Updated: Jul 3, 2021
Many machinists or operators think of themselves as top-notch. I am not saying that that is wrong but there is a fine line between being a machinist or just knowing a certain product, line of products, or procedures. A lot has been working for a company for many years and has come to a point where they know the ends and outs of that company but when you step out to other machine shops you realize there are many processes and procedures you do not know.
Cutting tools matter. In many cases just to get a job done you are able to use an alternate cutting tool but for high production, you will risk wasting a lot of machining time and money. If you are using the correct cutting tool make sure that you have done the research for the proper use of the tool or insert for the process and the material being cut.
Your machines are like vehicles. If you don't keep up with the maintenance you will risk harming your machine and having to spend lots of money and machine downtime for this mistake. A lot of machine shops that I have been to have print outs of daily, weekly, and monthly machine inspection sheets.
Speeds and Feeds
I cannot stress enough that using the wrong speeds and feeds will cost more money and time than needed. With the correct speeds and feeds you will be able to get the tool life that is desired to give a proper return on your investment. In many cases using slow speeds and feeds are just as bad as using high feeds and speeds.
Knowing the proper speeds and feeds for roughing and finishing certain materials are needed. With the wrong adjustment, your tool can create chatter on your finish and in certain cases destroy your tool.
Know what your machine can handle.
Coolant or No Coolant
Some materials and cutting tools do not need coolant. Some of these tools actually need to conduct heat which will activate the proper cutting solution for the process. in many cases I have seen that using coolant on high feed mills against stainless steel actually burned the tips of the inserts.