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Thread: Point Form Cutters

  1. #1
    Frosted Boolits

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    Point Form Cutters

    Iím looking into having some point form cutters made. I spoke with the shop today and gave them a drawing to look at. It was for a 22 cal. Just curious if anyone might be interested. Not sure what the price will be but the cutters will more than likely be made from carbide endmills. They are going to take a look at it on Monday and get something drawn up and priced. When I get a price I will let everyone know. Thanks
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    Is this what you are looking at having made? https://media.midwayusa.com/pdf/refe..._uniformer.pdf

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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  4. #4
    Frosted Boolits

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    No I’m not looking to have bullet tip uniformers made. These are cutters to cut the profile of the bullet in bullet swage dies.
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    Frosted Boolits

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    I’m also not looking to use drills that are ground to a point. Not only is it extremely difficult (basically impossible by hand) to get the cutting edges (including the profile of the ogive)ground even on both sides, but it’s also next to impossible to get a decent finish, which then will require lots of hand honing/polishing. I’m looking to have a shop that makes custom cutting tools day in and day out makes quality carbide cutters that will cut on size and leave a good finish to minimize the hand work.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master MarkP's Avatar
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    What are material are you making thr dies out of? How many dies are you planning to make with the cutter?

  7. #7
    Frosted Boolits

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    I plan on making a few dies, none for sale. Materials will include A2, O6, 4140PHT, and maybe S7.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by IllinoisCoyoteHunter View Post
    I’m also not looking to use drills that are ground to a point. Not only is it extremely difficult (basically impossible by hand) to get the cutting edges (including the profile of the ogive)ground even on both sides, but it’s also next to impossible to get a decent finish, which then will require lots of hand honing/polishing. I’m looking to have a shop that makes custom cutting tools day in and day out makes quality carbide cutters that will cut on size and leave a good finish to minimize the hand work.
    My first year out of Vocational High School I spent working in a tool and cutter grind shop which was a great experience. later in machine shops I also worked with some cutter grinding of taper reamers. One way to make a form tool is to OD grind the profile first, then ink it up and back it off carefully to a "hair land" leaving just a tiny bit of the original OD grind. A large taper reamer might have .010" of the OD grind left.

    For sure though a helical flute makes it more difficult to make a form tool, it is a better tool but lots more difficult to back off on manual equipment.

    It would sure be nice to have a cash and carry option avail for common type point form cutters though .

    The "E" (ellipse) type forms are just somebodies idea of what they should look like, while Tangent and Secant Ogives are actually mathematically defined.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    It seems like O6 is the gold standard for swaging dies but nobody really says "what will happen of we just use A2" ?? If reduced life is the known result well then I would just make two point form at a time then . The big industry out there making rifle bullets maybe uses carbide these days ??

    One shop I worked for did a lot of carbide, something like a bullet ogive shape we would have them made close to form....the ogive would already be there. We would ID ground and polish. None of this is stuff any of us will be doing at home probably . All of the carbide stuff was made with a tapered OD and was pressed into a steel die case.
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  10. #10
    Frosted Boolits

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    Yep I plan on establishing the radius with the cutter and then coming in with a solid carbide boring bar and finishing the main diameter and blending it to the radius the cutter left.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    A single-lip full profile tool in high speed steel will do the trick, as long as you only need to cut a few dies. With a single-lip tool you can use it as a boring/turning tool and cut the profile to size - no need for an extra boring operation. This will also guarantee a smooth transition between body/nose profile. Drill the injector pin hole first and use regular drill(s) to remove as much steel as possible before using the form tool. With a sharp tool, you'll need less than .001 material on the diameter for polishing the die to size afterwards.
    Cap'n Morgan

  12. #12
    Frosted Boolits

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    The problem with using the single lip D tool as a boring tool is the chatter that will happen when you are down deep in a small bore and suddenly have full tool engagement. A tool under .224” diameter sticking out 1”+ will most likely chatter when try to bore with it, especially when you get full cutter engagement. In theory it’s a great idea but the results will probably be less than desireable. One reason I’m having a professional shop do this is because they are cut on cnc grinders. When finished, I will be given the cutter and an exact model I can import into my CAM software to make finishing the main diameter and blending the radius of the ogive simple.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    Using a single lip tool can certainly be a challenge. You'll need a minimum clearing angle to prevent chatter and maybe no relief on the rest of the tool circumference - that way the tool will be supported from below when cutting- similar to a gun drill.
    Since you're using CAM, I take it you have a CNC lathe? Have you considered using a mini boring bar so that you could turn most of the ogive to finished size and then use a special drill for the point - given the shape of a bullet, it might be possible to relieve the backside of the tool and cut the whole profile.

    I'll gladly admit I have no experience with bullet forming dies and lathes. I have run CNC-grinders for more than thirty years and made several boolit cutters along the way, but they were all made to be used in a mill. These two were made from carbide:

    Cap'n Morgan

  14. #14
    Frosted Boolits

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    Very nice. Yes the cutter will be made from an endmill
    so eventually they will cut the entire profile. Just past where the ogive meets the bearing surface will all be relieved. Until I can test how they cut in various materials I won’t know what size they need to be made at. Then you throw heat treat in the mix.

    But yes, my plan was to drill out as much material with several different sized drills and then come back in and peck out the rest with the cutter, taking shallow pecks and clearing chips.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    They make solid carbide boring bars clear down to a .015 minimum bore. As always the depth is the problem though.

    Just looked at my 30 caliber set and the PF has a .08" ejection pin.

    Around 2" depth is required if one were going to try to single point bore that PF die. A .0875 minimum bore micro 100 boring bar only works .800 deep. Pretty much why the "normal" method is a form tool.
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  16. #16
    Frosted Boolits

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    You don’t have to go all the way down to the ejection hole with the boring bar. That’s what you use the form tool to cut the radius and then finish the main diameter and blend the contour at the beginning of the ogive with the boring bar. I’ve got solid carbide boring bars made by Sandvik that will go 1.8” deep in a .244 hole. I also have one that will go .825” deep in a .204 bore. As always, these bars can be slightly modified to go deeper if needed.

    I also have several of these.
    https://internaltool.com/products/de...ls/?id=04-1095
    Last edited by IllinoisCoyoteHunter; 03-19-2023 at 10:31 AM.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    With a little ingenuity the die could be made from two separate inserts, stacked on top of each other.
    One cylindrical part and one with the ogive shape, both held together in some sort of "mother" die.
    Cap'n Morgan

  18. #18
    Frosted Boolits

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    That’s a neat idea. I’m just trying to think of a way to be able to control main diameter. As we know, form cutter can very easily cut over size for various reasons. Ideally I’d like to get it dialed in to where the form tool can peck out the remainder of the material after drilling and have it go right to heat treat with no boring. Then a little polishing after heat treat and you’d be ready to go. Ultimately, as crazy as it may sound, I’d like to have a way for someone to buy a die blank (if they don’t have a lathe) and be able to finish the die in a drill press.

    Take a material like 4140. You could send it out for heat treat before finishing the PF cavity. A good set of HSS or Cobalt drill will easily machine 40 RC 4140. Heck you could drill it out before HT and then just finish it with the form cutter after HT. Carbide will eat 40 RC material with no issues.

    Got lots of irons in the fire and lots of testing to do in the future. Hope it all works out because it would be very cool to have the ability to make PF dies at home in the average shop.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Morgan View Post
    With a little ingenuity the die could be made from two separate inserts, stacked on top of each other.
    One cylindrical part and one with the ogive shape, both held together in some sort of "mother" die.
    That is how a lot of the carbide dies were setup that we made, they went into a die case. The ID of the die case was tapered and the inserts were pressed in and held then a nut was tightened that held them into the dies.

    Most stuff we made was for bolt headers maybe. We also made the dies used to cold form spark plug bodies for Federal Mogul who owns the Champion spark plug brand now. All of that stuff was way too big for a swaging press. We did one package for Blount but never did any more while I worked there. Somewhere I have some headstamp bunters that were leftovers from that job.

    I do not see 4140 being a good match really, it does come as a leaded grade too 41L40 that machines nicer, the only thing the leaded grades are not good for are where the part needs to be welded into an assembly. One of the air hardening grades of tool steel would be the most straightforward really.

    IMHO the existing makers may use a Sunnen hone on the straight diameter, and also on the ejection pin hole maybe, then it sounds like they use a form fitting lap to finish the ogive, when talking to Dave Corbin about a custom die he mentioned part of the associated cost being a lap.

    One tool we used a lot in the tool and die shop I worked in was a "contracer".....it has a stylus that will trace an inner profile and draw it onto graph paper, it lets you see what you are doing while ID grinding and polishing...sometimes you wan to leave a sharp corner and sometimes you want to create a radius. Another method and tool we used was woods metal poured into something, like a point form die, then pressed out...sometimes only partially and we would measure it on an optical comparator.

    If one was not really careful when polishing the area where the ogive joins the body it could end up bigger in dia and the swaged bullet would be locked into the die. We had folks that polished all day every day for 50 hours a week and had been doing it a decade. They could quickly accomplish a job, and even explain every step clearly to the new person, and it would take the new person an hour to duplicate what they did in 60 seconds . The contracer lets you see the whole inner profile. The woods metal grows a touch when it cools so it probably would let you "feel" if you were creating a larger spot when you pressed the woods metal out. Woods metal melts at a really low temperature. Some really weird parts we had to pour in the woods metal then mill the part in half to release the casting, which we could then look at on the optical comparator.




    Bill
    Last edited by Willbird; 03-20-2023 at 10:23 AM.
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  20. #20
    Moderator / Master Tool & Die Maker


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    Another option, I made this cutter (one on the left) up out of 3/8" Hi-Roc solid carbide 2 flute drills (right one) using the wire EDM to cut the profile and put the primary clearance in at the same time.

    They are made a few thousands of an inch smaller than the actual diameter required, allowing for final lapping and polishing after heat treating.

    RRR

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    Last edited by Red River Rick; 03-20-2023 at 04:01 PM.
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BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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