Should you use Tool Coatings in your Escomatic Machine?

We at Swisset Tool can answer this with an emphatic YES!

After completing extensive testing, we definitely recommend using tool coatings on all steels including free-machining stainless steel. We recently tested coated tools on a mild steel and found tool life to be as much as three times longer than non-coated tools. We have many clients who use coatings, and they also found that tool life was increased significantly, even on 303SS which is normally easy on cutting tools. During our recent test on 1144, we found that the uncoated tools had to be sharpened after approximately 4000-7000 parts while the coated tools lasted between 11,000 -15,000 parts.

Discuss With Your Coating Vendor…

When discussing coatings with your coating vendor, keep in mind they may not be familiar with Escomatic machines in that most Esco parts are small and do not create heat. Escos also perform more of a light duty turning than the heavy roughing performed in larger work. Your Escomatic is also working in more of a controlled environment with flood oil than a CNC lathe or Mill which may not be as controlled of a work area. If you are running larger diameter bearing steels and find your tools to be burnt, you may get better results using ALTiN or TiCN. In order for these two coatings to work, you must have HEAT to get the coating to perform. If you use this coating on a steel that is not producing heat, we have found that you would have the same tool life as if you did not coat at all. If you’re cutting a tight tolerance groove, the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating process only builds up about .0001-.00015” on the edge of the tool.

For more information please feel free to call us — 603-524-0082.

We would be more than happy to discuss your Escomatic tooling needs.


Tech Tip: Lapping an Undersized Escomatic Guide Bushing

How many times have you been in or have you ever been in the situation where you’ve got all your tooling, cams, and raw material to start setting up an Escomatic D2, D4, or D6 on that “hot” job, only to discover that the guide bushing you’ve selected, even though it is clearly marked with the size for which it’s intended, is simply just too tight too allow the material to pass through smoothly? Well, all hope is not lost at that point! With just a little patience, access to a lathe, and some diamond lapping compound, it is possible to lap out an undersized guide bushing to accommodate your needs. We aren’t talking by a lot here though, because the bushings that need to be lapped by a thousandth or less are usually most successful.

To start…

You’ll need to use a section of straightened raw material that’s about 8” long, has good concentricity, and is free of any surface irregularities such as scoring, ripples, or twists. It’s usually not a bad idea to cut a couple of lengths so you have a spare if needed. Then, grind a slight taper on the end of the workpiece about an inch or so in length. This will help to get the lapping compound distributed in the guide bushing.

Once the material is ready, mount it in a lathe and apply a small dab of lapping compound (12 micron or finer) to the tapered end. Set the rpm to a slow speed; somewhere between 100 and 200 rpm seems to work nicely. Working from the back side of the guide bushing, gradually slide it back and forth onto the rotating material just to the point at which resistance can be felt. It is very important to work from the rear of the bushing to prevent “bell-mouthing” the front. Repeat this process very slowly, reapplying compound as needed. Depending on the amount that needs to be lapped, this process can take 30 minutes or more. Make sure you periodically stop to clean the id of the guide bushing and test-fit it on a fresh piece of material. Once completed, the successfully lapped guide bushing should slide onto a fresh section of straight material with minimal drag and no sloppiness.

Here’s a brief detailed video demonstrating the process: