear housings and valve bodies leave little room for error. They involve complex surfaces that need simultaneous movement of the part and tool. This puts a premium on access and proper approach to the part, which is exactly where the right tooling and workholding strategies help. The smaller or more intricate those features, think dental implants, the more it should drive these decisions. In fact, one of the main advantages of 5-axis machining – or likewise 3+2 machining when used – is that it allows for the use of shorter, more rigid cutting tools than three-axis machining. Faster feeds and speeds with less tool deflection and shorter movements combine to result in good finish and more accuracy, heavier cuts and fewer setups, all which To improve access, and, in turn, tool performance, we need to understand common areas of interference. The outside diameter of the spindle housing, for one, limits how close the table can come to the tool; something that may not have been a consideration for three-axis machining, except for parts with deep pockets or contours. Table size is another interference consideration. lower total cycle times. Part Accessibility What do large tables and small parts lead to? Long tool holders and tools, which result in low speeds, low depth of cut and a higher chance of chatter. There is one fundamental difference in machinery that we look at first when helping a customer design workholding: Is it trunnion-style that tilts and rotates the table, or gantry-style machine where the

One main advantage of 5-axis machining is the use of shorter, more rigid cutting tools. Faster feeds and speeds with less tool deflection and shorter movements result in a good finish, more accuracy, heavier cuts, and fewer setups, all of which lower total cycle times.


Efficient five-axis workholding solutions locate and stabilize the workpieces without obstructing access to the top and sides of the part, and they also allow a clamped workpiece to be flipped into new orientations for subsequent machining operations without unclamping from the workholding. There is a natural limit of how close you can get to the table. The options are to make the tools

workpiece is stationary and the tool and spindle move completely around the workpiece? With the trunnion-style machine, the part must rotate and move at the same time to allow for full simultaneous machining. You need to be cognizant of clearance problems with the machine’s spindle housing and the machine’s table, especially at full tilt when the table is perpendicular.

With gantry-style machines,

we’re usually working with aerospace structural workpieces or molds for the automotive industry that are very large. We spread out the workholding system, based on the footprint of the machine. If we just take a standard vise and elevate it off the table, then the vise generates an offset for the center of the round workpiece. Although most modern five-axis machines can handle dynamic offsets, you create a clearance problem with either the front end or spindle end of the vise, resulting in a huge mass of material that is not really helping in any way but can cause interference or crashes with the spindle and housing. That’s where you see a lot of self- centering vises where both jaws move uniformly to minimize the amount of dynamic offset. Hydraulic or Shrink-Fit? In addition to workholding, the choice of tool holder has an impact on the process. Shrink- fit tool holders are deliberately undersized to accommodate the fact that heat is used to expand the inner diameter (ID) enough for the tool to fit, then cooled to collapse around the shank. In a scenario where a collet chuck’s nose or body diameter may risk collision with a table, these less bulky holders tend to offer good access to part features, particularly in long-reach applications. There are a variety of different shrink-fit profile shapes and extensions that provide even more options. Shrink-fit holders also boast excellent concentricity and accuracy thanks to even gripping across the entire circumference of the tool shank. That said, gripping power is dependent on tolerance of the cutting tool shank and outside

Efficient 5-axis workholding locates and stabilizes the workpieces without obstructing access to the top and sides of the part, and it also allows a clamped workpiece to be flipped into new orientations for subsequent machining operations without unclamping from the workholding.

excessively long or elevate the workpiece off the table. Since the general rule of thumb is that it’s better to use a short tool to minimize chatter and maximize tool life and accuracy, shops lean toward elevating the workpiece to allow the spindle access.

Taking Advantage of Workholding

Bulky workholding has traditionally introduced the chance for collision while limiting setup flexibility as well, but approaches have been developed to make it an asset in multi-axis machining.


body diameter. Also important to note, heavy-wall shrink fit holders have higher gripping force, while slim-wall holders have reduced gripping force. While shrink-fit is best suited for moderate to rough milling, the superior vibration control of hydraulic chucks makes them a good choice for finish milling, reaming and drilling work. Hydraulic chucks aren’t reliant on as many variables, while their production is imminently consistent. Once a master bore is established during manufacturing and assembly, it’s a repeatable process over thousands of cycles. This translates to consistent clamping tolerances and forces over the life of the holder. The second advantage is the natural damping characteristics hydraulics provide. That’s not to say shrink-fit holders are ineffective in terms of vibration management, their runout is five times better than side-lock holders. There is also a cost that needs to be accounted for both on the holders themselves and the support systems. Hydraulic holders are slightly more expensive upfront but only require a standard hex wrench to operate, allowing anyone with some training to change a cutting tool. Shrink-fit holders are slightly cheaper, however, require a shrink-fit machine to heat and cool the holder correctly, along with an understanding of how to avoid overheating and reduce the risk of burn injuries. Coolant Strategy Coolant delivery that is as direct as possible is the key to providing proper heat dissipation, increased tool life and surface finish. Flooding the part doesn’t always work best. The first option, which should be standard on all machines, is through- spindle coolant. This gets the fluids right at the cutting tip of a drill and helps force chips back up the flutes to evacuate the cut. Coolant right at the cutting edge of a mill helps for the same reason, however, as machine spindles get faster, the coolant will fan out from its intended target. The next option to consider is to use directed jets of coolant on the holder. We offer holders, or in some cases collet nuts, that specifically angle the coolant delivery holes to maintain the direction of the coolant flow. Cutter Dimensions Five-axis control opens up new opportunities to better utilize cutting tools. On the other hand, new cutter geometries are emerging that are better equipped for 5-axis work. When machining the

workpiece at different angles with different portions of the tool, these applications require symmetrical cutters. Very few cutters are immune to blend lines or poor finish.

Five-axis control opens up new opportunities to use cutting tools better.

Ball Nose End Mills

Ball nose end mills have zero cutting action at their tip, causing the material to “smear” rather than be cut to be lifted away by the flute. This is where the concept of tipping the cutter comes from. Tilting the tool axis allows the flutes to grab the material, pulling it away from the part, rather than pushing, which causes it to build up on itself, the cutter and

the surface of the part. Circle Segment Cutters

Designed specifically for five-axis machining, circle segment cutters have contoured profiles that enable wider cutting contact with a contoured workpiece surface, almost like a super-large ball nose end mill. They fall into a few basic types: taper, lens, oval and barrel. The biggest advantage of this tool is that it provides an equivalent or better surface finish with larger stepovers, resulting in fewer passes required to machine a 3D surface. Then, with the small radius tip of the tool, you can get into tight corners. Not only can you do more with a single tool, it results in continuous machined surfaces with significant reductions in


blending issues.

with full 5-axis applications as most are long-running cutting operations with the cutter engaged in the material for long periods of time. Eventually the cutting tools wear, even in aluminum. Redundancy in the tools is key to keeping the spindle up and running. Having the same holder, cutter, etc. setup waiting in the tool magazine is best. It would then be called up automatically once a cutting tool’s life span has been met. The next best scenario is to have a cart of duplicate tools waiting next to the machine, but then the operator has to manually change the tool out. This may be a source of error, depending on the operator’s skill set. Using RFID chips on the holder, along with a tool management system, can aid in reducing the errors. Five-axis machining has unlocked creativity and productivity across the manufacturing world. It’s done the same for us and other suppliers of machining equipment. When preparing a new machine or process, don’t overlook how things like workholding and tooling have evolved to make this kind of work even more powerful.

Circle segment tools also come in multi-flute configurations. Add it all up and you get fewer tool passes while achieving better surface quality, faster feed rates, fewer tool changes and a more productive cutting process. Multi-Flute End Mills When it comes to 3 + 2 machining, more flutes on a cutting tool lets you maintain higher speeds and feeds simply because there are more edges in play. Moreover, the extra flutes provide more cutting surface on a given tool, which results in longer tool life. Altogether, these advantages result in much higher metal removal rates, better surface finish and lower overall cost. Tool Redundancy Redundancy is a risk management strategy that larger companies may employ for machines, tools and even employees. This becomes more important

Making coolant delivery as direct as possible is the key to providing proper heat dissipation, longer tool life, and better surface finish.

CONTRIBUTOR John Zaya is the Product Manager Workholding at BIG KAISER Email:

How to Find Minimum Insertion Depth


Q: I am trying to find the minimum insertion depth for cutting tools in holders. Other than referencing DIN, ISO or NAS standards for shank length to diameter dimensions, is there a rule used to determine the minimum insertion depth of an end mill, thread mill or drill bit into collets, shrink or hydraulic holders? A: The is no general rule to cutting tool shank insertion as a multiplier for shank diameter. All tool holder types have different requirements. The most important concept is that no matter what tool holder you are using, the cutting tool shank should be past the ground clamping section. An example of this is with ER32 collets. The smaller clamping sizes (Ø3mm) have an internal recess in the back of the collet. Even though the collet is 40mm long, the ground clamping length is only 19mm. As the clamping sizes get larger, the ground length increases (Ø12mm = 30mm) but is not relative to a set multiplier. Tool holders like shrink fit, hydraulic and milling chucks typically have the minimum insertion depth listed in catalogs. For holders like these, if the cutting tool shank does not pass through the ground portion of the holder, the bore can be damaged and ruin the entire chuck. Straight collets have the same type of recess. As long as the OD of the collet passes through the ground section of the holder, the cutting tool shanks can be shorter.


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16 Tool Holders | Boring Tools | Cutting Tools | Workholding | Tool Measuring |


Chip Blower or ChipFan

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE Purchase one Chip Blower and get one Chip Blower FREE or purchase one ChipFan and get one ChipFan FREE. Automate in-machine cleaning of coolant and chips by delivering high-volume air flow with spindle rotation. PROMO CODE: PROMO-SPARK20-BOGO

Base Master

20% OFF BASE MASTERS Purchase any style Base Master and receive 20% OFF.

The Base Master Series is a precision touch sensor to determine workpiece offsets and tool length. They can be mounted on a workpiece surface or machine table. An LED lamp illuminates immediately when the cutting edge touches the sensor plate and position is detected. PROMO CODE: PROMO-SPARK20-BM $1,350 BIG KAISER TOOLING VOUCHER Purchase an ESSENTIA and receive a $1,350 BIG KAISER Tooling Voucher for a future purchase. The SPERONI STP ESSENTIA is an entry- level tool presetting and measuring system. Its robust structure and user-friendly software allow customers to benefit from a basic, essential unit with long-lasting performance. PROMO CODE: PROMO-SPARK20-BKTV


Not valid on prior purchases. BIG KAISER reserves the right to change or discontinue these offers at any time.


The BIG-PLUS Difference Jack Kerlin

Having two points of contact between spindle and tool holder cuts chattering and deflection in half.

Spindles and tool holders are in a constant battle with the forces of nature, with this battle becoming more and more difficult with heavier cuts and longer projections. Chattering and deflection have always been the bane of machinists’ existence, so much so that the sight of a long and slender tool holder will immediately cause goosebumps. If you understand why a long tool holder behaves the way it does, you’ll know that there are ways to fight back against this bending. Every machinist knows that short and stubby holders are more resistant to deflection than long and slender holders. You’ve also probably heard that, if possible, you’ll want most of your cutting forces to be axial rather than radial. Not only does

this fight chatter in operations like boring, but your spindle also is better equipped to handle loads in this axis. However, these options aren’t always

going to be on the table, especially in unavoidable long-reach situations and many milling operations. In this constant battle with tool deflection, much time and effort has been spent designing shorter holders, stiffer tools, and clever anti-vibration geometry and materials. But oftentimes, the body diameter(s) of the holder can be overlooked as a means of increasing rigidity, especially in situations where it is all you have to work with. This is a serious shame, as you’ll soon discover.

What’s Dual-Contact? The concept of dual-contact technology has been around for years, existing in many different forms but always with the same goal of capitalizing on this untapped potential of rigidity. For those who don’t know, dual contact refers to the shank contacting the spindle taper and the spindle face simultaneously. Oftentimes, the solution involved ex post facto alterations to the spindle or tool holder, such as using ground spacers or shims to close the gap,


diameter at the point where the reactionary force is greatest. It’s not too much of a leap to conclude that a larger effective diameter will give you more rigidity. That being said, you may still be asking yourself: does such a seemingly small increase in diameter really make a difference? To understand the effect of BIG-PLUS, you must understand Imagine a simple scenario in which a tool holder is represented by a cylindrical bar that is fixed at one end and free-floating at the other. In other words, a cantilever beam. If you think about it, this is essentially what a tool holder becomes once it’s secure in the spindle. Now, let’s introduce a radial force F that acts downward at the suspended end of the bar, which represents a cutting force you would encounter when milling or boring, for example. The bar, as you might expect, will want to bend the physics behind it. How Dual-Contact Improves Tool Rigidity downward. It’s similar to how a diving board bends when someone stands at the end, though less exaggerated.

for example. In other words, there was no standard solution, and if you wanted dual contact, you would have to be prepared to spend time and money either buying modified tool holders or modifying them yourself to adapt them to your spindle. BIG-PLUS emerged as a solution to this issue. Essentially, both the spindle and tool holder were ground to precise specifications so that they closed the gap between spindle face and flange in unison (while depending on very small elastic deformation in the spindle). What this meant is that operators were able to confidently switch BIG-PLUS tooling in and out of a BIG-PLUS spindle and achieve guaranteed dual contact. Not only that, but standard tooling could still be used in a BIG-PLUS spindle if necessary, and vice versa. Though not technically an international standard, it’s been adopted by many machine tool builders because of the clear performance improvements and simplicity. In fact, BIG-PLUS spindles come standard on more machines than you would think. We often come across operators that have machines with BIG-PLUS spindles and don’t even realize it. How exactly does dual contact help with tool rigidity? The torque (or moment) exerted by the cutting forces is maximized at the point where the holder and spindle meet, the base of the tool holder. With standard CAT40 tool holders, this would be the gage line diameter. When the holder contacts the spindle face via BIG-PLUS, the effective diameter would be the larger diameter of the v-flange, since this is the new anchoring point of the holder and spindle. So, you are beefing up the

where d=diameter, L=Length and E=Modulus of Elasticity (this depends on the bar material). The greater the value of k, the stiffer (or more rigid) our bar will be. I won’t ask you to do any math here, I just want you to look at the equation. We can see that increasing d will increase the value of k, while increasing L will decrease the value of k, since it’s in the denominator of the equation. This certainly makes sense if you think about it: a short and squat bar (large d, small L) will be more rigid than a long and slender bar (small d, large L). Something interesting to note is that d is raised to the 4th power, while L is only raised to the 3rd power. Diameter affects rigidity an entire order of magnitude more than the length does. This is where the power of BIG-PLUS comes from and is why a small increase in diameter can have such a powerful effect on performance. Let’s Run Some Numbers For a CAT40 tool holder, the gage line diameter is Ø44.45 mm and the flange diameter is Ø63.5 mm. Let’s imagine two bars of identical length and material, so L and E remain unchanged. One bar has a diameter of Ø44.45 mm (standard CAT40) and the other has Ø63.5 mm (BIG-PLUS CAT40). If you were to plug these values into the above equation for comparison, you would find that the BIG-PLUS holder results in a k value that is around 4 times greater than the standard bar. Based on this comparison, you could say that a BIG-PLUS holder is 4 times

It’s possible to predict the amount of deflection (or inversely, bending stiffness) at the end of this hypothetical bar if you know its length, diameter and material. The following expression represents the stiffness k at the end of the bar


as rigid as an identical standard CAT40 holder, because it is 4 times as resistant to deflection. Think of the tool life and surface finish improvements you would see with a tool that is 4 times more rigid, not to mention the reduction in fretting and potential for reduced cycle time. You would get similar results if you were to make the same comparison for CAT50, BT40, BT30, etc. If you’re still not convinced, we can also compare the rigidity in this way: Let’s say there is a Ø63.5 mm BIG-PLUS CAT40 bar of some arbitrary length. Let’s use a gage length of 105 mm, or just over 4 inches, as an example. At what length would a comparable standard CAT40 holder have an equal stiffness? If we take our stiffness expression and set it equal to itself (one side representing BIG-PLUS, the other non BIG-PLUS), we can plug in this BIG-PLUS holder length and our known diameters to find our unknown non-BIG PLUS length:

What does this mean? A BIG-PLUS holder of around 4 inches or 105 mm in length will have equal rigidity to a standard CAT40 holder of around 2.5 inches or 65 mm in length. Any experienced machinist will know quite well the difference in rigidity between a 4-inch long holder and a 2.5-inch long holder. If this is true, we can say that implementing BIG-PLUS is equivalent to a 40% reduction in length in terms of rigidity. Theoretically, a BIG-PLUS tool holder will behave like a standard tool holder that is nearly half of its length. Real-World Results Obviously, we’ve used simple and idealized cases here to represent the complicated and dynamic world of metal cutting. Tool holders, of course, don’t have uniform body diameters or materials and the cutting forces usually aren’t acting in one direction in a constant and predictable way. If our holder necks up and down to different body diameters along its length, which is realistically what happens, each of these sections would be its own microcosm of “beam” that would influence the overall behavior (at that point, finite element analysis on a computer becomes the only practical way to predict behavior).

So, will the advantage of BIG-PLUS really be as dramatic as our hand-calculated classical beam theory suggests? Probably not, but it depends on the tool holder/tool. Most cases will follow our simple model quite closely in practice; others not so much. If nothing else, we’ve demonstrated how dramatically the flange contact of BIG-PLUS can influence rigidity, at least in a purely mathematical sense. As if you needed any more reasons to be on the BIG-PLUS bandwagon besides increased rigidity, you will also eliminate Z-axis movement at high speeds, improve ATC repeatability and decrease fretting. This means that you will take heavier cuts, scrap less parts, and increase tool and spindle life. BIG-PLUS isn’t a new idea by any means, but with a proven track record of tackling tough jobs, it’s hard to imagine working in a modern machine shop and not taking advantage of what it has to offer.

CONTRIBUTOR Jack Kerlin is the Application Engineer at BIG KAISER Email:



MAXIMIZE STABILITY WITH STABILIZER 50 SYSTEM The UNILOCK Stabilizer 50 System for UNIFLEX Ball System. This modular system provides lateral support for tall parts during machining, welding or assembly processes and allows for the transfer of loads to the table or base. The importance of stability across the metalworking industry impacts everything from profitability to employee safety. If there’s a need to back off feeds and speeds to achieve finishes, there’s a good chance a part is not completely stable. BIG KAISER’s zero-point, UNILOCK stabilizer system can easily adjust to any new part – making machining more efficient and cost-effective. In place of modifying parts by moving them from machine to machine, and introducing the chance for error, this stabilizer system can easily adjust to each new part. The system attaches to the worktable and the side of the workpiece to provide lateral support. As the workpiece gets taller and further away from the table, there are cutting forces pushing against it and the stabilizer helps to offset them. The UNILOCK Stabilizer System also can be used for mobile parts that are odd shapes and sizes. No matter the part, they are easy to adjust within one job, or in the case that jobs are changing in and out rapidly. What’s more, integrating it into existing setups is quick. The system stacks easily and uses a wide variety of gripping forms.

EXPERIENCE THE ECONOMY OF QUALITY Invest in world-class UNILOCK Workholding to reduce changeover time, increase output and eliminate scrap of first-piece setups.

Tool Holders | Boring Tools | Cutting Tools | Workholding | Tool Measuring |


TAKE 5 Five ways to maintain machine performance and tool life

Alan Miller

2. Test Static Accuracy Another way to confirm spindle performance or ensure that bearings are holding up is to inspect the accuracy of spindle movement. Any runout in a spindle will be amplified as it extends through the tool and into the part. Similarly, if Z-axis movement is not parallel, users will see the resulting imperfections on parts. I recommend using a test bar that’s inserted into the spindle and a touch probe to measure movement. Simply spinning the spindle slowly or moving it along the Z-axis while the probe is on the bar will reveal any issues.

Machine maintenance is critical to metalcutting. Because of their manual nature, certain tasks can be hard and time- consuming, taking up valuable spindle time. These efforts are necessary, however, to ensure consistent performance of machinery and tooling. Left to work for extended periods without attention, spindles and other machine components may pass on problems to parts and cutting tools. I often see how frustratingly difficult these issues are to diagnose. The best plan is to schedule routine maintenance and testing, especially when applying premium tools. What many people first think is tool trouble frequently can be resolved with cleaning, more vigilant monitoring of machinery or both. The following suggestions are for maintenance and monitoring. 1. Verify Taper Accuracy The spindle is a key link in the machining chain. Whether it’s an errant chip, fluid buildup or heating wear, part quality and machining efficiency can be hurt. Visual checks are not enough, and neither is an occasional wipe-down. This is where a taper gage comes in handy. By applying a blue layout dye, inserting it into the spindle and removing it, inconsistencies that cause poor contact of the spindle taper with tool holders are revealed. This information enables targeted cleaning and repair.


3. Align Automatic Tool Changers

Essentially an entry-level form of automation, ATCs are a popular way to improve setup and changeover efficiency. As with any other machine component, accuracy matters. Misalignment between the spindle and ATC gripper can damage the spindle taper, and clamping a misaligned holder may increase runout and shorten tool life. ATC alignment tools can help realign the center point between the spindle and gripper. They also could realign the gripper with tool magazine pockets. 4. Level Worktables A small imperfection in a spindle taper can interfere with a cut, and the same can be said for a table. Just like adjusting a tool while it’s in a spindle is tricky, adjusting a table while verifying that it is level is easier said than done. Leveling systems with two-axis simultaneous detection and extreme optical precision that send a remote signal to a device outside the machine have been developed to simplify this process. The operator can adjust the table and see the results in real time.

5. Test Retention Force The retention force of a machine tool spindle is critical to imparting fine surface finishes and achieving acceptable tool life, but the pulling force produced by the clamping device of machine tools can deteriorate due to degradation of disc springs or wear of amplifier components. Testing retention is most easily and accurately performed with a tool clamp measuring device that accepts a holder and pull stud, which is inserted into a spindle and then provides a reading. Performing these five maintenance steps can go a long way toward ensuring that capital investments continue to pay off, tool life is extended and parts are done right the first time. Don’t let what is preventable cost you money.

CONTRIBUTOR AlanMiller is the EngineeringManager & Product Manager BIG at BIG KAISER Email:

LET’S CONNECT For the latest information from BIG KAISER, check out our social medial channels. Here you will find exclusive content including videos, articles, and tips & tricks to keep your shop running. You can also post your questions, pictures and videos.


MICROMACHINING What to know about holders, drills, end mills and machines.

Jack Burley

produced nearly two-thirds fewer holes, only 800. In this scenario, the shop could save hundreds of dollars a month in carbide costs – as well as labor costs due to less tool changing – by making one smart tool holder choice. Holder attributes that can boost production include symmetrical design, a perfectly concentric collapse of the collet around the cutter, and a ball-bearing raceway nut with precision-ground threads. Challenges While these characteristics are good rules of thumb, things change fast in this field and, like our customers, we must adapt as trends emerge. Batch sizes are getting smaller. Bone screws, for example, were typically run on multi-axis, Swiss- type lathes where the same tools and programs run for days at a time. Traditionally, prototyping in this arrangement was not an option because of the complexity and time involved in programming and setup. Today’s need for customized sizes demands flexibility and quick changeover to remain productive. We are investing a large portion of our research and development (R&D) in tackling this challenge. We are working on hydro-clamping tool holder systems that could make the decades-long approach of using ER collets obsolete. It would make it possible, for example, to perform a simple drill change on a gang slide in seconds.

At BIG KAISER we consider tools with diameters under 3mm to be micro tools. These tools aren’t simply smaller versions of their macro counterparts. They have their own geometric considerations.

Micromachining, cutting where the volume of chips produced with each tool path is very small, is not a high-speed operation in relation to chip load per tooth. Rather, it involves a high spindle speed due to cutter diameter. The part may be physically larger, but details of the part require ultra-small profiles achieved only by micromachining. In other words, micromachining is not limited in scope to only miniature parts. Tool Holding In medical work, where tight tolerances are standard, dynamic runout (the measurement of the spindle at high speeds, performed using laser or capacitance resistance technology) and balance

must be controlled to deliver and maintain viable tool life. Much of this burden falls on the holder. Balance doesn’t change as spindle speed increases, however the forces it creates increase exponentially alongside speed. The impacting results appear quickly in micromachining. When runout occurs, the edge most affected takes over the bulk of the cutting. Uneven wear causes the tool to fail more quickly than if the tool rotates about the centerline as intended. In one customer application, we found that drilling into a steel workpiece .590" deep with a .118" diameter carbide drill in a holder with .00008" runout accuracy produced 2,300 holes. A holder with .00060" runout accuracy


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