Testing  a cheap chinese face mill on a vintage lathe

I got a present from my friends at
Banggood platonic friends of course it’s an 80 millimeter face mill and it takes six inserts I also got an arbor for this Banggood actually had to send me this
twice because the bimbo at the local post office gave it to some random person and it never surfaced again lucky for me, I didn’t pay for this. it’s a free test sample and it also came with a box full of inserts well let me quickly assemble this and then I will do some inspection this looks straight forward although I do wonder what these bolts or taps on both sides of the arbor, what they are for maybe I should do a little bit of decreasing because it is a well lubricated there’s a very thick washer it looks like the thread only engages for two full revolutions maybe even less hmm, I don’t like that I’m going to search for a longer bolt well I found something in the used bolts bin it’s a bit longer, about a half centimeter but it does have a different style head but I don’t care, this should work. if it isn’t too long that’s better and now it needs a couple of inserts that’s one, I don’t think you guys need
to see me put in five more of these so I’m going to charge the camera because
the battery light has started to flash, again and I’m back, back from doing an
visual inspection drinking some tea and recharging the camera battery and I’ll tell you, I found a flaw with this thing and it’s a serious one. I tightened up this insert screws harder than I’m used to for lathe cutters just using the default screwdriver thingy and after I couldn’t get it any tighter I used my crescent wrench and turned the
screws another 10 degrees, more or less then I took the face mill and held it
against the light and found air gaps behind this and that insert and I think that’s a serious problem it will probably increase the chance of an
insert breaking and it might also affect the height of the insert so they might not all be running on the same plane but I will test this mill, and hopefully the
effect won’t be noticeable I think this looks a bit like one of those gigantic tunnel drilling machines and that gave me an idea about doing a bit where some Lego man tunnelled their way into a bank fault but that’s more the old Tony style so I will leave that idea up to your imagination that’s probably better anyway you might know that I don’t have a milling machine yet so I will be playing with this face
mill on my vintage lathe in much the same way as I’ve been playing with a fly-cutter lately now, fly-cutting can be extremely slow and I’m hoping this will perform a little better a torque spec in Newton meters would be
nice a word of warning, I have zero experience using a face mill and this is actually the first time I see one in real life so you could say it might be the perfect person to evaluate his product I certainly haven’t been spoiled
with expensive and high quality tools not sure if that is the best argument in my favour but I’m not going to talk myself down,
not today. I am great and this video will be great all right, I thought we start with some aluminium this is a scrap of the same stuff that I
used for making the camera quick-release plate and fly cutting that work better
than expected I almost gotten mirror-like finish some wd-40 to prevent the aluminium from sticking to the inserts and I’m going to run the lathe at top speed and that’s a whopping 600 rpm according to an online calculator I used, I could run the lathe spindle three times as fast how I’ll put a link of that calculator in in the description below the video if you’re interested here we go, top steep and again and this time I’ll be turning the cross slide quicker aluminium is flying everywhere let’s take a really big cut and now a finishing cut alright, I’ll admit that was pretty
cool the inserts all survived. and look pretty clean very smooth I like it I guess that was a success and now I will have to move on to something a bit tougher some steel scraptonium that looks and feels pretty good it still isn’t the mirror finish but that could be due to axial pay in my spindle bearings that mostly goes away when the spindle gets a little warm this is a small boring bar holder that I made for my blue Karger lathe, a couple of videos ago while drilling the holes for the set screws I broke a drill and I shortened the holder so let’s try and clean this up and of course this is made from the
finest scraptonium, scrap-money can buy I’m going to run the Lathe at 400 rpm because that’s the number the online calculator spit out here we go it could probably use some lube. if I can
find it dialling in a light cut a little deeper cut this time all right, so far so good and I think that was a little bit smoother then using a fly-cutter oh that’s not bad. it’s not perfect but it’s not bad either a kinda pseudo mirror finish I’ll take another cut and remove the last bit of this hole that I drilled I think I got it all well the hole or what was left of the hole that’s gone but the finish is definitely not as nice maybe that happened on the return cut I will take one more very light pass and
after that I won’t return the cross slide to the starting position that’s a little bit better but maybe I should take a deeper cut to get a better finish but I will accept this for now next I will clean up these saw cuts look at that. most of it gone in one
pass let’s take another cut and see if I can improve the surface finish a little bit more it feels very nice and now I got to do
the other side acceptable it is perfect no certainly not but the same can be said for this machine or the operator now how about cleaning up some mill scale that will give these inserts something to do this by the way is that boring bar holder you saw me working on in the previous video if you saw the previous video well I’m not going to use any oil this time because I’m starting to smoke myself out here it’s probably not very health. like a sauna and all those other torture methods check that out that’s pretty good. better than that a little boring bar holder I think it’s the depth of cut that has a
rather big influence on the surface finish I just set the work piece or the boring bar holder to an angle of 45 degrees and now I’m going to take a chunk of this corner to give the camera a better angle at the hole I’m boring out and I guess that’s all for you guys so you better appreciate it 🙂 I’m slowly increasing the depth of
cut with every pass next cut will be a three quarter of a
millimeter deep it’s definitely getting more violent next cut will be in 0.8mm I’m not going to go any deeper because I
can feel those hits in the in the ball handle next cut half a millimeter I want to go about half way into the 20
millimeter hole I’ve done some my cleaning up and this
is how it looks now I can I probably get it a little bit
better but where’s the point in that I won’t get a higher grade and it will
work fine just as it is now I still need to do the other side but I’ll do that off camera because you guys probably have been tortured long enough with the noise this lathe makes a few set screws and then this will be a very usable boring bar holder that will be perfect for when I start making a backing plate for that Cushman Chuck it’s hammer time well, that was enough fun for today well I’m done testing and hopefully no one has gotten any permanent hearing damage I’m not sure if I can pass judgment on this tool having tested it on my old and
dodgy lathe but I can tell you that it certainly worked a whole lot better then using a fly-cutter and I’m sure it will be a very usable addition to the tool temple arsenal but it sure has some problems the arbor bolt was just way too short and that’s probably just a stupid mistake nasty things might happen if that bolt comes undone when using the face mill and the air gaps behind two of the inserts should not have been there I’m actually a bit surprised I didn’t
break an insert especially with all those interrupted cuts and tighter than tight insert screws they must be some tough inserts although I got the feeling that they were losing the edge near the end of testing to be honest I had much fun playing with this toy so I won’t be too critical about it and I don’t think I would be better served with a high-end expensive tool but having said that I wouldn’t mind seeing this thing run on a known good milling machine maybe that’ll happen one day, who knows well that’s it for me, till next time I was almost done editing this video when I thought I should try and make a photo of the air-gap behind the insert you know for illustration purposes but the air-gap is gone. both of them are gone. the milling force must have knocked them into place and that’s what we call a happy ending in this business and to the fanatical tool temple followers that just can’t get enough of my amateur machining enjoy the extra footage that I stuck to the end it’s nothing special I just didn’t want to throw it away one last final test see if I can break one of those inserts that has an air gap behind them this here is some of the toughest scraptonium you can find at the local scrapyard I used this for the failed cross drilling jig that I made earlier this year and I basically went through the same procedure with the fly-cutter and that took forever, really forever and I’m sure this face mill will do the
job a lot quicker hopefully it will stay in place I cannot move the workpiece more towards me because there’s not enough travel on the cross slide I’m afraid that when the work piece comes
in contact with the cutter on the on the rear here it will lift up the workpiece we’ll see what happens I don’t know if you can see it but it
did touch this corner one last final pass to try and improve the surface finish it is a bit warm there you can see that it also started cutting on the opposite side it’s a bit lower but that’s a lathe problem not a problem with the face mill surface finish is, well acceptable for my
standards but I got a feeling that those cutters might have had their best time well that’s it for me. to be continued and I can now probably start remaking
that cross drilling jig or maybe try making some of those chuck wedges

83 thoughts on “Testing a cheap chinese face mill on a vintage lathe

  1. I have the 50mm 4 flute face mill from ban gook and it has the same air gaps behind the inserts but on all of them. It works fine though. On any hard materials it still leaves a mirror finish at .0150 thou. I'd still rather a kennametal….

  2. When you were talking about light shining through I assumed you meant either behind insert or below insert, when the head is placed vertically on a table.

    It sounded to me like one insert is slightly "ahead" of others. Like there was one distinct sound on each turn when you were advancing the cross slide.
    Is it possible that only one insert was cutting all along? Have you checked whether all of them are equally "protruding" to the side of the head (to use the technical term)?

    Non-machinist here, so take it or leave it 🙂

  3. Nice, almost all my lathe tooling is drllpro ( banggood sold tooling) i still need to try there mill tooling..

  4. Very interesting, I have always trouble grinding a flycutter bit correctly, due to lack of experience, so using these cheap inserts on a milling cutter instead of a single point flycutter is intriguing.

  5. I believe the issue with the surface finish comes with not passing the workpiece the whole diameter of the cutter, the trail edge is the end of your cut, not the leading edge. Great video though love your stuff

  6. A good addition to the shop, i have two, they're fine, the Blue Nano inserts are better on hard stuff, there are inserts for aluminium brass and copper as well, very sharp.

  7. rM,
    No need to apologize for a minimal budget and that resulting in import tools. We would all like to have a tool chest full of Sterratt and Brown and Sharp equipment but that’s not possible for the bulk of us. I have many Banggood products in my shop that have gotten decent reviews simply because I can’t afford high end stuff for a hobby shop. Keep your hopes up for that mill. One day it will be in your shop and we will have the joy of watching you go through your paces with it.

  8. I had already turned the noise off b4 u said dont touch the volume lol
    Like ave says good enough for the girls i go out with lol
    But really for 35 usd it aint bad for many operations.

  9. Glad the test run of the face mill had a happy ending.

    I love the face mills with carbide inserts. I have one which uses 4 inserts. 1 1/2in dia (3.8 cm). I was not sure if this would be too big for my milling machine, but it runs so smooth I could have purchased e.g., 2in dia ( 5.1cm).

    This is a good addition to your tool temple.


  10. Sounds like one or two inserts are doing all the work. Would have liked to see you use a clock to check insert heights. I would think you could get a better finish with the fly cutter and a very sharp well honed edge on a decent piece of HSS than with the face mill.

  11. I bought the exact same face mill. I was not impressed. I had the same problem with inserts not all being lined up on the same plane.

  12. Good job but your holding seems to need help. When working at my father in laws machine shop…. diesel/ag/automotive engines machine and rebuild, We used WD40 on our burrs when we cut aluminum because it helped keep them from loading up.

  13. How can you say you have a platonic relationship with friends at a place with a name like Banggood?

  14. You should make a third axis attachment since you don't have a mill. If you're worried about the complexity or something you could make flat ways to reduce that. It might be shitty but if it has a gibb you can learn to make it work, I'm sure. My little mill/ lathe combo has a bend in one of the threaded rods so it still has about .0125 mm of wobble in that axis even if I tighten it up to Incredible Hulk settings. I just deal with it.

    I love seeing people make much out of nothing or very little. I think it's awesome.
    BTW, I've never paid enough attention to know if you have any dial indicators.

  15. You know, BANGGOOD has VFD's. If they're as great as everyone says, maybe they will send you one to REVIEW soon.

    Then you can violate the Allen Bradley drive with something metal and then beat it to death with a bat in a field. "Office space"? Movie style. Our ears will thank you.

  16. Nice work RM, you really have the bug for a proper vertical "knee" mill. And so you are achieving it on the lathe in the interim. Good stuff. P.S. check your lens for lube oil 🙂

  17. Could you please check the runout of each insert? The sound it produces seems to me like only on insert is cutting.
    Love your vids, keep em coming

  18. duidelijk te horen dat slechts een plaatje snijdt.
    bij 600 toeren en 6 plaatsjes zou je die tik niet moeten horen.
    vandaar ook dat de finish niet optimaal is.
    haal er maar eens vijf uit en probeer opnieuw.
    za blijken dat het geluid hetzelfde is maar de finish beter wordt
    ik gebruik een grote vlakfrees met twee van de acht plaatjes als flycutter werkt goed.

  19. over cutting oil gesproken, ik gebruik vaak rapsoel van de aldi in duitsland, iets meer dan 1 euro per liter, smeert/koelt prima ruikt naar een belgisch frietkot, maar is in ieder geval niet giftig/schadelijk

  20. 1 cutter does the work – the rest are there for moral support. Or maybe it belongs to a labor union?

  21. Congratulations on receiving the face mill. Free is always the right price. I have the smaller 50mm with 4 cutters, but mine was not free….but maybe someday. To get a good finish with carbide, you need speed and pressure (DOC). Really enjoy the channel. Do you have a Patreon or Paypal account, for donations?

  22. Congratulations on receiving the face mill. Free is always the right price. I have the smaller 50mm with 4 cutters, but mine was not free….but maybe someday. To get a good finish with carbide, you need speed and pressure (DOC). Really enjoy the channel. Do you have a Patreon or Paypal account, for donations?

  23. “I am great and this video will be great” – too true! Another interesting and entertaining video RM!

  24. Not bad I guess. I'd like to have one. I'll do all of my Banggood purchases through you if you'll give me links. btw, really appreciate the Allen Bradley throwback noise… very generous of you lol

  25. I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for VFD-induced ear cancer…but I really enjoy your videos nonetheless.

  26. I have a 50mm face / shell mill from China but I bought inserts that are designed for aluminum. They are very sharp and I think they're uncoated. I get a mirror finish.

  27. Awesome review. The bolts on the wings,are to change them out should they become worn or damaged,I think ?. Has always I Liked,Shared,added to Playlists.
    All my best.

  28. Not sure but I think the wings are removable so you can modify/grind flat if necessary, and they wont be in the way

  29. G'Day RM, yep those inserts are poor quality. Should last and continue to give a good finish on many more cuts.

  30. Can I have permission to play your VFD running thru a loudspeaker? It scares away the neighborhood cats

  31. As an old machinist with 10 digits still intact I cringed when you checked your surface finish with the spindle still running.
    That would be number one on the “Never do this” list. Right up there with checking for a sharp edge on a spinning part.
    The cutter will take no prisoners. In a flash your fingers will be gone.
    Yeah yeah Safty Police and all that.
    When leaning to fly a plane my instructor said to me. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots.
    Stop your spindle when you hand leaves the feed wheel 😀

    I agree with the others that’s only cutting on one or two inserts. That should be obvious on the inserts themselves.
    Only one or two will show any signs of ware.
    Perhaps a dial indicator on the inserts to measure their location.

  32. You are certainly improving dear frined. One more 'Test' you could have done on the milling head was to measure the tip protrusion. This is where these cheap tools fall against the more expensive US/Israeli makes. If the tips do not protrude by the same amount you will get a knocking vibrtaion through the cut which will cause uneven surface finish. The same is true for endmills. As for your fly cutter, I would regrind the bit with a new geometry. I have seen some of the best finishes achieved with a very large radius tool geometry. The one that I have ground certainly works well with very light cuts. https://www.cnccookbook.com/fly-cutter/

  33. They just used the nearest available washer to place under the bolt. A little bit of thought would have resulted in one a little thinner for more threads engaging.

  34. Nice toy but should be used in a mill. the lathe is not quite rigid enough to get your mirror finish. The finish you did get is remarkable though in any event as I see it, good work!

  35. I have the exact same cutter and my experience using it on my mill is consistent with your observation, bolt being too short to the surface finish. Not bad, but not great either. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Go scrap that heap of junk you call a lathe and buy a crappy secondhand Chinese one, you will most likely get far better results, but a you are such a comedian, carry on its the old crappy lathe!

  37. Going by the sound of the cut, you have at least one insert that is to high.  The sound should be like a drum roll all even taps. Get out an indicator and check each insert.

  38. I made a short follow-up video were I measure the height of the inserts and take a closer (macro) look at the the inserts.

  39. More speed at the cutter and bigger cuts . If you’re going to continue to do this you need to lock out the feed and add a load of weight to the headstock .
    It’s going to destroy your feed screws .

  40. For all those that are saying it only cuts on one tooth, unless the spindle and adaptor are true the cutter never will be, I have yet to see a cutter from Sandvik, Kennametal, Iscar or Seco cut on all teeth except if the machine is new or near new.

  41. I have the same tool and I remove the inserts leave only one and leave finished like a mirror.
    Greetings from Chile

  42. Sounds like the inserts were cutting uneven. Use a sharpie and mark all of the cutting edges. Make a cut and see which ones no longer have sharpie on the edge. If any of them do not, it isn't cutting at all.

  43. G’day, the bolt with my eBay 50mm face mill was also too short maybe the Chinese have a 2 thread policy. Cheers Peter

  44. test een freesbank cutter op een antieke draaibank ik heb dezelfde op mijn freesbank en voor dat geld doet het heel goed

  45. I must have mentioned before that people at banggood must be so bloody stupid that it beggars belief!!! That probably still isn't stupid enough to keep sending crap all over the world that keeps getting rubbished by loads of youtubers! At least find the single good one that probably happened by mistake & send that one. It's unbelievable really

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