Tool Holder TLC – Part II

Part II: Keeping things clean.

Taper cleaning is easy with the Alpha Tooling Cleaner.

Even in the cleanest, you-can-eat-off-the-floor machine shops, the reality is that at all times, chips are flying, smoke is forming and coolant is spraying. As they should be. It wouldn’t be much of a shop if that wasn’t the case. But this means that even the most pristine machining environments are replete with potential contaminants that could hurt your operation two-fold: affecting tool life and affecting the precision of the finished pieces.

Specifically speaking, the internal taper of a high precision collet chuck where the collet seats itself is a high risk danger zone for debris that could easily affect precision, or even damage the holder or collet. The only way to avoid this is during every collet chuck assembly, commit to a strict process of cleaning that surface with capable cleaners.

Alpha Taper Cleaner maintains internal collet tapers.

Consider the Alpha Taper Cleaner for maintaining the internal collet taper. This cleaning device has a plastic injected, molded core with fluted seats for cleaning strips. The cleaning strips themselves maintain adhesion to the taper core due to their insert location, even under scrubbing action.  Spacing between the cleaning strips maximizes cleaning capacity, grabbing even large residual particles.

The TKC Cleaner maintains tool holders.

Milling chucks, hydraulic chucks and shrink fit holders are another story, as it’s fairly difficult to remove contaminants stuck deep withing clamping bores, even with a wiping cloth or air-spray. In order for these types of holders to achieve the highest gripping force possible, precise and concentric clamping of a tool shank is priority. The TKC Cleaner is up to the task of cleaning the clamping bore of larger tool holders ( Ø1/2”-1 1/4″ or Ø13mm-42mm) to help maintain the high performance. For cleaning smaller clamping bores ( Ø1/4”-9/16” or  Ø6mm-12mm), try BIG Daishowa’s Alpha Wiper Cleaners before tool insertion.

Finally, the mission-critical, ground zero spot to avoid havoc-wreaking debris is the interface mating the tool holder with the spindle.  Clean the shank of your steep taper tool holders with the Alpha Tooling Cleaner or use the HSK External Taper Cleaner for HSK shanks. While you are at it, don’t forget to periodically wipe down the machine spindle taper by using a Spindle Cleaner. All of the above can be found in the BIG Kaiser Accessories catalog.

Ensure cleanliness of spindles with Spindle Cleaners.

As we stressed in our last blog post, Part I of our series on Tool Holder TLC, these might seem like little things, but the devil is in the details, and taken as a whole, they add up to a big difference in performance and cost savings. Accessories is really a misnomer, they are necessities for today’s machine shop to stay competitive. Get into good habits, stick to best practices and lean on suppliers like BIG Kaiser to get the most out of your tools.