Tooling & Workholding

Turning Tools
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Turning involves a fixed and non-rotating cutter, because in turning, the workpiece spins instead of the tool. Turning tools typically consist of a replaceable insert in a turning tool body. The insert can be distinctive in a number of ways, including shape, material, coating and geometry. The shape can be round to maximize edge strength, diamond-shaped to allow a sharp point to cut fine features, square, or even octagonal to increase the number of separate edges that can be applied as one edge after another wears out. The material is typically carbide, though ceramic, cermet or diamond inserts can be applied to more demanding applications. A variety of protective coatings also help these insert materials cut faster and last longer. The geometry of the insert generally relates to its cutting angles, though the tool may also include a complex chipbreaker pattern that prevents long unbroken chips from becoming entangled in the cut. The turning tool body generally does not feature quite so much engineering, but even here there are a range of choices for fine-tuning the process. Quick-change tools involve modular bodies that allow replacement tool bodies to be swapped in and out and locked in place quickly to minimize setup time. The turning tool body can also channel high-pressure coolant more effectively to the cutting edge of the tool.

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hard machining

Success Factors for Hard Turning


A rigid machine and hard cutting edge are the beginning. Other considerations relate to system rigidity and keeping the cutting force steady.

form tool

Video: Form Tools On CNC Lathes


Form tools are traditionally associated with non-CNC machines, but in certain applications they make sense on modern machines as well.

Custom step drill

See The Tool's Value Instead Of Its Cost


This company is embracing high-performance tooling on its turning centers. The "sticker shock" is no reason not to do this. In one case, though, the shop found a way to limit the cost of the tool and increase productivity at the same time.



Second Chances for Surplus Tools

By: Peter Zelinski
A new website aims to give shops with excess tooling a way to sell that tooling to other shops. Cutting tool suppliers are using the site for their own excess tools.

Iscar F3P, M3P, R3P chipformers

Chipformers Improve Surface Finish in Turning Applications

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Iscar introduces three new chipformers for finishing medium and rough turning of steel: the F3P, M3P and R3P.

Tooling for Micromachining

By: Chris Felix
Utilization of technological advancements and recognition of unique differences between micro and standard tooling are necessary to succeed in the highly competitive micro manufacturing industry.

Centerline Issues for Turning Inserts

By: Mark Albert
Tooling experts Mike Fagan and David Grant suspect that many programmers and machinists could use a refresher on the importance and effects of insert alignment in turning operations. This short, amply-illustrated paper is their effort to clear up some of the misunderstanding.

Turning Exotic Materials

By: Christer Richt
Heat-resistant superalloys and titanium alloys are difficult to machine. This overview looks at machining demands and some recent developments that have elevated performance and process security in turning these materials.


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