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Monthly Archives: April 2014

11 AprilHelping the Community – St. Gregory Palamas Monastery


When you think of manufacturing, certain industries come to mind. Industries like, medical engineering and automotive manufacturing; but a monastery? Yes, even a monastery has certain manufacturing needs. Lyndex-Nikken had the pleasure of being approached by a Greek Orthodox Monastery, located in northern California, this week. Father Vlasie, of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, reached out to Lyndex-Nikken for help with their industrial projects.

Refurbished DrillThe monastery recently received machining equipment which they were able to restore to working condition. With the support of Lyndex Nikken, the monastery was able to gather all the precision accessories to help complete pending projects to further help the community.  Father Vlasie has also been able to foresee other community projects such as refurbishing an electrical generator to offset the monastery electrical expenses, building parts for a book binding machine in their print shop, and machining an off-road wheelchair for a paraplegic monk.

Father Vlasie had this to say about the upcoming projects at the Monastery, “I am writing to you from a small Greek Orthodox Monastery in Northern California, established more than 30 years ago. We are a small community of 12 monks, and we are a registered non-profit organization. Trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, we do almost all of our own maintenance and repair.

My immediate goal is to build parts for a book binding machine for our small print shop. This is the first metalworking machine we have had so we are in uncharted waters but I know that the equipment will open up a host of possibilities for self-sufficiency in terms of maintenance and repair of monastery equipment. We have a paraplegic monk who is wheelchair bound. One of my aspirations is to use our new machining capabilities to build an off-road wheelchair so we can take him out on excursions. Another possibility we have been considering is building a steam engine to generate electricity.”

Lyndex-Nikken would like to thank St. Gregory Palamas Monastery for giving us an opportunity to give.  Sometimes the community you serve can be around the corner or thousands of miles away, but to the people whom may need it, the helping hand is worth the trip.


2 AprilWhen an angle head can be superior over rotary tables within your production environment (Part 1)

Have you ever machined parts in a vice that had one small feature on the side of the part that required a complete new set up? As convenient as it would be to talk to the designer of the part to eliminate that feature, the next best option is to implement an angle head into the repertoire of your existing milling tools.  In the dynamic field of metal cutting manufacturing where part complexity and accuracy requirements are constantly increasing, one of the easiest ways to improve productivity for a variety of parts is by implementing an angle head.

Angle head side coverage

The following points cover when an angle head will provide just as much, if not more flexibility and cost efficiency than investing into a precision indexer or rotary table.

1. Repositioning of the work piece:

A) In cases where more parts can be placed on the machining table than a tombstone set up on a rotary table, a right angle head can provide more throughput.

B) Tall and odd shaped parts quickly increase the swing diameter when mounted on a rotary table.  In many cases, the limited Z stroke of a machining center can prevent access to a feature that needs to be machined.

Angle head application drilling milling

2. Work pieces that are difficult to be rotated:

A) For large castings or structural parts commonly placed on boring mills where repositioning the work piece can be time consuming, angle heads can easily address features that would otherwise be very difficult to machine.

Angle head application large casting

B) Parts can often be too heavy to be rotated and properly positioned between a rotary table and a support table. Adjustable Angle Heads provide the flexibility to work on any compound angles.

Angle head application angled parts

C) Parts can often be too long to be stood up vertically. Angle heads provide access to a face regardless of length of the part. In extreme cases the side panel of the machine can removed to handle parts longer than the machining center itself.

Angle head application long parts

3. Deep slot machining:

A) Milling small slots can be very time consuming, and cutting tools must be changed frequently to maintain part and finish tolerances.  Using a slitting saw mounted within an angle head provides much faster production time and tool life.

Angle head application slitting

4. Machining features within a part:

A) In parts that require milling within a part, the angle head becomes priceless. Key slots, pin holes, and other normally inaccessible features can be accessed.

Angle head application ID bore milling


1 AprilHow important is taper contact between your machine spindle and your toolholder taper?

It’s funny how everyone has heard of Morse and Jacobs Tapers, but how often do we think of 7/24th tapers?  Sure, it sounds like a rare taper, but all BT, CAT, NMTB and ISO (IT) toolholders use this taper size, so it’s a lot more common than we think. Although over 89% of all machining centers in the US use this taper interface on their machining centers, when was the last time we addressed much attention on the quality of the connection between the toolholder taper and the spindle taper?


It’s easy to assume a taper is a taper, allowing us to often neglect the interface. Instead we focus and attribute cutting capability more on what holds the cutting tool within a toolholder assembly.  However, as with all quality tapers, the surface area contact  between the male and female interfaces provide not only the repeatable precision necessary to assure accurate cutting tool run out, but also to establish a solid connection that can sustain the radial and axial forces associated with machining. Higher-quality toolholders ground to a closer taper tolerance achieve the ideal 85 to 90%, while lesser quality tapers can range between 60 to 70% contact. While the lesser contact toolholders may work for the time being, after time, the minute gap between both the toolholder and spindle taper creates micro vibrations. These vibrations start to wear on the surface of both components, often resulting in a shot peened finish that’s commonly referred to as fretting.

Prior to purchasing any new toolholders, verify that your toolholder supplier’s tapers comply with the ISO1947 (1980 revision) angular and diameter specifications, and clearly express that their taper quality is AT3 or better.

AT2 Angular Specification for 7/24 taper (Female Spindle Taper Tolerance)
CAT40 Angular Tolerance of Taper: ± 0.00083 degrees
CAT50 Angular Tolerance of Taper: ± 0.00069 degrees

AT3 Angular Specification for 7/24 taper (Male Toolholder Taper Tolerance)
CAT40 Angular Tolerance of Taper: ± 0.00139 degrees
CAT50 Angular Tolerance of Taper: ± 0.00111 degrees

AT2 Diameter Tolerance for 7/24 taper at Gage Line (Female Spindle Taper Tolerance)
CAT40 Diameter Tolerance at Gage Line: +52 to +80 millionths (0.000052″ to 0.00008″)
CAT50 Diameter Tolerance at Gage Line: +64 to +100 millionths (0.000064″ to 0.0001″)

AT3 Diameter Tolerance for 7/24 taper at Gage Line (Male Toolholder Taper Tolerance)
CAT40 Diameter Tolerance at Gage Line: +80 to +126 millionths (0.00008″ to 0.000126″)
CAT50 Diameter Tolerance at Gage Line: +100 to +160 millionths (0.0001″ to 0.00016″)

Unfortunately, since most machine shops do not carry equipment to measure angular and diameter tolerances this tight, consider investing in a reputable manufacturer that can show documentation of strict adherence to these standards.