If you have invested in a boring bar, you need to make sure that you are adopting the most reliable method to hold it to achieve maximum performance. A common way is to employ a boring bar holder, also known as a boring tool holder or boring holder, in conjunction with the designated cutting tools. A boring bar holder is undisputedly one of the most cost-effective machining components that is designed to clamp the boring bar at full circumference. By firmly keeping the cutting tool in place, objects with superior surface finish can be produced. And if you happen to own an anti-vibration unit, that is even better because it is able to provide a higher feed and speed rate than that of a standard boring bar holder.
Before we go any further, it is best that we have a basic understanding of the boring machines and boring bars. Boring is basically a technique performed on lathes, mills, or drill presses, all of which can be referred to as the boring machines. The process is often confused with drilling. The difference is that boring enlarges an existing hole using a drilling tool instead of producing a new hole.
Boring bars, on the other hand, are essentially a kind of tool used in metalworking and woodworking alongside the boring machine to carry out the intended operation. Modern boring bars are made up of three major components that come in various designs. They are the bar holder, body and dial screw. The body is usually composed of two parts made of solid stock. The top part presses into the supporting shank, and the lower part, which is referred to as the bar holder, is connected through T-slots or dovetail. The dial screws can be adjusted to move the cutting bits further out to create a larger cut.
With the above said, the concept of boring bar holder stems from a generally heard term – the tool holder. It is basically a machining component that holds cutting tools, like an end mill, in place. It serves as a vital part of the machining process that clamps the tool in place as firmly and precisely as possible to prevent any run-outs that could potentially ruin your project. In the case of boring process, boring bar holders complement the boring machines to ensure smooth and precise workflow, and are typically characterized by the following:
● It is able to hold the designated cutting tool in place to ensure maximum precision during machining.
● A high-end unit even comes with anti-vibration capability which provides superb vibration absorption properties.
● The full radial clamping greatly improves tool rigidity as well as cutting performance.
● It is especially ideal for high load or high force applications.
● It is capable of boring substantial diameter depth, with some models capable of up to 18x diameter length bars.
● The unit is highly compatible with boring machines from a wide range of manufacturers.
● The tool offers a wide range of bore sizes depending on the models. Many holders in fact offer larger bore size compared with standard holders.
To elaborate more, with the recent and vast adoption of computer numerical controlled (CNC) systems in the manufacturing industries, boring machines nowadays are often equipped with CNC system, which then requires the complementary tool component referred to as the CNC tool holder – or more specifically the CNC boring bar holder – to carry out the boring process.
Depending on the model you choose, a CNC tool holder is able to provide even more precise results as opposed to the standard holders, or if you are more concerned with rigidity, some models offer maximum protection to prevent a broken tool. Thankfully, most high-end CNC boring bar holders are engineered to offer the best cutting accuracy and long-lasting performance.
The bottom line is to not underestimate the importance of the tool holder because a poor one could lead to a major setback to your project due to potential replacement which could cost a lot of money. It is imperative to invest in the right one right at the start and observe for signs of wear.
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