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Manufacturing Technology

6. Milling, Shaping & Planing

Milling is the process of removing the metal from a work piece by feeding it against a
rotating multi point cutting tool called milling cutter. The cutter is provided with many edges
that removes the metal at a faster rate.
Milling machine is used for machining flat surfaces, spirals and helixes, cutting key ways,
slots, grooves, cams, gears, V-blocks and complex contours. The surface finish and accuracy
produced by milling is superior to other machines.

Types of Milling Machines:

 Column and knee type milling machine
 Plain or Horizontal milling machine
 Vertical milling machine
 Universal milling machine
 Omniversal milling machine
 Bed-type milling machine
 Simplex milling machine
 Duplex milling machine
 Triplex milling machine
 Planer type milling machine
 Special purpose milling machine
 Cam milling machine
 Planetary milling machine
 Profile milling machine
 Drum milling machine
 Duplicating milling machine

Column and Knee type Milling Machine:

It is a commonly used general purpose machine. It derives its name column and knee type
from the fact that the work table is supported on a knee-like casting which can slide in a
vertical direction along a vertical column. This machine may be of horizontal or of vertical
type. In horizontal type, the axis of rotation of the spindle is horizontal. In vertical type, the
axis rotation of the spindle is vertical.
Base: The Base is made by cast iron and it provides support to the column and other parts
which are mounted on it. It is fixed on the floor through foundation bolts.
Column: The Column is a cylindrical-shaped strong structure mounted vertically on the base.
It is the main supporting frame for most parts of the machine. It houses all the driving
mechanisms for the spindle and table feed and encloses the electric motor which runs the
Worktable: on which the workpiece is clamped using T-slots. The table moves longitudinally
relative to the saddle.

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Saddle: supports the table and can move in the transverse direction.
Knee: supports the saddle and gives the table vertical movement so that the depth of cut
can be adjusted and workpieces with various heights can be accommodated.
Overarm: used on horizontal machines; it is adjustable to accommodate different arbor
Head: contains the spindle and cutter holders. In vertical machines, the head may be fixed or
can be adjusted vertically, and it can be swiveled in a vertical plane on the column for cutting
tapered surfaces.
Spindle: The Spindle holds and drives the various cutting tools. It is mounted in the upper
part of the column and gets driving power from a motor to transmit it further to the arbor.
Arbor: An Arbor is a shaft on which the milling tool is mounted. One end of the arbor is
tapered to fit the spindle on which the milling tools are securely mounted and rotated.

Milling Attachments:
Many standard or special auxiliary devices are used on a milling machine for augmenting the
range, versatility, productivity and accuracy of operation. Some milling attachments are used
for positioning and driving the cutter by altering the axis of rotation. Other devices are used
for positioning, holding and feeding the work.
Vertical Milling Attachment: It is an attachment used for converting a horizontal milling
machine into a vertical milling machine by orienting the cutting spindle axis from the
horizontal to the vertical position. A vertical milling attachment is used for vertical machine
by orienting the cutting spindle axis from the horizontal to the vertical position. A
vertical milling attachment is used for vertical milling operations with large end mills and
face mills. The spindle head can be swiveled to any degree for milling operations.
Universal Milling Attachment: The spindle of a universal milling attachment can be swiveled
about two mutually perpendicular axes and be set at any angle in both planes. In other
respects it is similar to a vertical milling attachment. This attachment is especially useful
when the spindle needs to be set at an angle to the table for angular milling.

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High-speed Milling Attachment: A high speed milling attachment consists primarily of a

number of gears (4-6) enclosed in a casing for increasing the normal speed of the milling
machine spindle. It is used to obtain the correct cutter speed for small milling cutters.
Rotary Attachment: A rotary attachment is also known as a circular milling attachment. It is
used for a variety of circular milling operations, such as segment outlines, spline slotting
segmental milling and die making jobs. The attachment consists of a rotary table which is
mounted on top of the machine table and provides rotary motion to the workpiece. The
circular table may be rotated by hand or with the help of power, by linking the rotary table
mechanism with the lead screw. The circumference of the table is graduated in degrees for
accurate work.
Slotting Attachment: The slotting attachment consists of a tool slide and an eccentric or
crank housed within the attachment. It converts rotary motion into reciprocating motion,
making the machine operate like a slotter. It is largely used for making tools, keyways and
splines. The attachment can be set at any angle from 0 to 90°.
Rack Milling Attachment: The attachment consists of a gear train and enables the spindle
axis to be oriented at right angles to the machine spindle. It is used for cutting rack teeth but
can also be used in conjunction with the universal spiral index for cutting worms and other
miscellaneous operations.
Universal Spiral Milling Attachment: It is a device used principally for milling helical and
spiral gear teeth. The attachment is used on a plain or universal milling machine by bolting
on the face of the column. It is suitable for vertical and angular milling for cutting worms and
grooves on milling cutters and twist drills.
Dividing Head Attachment: A dividing head is also called an indexing head. It is mainly
employed on milling machines for setting the workpiece and rotating it through
predetermined angles and dividing circles into the required number of parts. The work is
mounted either on a chuck fitted on the dividing head or supported between live and dead
centres. This attachment is very suitable for dividing the periphery of the workpiece into an
equal number of parts. It can also be linked with the table lead screw for cutting equally
spaced helical grooves on the periphery of a cylindrical work. The index head is a worm gear
reducer having a ratio of 40:1, i.e. 40 turns of the crank rotate the workpiece through one
The three types of dividing heads commonly used are plain, universal and helical. The
spindle of a plain dividing head rotates on the horizontal axis. The main parts of a plain
dividing head are shown in figure.

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A universal dividing head is a modified form of plain dividing head whose spindle can be
swiveled in a vertical plane. A helical dividing head is similar 10 a plain dividing head in
design but its spindle can be connected to a table lead screw through intermediary gears. In
this way two types of motions can be imparted to a job—rotary and translatory. This
arrangement is suitable for cutting helical gears along the line AB. as shown in figure below.

Index Plates: Indexing plates are used on dividing heads for dividing the periphery of a
component into equal/required degrees. These plates have equally spaced holes arranged in
circular rows. Each plate has six concentric circular rows. With these plates the division of a
circle is possible in a range from 2 to 20,000 parts.

Milling Operations:
Plain Milling: This process consists of production of a plain horizontal flat surface. This
surface will be parallel to the axis of rotation of the cutter. Sometimes this is termed as slab
milling. The position of the cutter and the shape are shown in fig. (a). The depth of cut is
given, by rotating the vertical feed screw of the table.
Side Milling: The process consists of production of a flat vertical surface on the side of the
workpiece given. The surface is milled by using a side milling cutter. The side milling method

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is explained in figure (b). The depth of the cut is given by rotating the vertical feed screw of
the table.
For milling the sides, special side and face cutters are used. They are called straight or spiral
teeth cutter. The teeth may be staggered or interlocked. The position of the cutter and the
job is shown in figure (b).

Angular Milling: For angular milling, end milling cutters are used. These cutters have the
helical teeth on the circumference and on end. These are used for light operations such as
profiling narrow surfaces, grooves and recesses. The position of the job and the cutter are
shown in figure (c).
This process consists of production of an angular surface on the work piece. Normally the
slope will be at different angles to the axis of the milling machine spindle. Production of the
'V' block is a good example for this type of milling.
Gang Milling: This process consists of reduction of plain flat surface along with a slot at the
centre. This is a simultaneous milling process by special form cutters. This is explained in the
figure (d).
Form Milling: The form milling is as shown in figure (e). By this, several surfaces can be
milled simultaneously. The form milling is the process of production of irregular contours
and of profiles specific in shapes by using form cutters. The profiles can be convex, concave
or of different shapes. The form surface can be checked by a template. This is advantageous
when a larger number of parts are to be machined.
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Keyway Milling: This milling process produce keyway slot. The cutter use of thin size. This
operation is suited for long keyways. The position of the cutter is shown in figure (f).
Straddle milling: The straddle milling is the operation of production of vertical surface on
the opposite faces of the job as shown in figure (g). For this two side milling cutters are
mounted on the same Arbor, spaced apart by using suitable number of collars. This is
applicable only when a small number of components are to be produced. This operation is
mainly used to form square or hexagonal surfaces.

Plain Milling Cutters:

This is also known as a mill cutter. It is cylindrical in shape and has cutting teeth on the
periphery. The teeth may be straight or helical. This cutter is used to produce flat surfaces
parallel to the axis of the spindle. The two types of commonly used plain milling cutters are
plain straight teeth cutter and plain milling helical cutter. Helical teeth produce a smooth
surface. For fixing the cutter to the arbor, the cutter is provided with central bore and
Roughing cutter will have smaller number of teeth while the finishing cutter will have greater
number of teeth for the same cutter diameter.

The process of dividing a circular or straight part into equal spaces by means of a dividing
head is known as indexing. The indexing head is also known as dividing head. The indexing
head is an attachment that forms a part of milling machines, by means of which the
circumference of a cylindrical part can be divided into any number of equal spaces. It is also
used for imparting a rotary motion to the work. For example, if some circular part requires
24 equally spaced grooves, the dividing head is used to rotate the work 1/24 after cutting
each groove.
The three systems of indexing used on a milling machine are (a) simple indexing, (b)
compound indexing and (c) differential indexing.
Simple Indexing: Simple indexing on a milling machine is carried out by using either a plain
indexing head or a universal dividing head. This method of indexing involves the use of
crank, worm, worm wheel and index head. The worm wheel generally carries 40 teeth and
the worm is single threaded.

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With this arrangement, when a crank completes one revolution, the work wheel rotates
through l/40th of a revolution. Similarly, a worm wheel rotates through 2/40 (l/20) th of a
revolution, and so on. Thus, for one revolution of the workpiece a crank needs to make 40
The holes in the index plate further help in subdividing the rotation of the workpiece.
Suppose the work is to be divided into a number of pans. The corresponding crank
movement will be as follows.
For dividing a work in two equal parts, a crank will make
40/2 = 20 revolutions for each division.
For 5 divisions, 40/5 = 8 revolutions
For 8 divisions, 40/8 = 5 revolutions

For 29 divisions, 40/29 = 1 revolutions.

In the last example above, 40/29 is not a whole number. This indicates that the crank moves
by 1 rotation and 11/29 parts of the second revolution. In the fractional system, the
numerator shows the number of holes to be moved and the denominator shows the number
of holes on the index plate to be used. Thus, in this indexing system, for each division on the
job, the crank will move through one revolution and 11 holes on the 29 holes index circle on
the index plate.
Compound Indexing: When the number of divisions required on the job is outside the range
of simple indexing, the method of compound indexing is used. The operation is carried out
by providing two separate simple indexing movements—(a) by turning the crank in the same
way as in simple indexing, and (b) again turning the index plate and the crank cither in the
same or in the opposite directions.
The principle of compound indexing can be best understood from the following practical
example. Suppose the crank is turned 3 holes in a 15-hole circle and both the index plate
and crank are turned 4 holes in a 12-hole circle.
The two movements will turn the worm through

+ =

Since 40 turns of the worm turn the workpiece through one revolution, 8/15 turns will move
the workpiece through

x = revolutions.

Thus, the work will be divided into 75 parts.

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Let us take another example in which the index plate and the crank are rotated in the
reverse direction. Suppose the crank is turned through 6 holes in the 18-hole plate and both
the crank and crank pin are turned in the reverse direction through 4 holes in the 16-hole
plate. Then the worm will turn through

- =

Due to the above two movements, the work will move through

x = revolutions

Thus, the job can be divided into 480 parts.

Cutting Speed, Feed and Depth of Cut:

Cutting Speed (V), in peripheral milling is the surface speed of the cutter.
V = πdN/1000,
where, d is the cutter diameter
N is the rotational speed of the cutter.
Feed (f) per tooth of the cutter is the distance the workpiece travels per tooth of the cutter
in mm/tooth.
f = v/Nn
where, v is the linear speed of the workpiece
n is the number of teeth on the cutter periphery.
Cutting Time (t) is given by the equation,
t = (l + lc)/ v.
where, l is the length of the workpiece, and
lc is the horizontal extent of the cutter’s first contact with the workpiece.

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Figure shows various parameters used for calculation of machining time

1. A C50 steel flat surface of 100 x 250 mm is to be produced on a horizontal-axis milling machine.
An HSS slab mill of 100 mm diameter and 150 mm width is to be used for the purpose. The milling
cutter has 8 teeth. Calculate the machining time assuming that entire stock can be removed in one
depth of 2 mm.
Given Z = 8, D = 100 mm, d = 2 mm

Cutting speed, V = 20 m/min

Feed rate, f = 0.13 mm/tooth
Approach distance, A = = = 14 mm

Spindle speed, N = = 63.66 ≈ 65 rev/min

Time for machining = = 2.633 minutes

2. A 115 mm wide and 250 mm long surface is to be rough-milled with a depth of cut of 6 mm by a
16-tooth cemented carbide face mill of 150 mm diameter. The work material is alloy steel (200 BHN).
Estimate the cutting time.
Solution: Given Z = 16, D= 150 mm, d= 6 mm, W= 115 mm
Cutting speed, V = 60 m/min
Feed rate, f = 0.18 mm/tooth

Spindle speed, N = = 127.32 ≈ 125 rev/min

Since W = D/2
Approach distance, A = = 63.44 ≈ 65 mm

Time for machining = = 1.06 minutes

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Shaping and Planing

Planing and shaping are similar operations that differ primarily in the kinematics of the
motion. The relative motions between the tool and the workpiece during realization of the
shaping and planing operations are the simplest of all machining processes, and the
machines that do those operations are the simplest of all machine tools. A straight line
cutting motion between a single-point tool and a workpiece is used. A flat vertical,
horizontal, or angled surface is generated by the motion of the workpiece or the tool being
fed at right angles to the cutting motion between successive strokes.
Shaping and planing operations are rapidly being replaced in production because most of
the shapes that can be produced on shapers and planers can be made by much more
productive process such as milling. Consequently, except for certain special types, planers
that will do only planing have become obsolete, and shapers are used very little in
manufacturing except in tool-and-die shops or in very low-volume production.

Shaper – Working Principle and Operation:

The workpiece is mounted on the table and based on the length of the workpiece, the
length of stroke of the ram is adjusted. The main cutting motion in the shaping operation is
given to the tool by the reciprocating ram. The reciprocating single point tool is mounted
such that it cuts the metal when the ram (or tool) is moving out of the column till the end of
stroke is reached. This is known as the forward stroke or cutting stroke or working stroke.
The cutting action in a shaper is shown in figure below.

At the end of stroke, ram stops moving forward and starts moving back into the column.
During the return of tool, the wrong side of the sharp edge (flank) comes in contact with the
workpiece and cannot do the cutting. This stroke is called the return stroke or idle stroke or
backward stroke in which no cutting is done. At the end of return stroke, the cycle starts
The return stroke is made faster, that is, ram is made to travel at the faster speed during the
return stroke. It will take less time to come to the starting position, i.e., less time is spent
when a tool is not cutting. This means per cycle of ram more time would be spent in the

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cutting and less time in the idle stroke. This faster speed during the return stroke, in shaper
and other reciprocating machine tools, is provided by using a quick return mechanism for
driving the ram.
The toolhead of a shaper or planer has a slide, which has a clapper box and a toolholder. The
toolhead and the toolholder both can be swivelled independently to any desired angle for
machining horizontal, vertical and inclined surfaces. The clapper box is provided to avoid the
rubbing of the tool with the workpiece surface during the return stroke. The clapper box
makes it possible for the tool to lift up from the workpiece surface and deflect away from
the workpiece surface. As a thumb rule, the top of the clapper box is swivelled away from
the surface to be machined so that the tool will clear the workpiece during the return stroke.
The straight cutting edge of the tool is adjusted closely parallel to the feeding direction.

The planer is a simple machine tool that is used to produce horizontal, vertical or inclined
flat surface and all other operations, such as grooving and angles. The operations that can be
performed on a shaper can be performed on a planer. The planer is used when the work-
piece is too large to be accommodated on a shaper for machining. The work is fastened on
the work table called platen which has a reciprocating motion against a single point cutting
tool. In most planing work, the cutting action is opposite to that of shaping. The cutting
stroke of the tool is when the platen moves towards the rear of the machine and the work-
piece is moved past one or more stationary, single point cutting tools. Because of large and
heavy workpiece, the work table must be reciprocated at relatively low speeds. When large
part of the workpiece is required to be machined, two or three pairs of cutting tools are
mounted on the cross-rail so as to obtain multi-cutting strokes in each reciprocating motion
of the work. Cutting tools are positioned in such a way that each tool provide
specified incremental feed that follow the preceding cutting stroke. In planing work the tools
are held stationary except for feeding movement. Many planers are provided with tool

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heads arranged so that cuts occur on both directions of the table movement. In such cases
the tool head is mounted in pairs one on each side of the cross-rail.
Planing is much less efficient than other basic machining processes, as such planing and
planers have largely been replaced by planer type milling machines or machines that can do
both milling and planing work.

Comparison between shaper and planer:

The major differences between a shaper and a planer are:
 The planer is used for large work, whereas, the shape is used for smaller work. The
normal length of the stroke in a planer varies between 1.370 meter and 6.0 meter
whereas, in shaper it is mostly limited to 1.0 meter.
 On a planer the work is moved against a stationary tool whereas, on the shaper the
tool moves across the stationary work.
 On a planer the tool is fed into the work whereas, on the shaper the work is fed
across the tool.
 The shaper ram drive is preferred through quick return link mechanism. And the
planer work-table is driven by gears, hydraulic means and change pulley drive

Operations Performed on Shaper:

Operations involved in shaping a rectangular job on shaper: First of all the vise should be
set on the table with the jaws parallel with the stroke of the ram. Then the material may be
placed in the vise and shaped to the required thickness. Next, the material must be turned
so that this finished surface is against the solid jaw of the vise and then the metal shaped to
the required width. Vise must then be turned by 90° so that the jaws are perpendicular to
the stroke of the ram; and job placed in one end of the vise so that the surface to be
machined is close to the top surface of the vise jaws. The other end of the vise should be
blocked with a piece of material of the same thickness, to keep the jaws parallel. The solid
jaw of the vise will keep the work square in the plane parallel to the jaws. A solid square
must be used to set the work square in the plane perpendicular to the jaws before the jaws
of the vise are tightened. The end may then be machined to the required length. In taking a
finishing cut, the speed should be increased.

Machining a thin job on shaper: In machining a thin job on shaper, the important point to
be borne in mind is that it should be prevented from warping. For this purpose, first a light
cut should be taken off each side to relieve the internal strain of the metal. Then more light
cuts should be taken off each side, alternately, until the correct thickness is obtained.

Cutting an angle on a large job: When cutting an angle on a large job, using a shaper having
a universal table, the universal table should be tilted (tool-head should not be swung to the
required angle), because this makes it possible to use the automatic table feed. If the tool

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head is set at the required angle and there is an automatic downfeed, then it will be
necessary to use the hand downfeed.
In a more frequently used method, the work-piece is held in a shaper vise and the
shaper head set over to the required angle. The clapper box should be tilted with the top
slanting away from the surface being cut so that the cutting tool can clear the workpiece on
the return stroke. The shaper head slide is used to feed the cutting tool in cutting the
angular surface. When shaping angular surfaces with the shaper head set at an angle, the
ram must not be run back into the column, otherwise the shaper head slide will strike the
Cutting a dovetail bearing on a shaper: First the tool head of the shaper should be set at the
same angle as that of the dovetail to be cut. The work, once set, should not be disturbed in
shaping the angular and flat surfaces of the dovetail. The clapper box is tilted at an angle to
allow the tool to clear the work on the return stroke.
The horizontal surfaces should be machined before completing the angular surfaces.
A right-hand tool and a left hand tool arc used to machine the angular sides, one at a time.
Both roughening and finishing tools should be used if considerable stock is to beremov6d. In
using two tools and moving the toolhead from one side of the centre line to the other, great
care must be exercised, because, if there is any variation in the angular setting of the head, a
variation in the angular sides of the dovetail will result.
Another way of cutting a dovetail, when the sides of the work arc parallel and the
solid jaw of the vise is parallel with the stroke of the ram, requires only one tool. First, the
sides of the dovetail may be rough cut to within 0.4 to 0.8 mm of the finished size. Next, a
light cut may be taken on one side, and then the work be reversed in the vise without
disturbing the setting of the table, and a light cut taken off the other sides. Size should be
checked and the process repeated until the finished size is obtained. Using this method, the
dovetail will be held central with the work and the angles will be the same.
In shaping dovetail bearings, it is very important to incline the clapper box in the
proper direction so that the tool will swing away from the work on the return stroke of the
ram. It is important to note that the clapper box must be set in a direction away from the
surface being machined (or in other words, the clapper box should be turned away from the
surface to be cut).

Shaping a V or keyway centrally in a block: One method is to lay out the job and shape to
scribed layout lines. A more accurate method of shaping a V is lo set the vise jaws parallel to
the stroke, set the tool-head at the required angle, and rough cut the layout lines. Next, take
a cut from side of the, V, then reverse the job in the vise. With the table set in the same
position, take a cut off the opposite side. Continue this until both sides of the V are cleaned
up and the proper depth has been obtained. The V will then be in the centre of the block.
The same procedure may be used in shaping a keyway.

Shaping regularly angled component: Parts like hexagonal nut are shaped by holding them
in an indexing fixture or dividing head. A headstock and tailstock each have a central parallel

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tongue on their machined base, thus allowing them to be lined up by means of one of the
table grooves. The spindle in the headstock can be rotated with the help of dividing plate
and locked in a desired position. Catchplate, or chucks can be mounted on the end of the
spindle on headstock. Dividing plate is a circular steel disc having a series of circular holes
equally spaced on different circles and is a light press fit on the spindle. The accuracy of the
work is dependent on the accuracy of the pitching of the holes in the dividing plate, and the
absence of 'play' in the spindle, the plate, and the plunger.

Shaping an irregularly curved surface: The required shape is scribed on the surface of the
material. After the work has been secured in position on the machine, the operator, by
skillful manipulation of the vertical and horizontal feeds, guides the culling tool so that it will
follow the layout lines. This method is also known as contour shaping.

Cutting a keyway on a shaper when the keyway does not extend the entire length of the
shaft: For this purpose, first drill a hole slightly larger and deeper than the width and depth
of the key ways at the place where the keyway ends. Set the position of the shaper stroke so
that the tool will stop in the centre of the drilled hole at the end of the forward stroke. Then
the keyway may be cut in the usual manner. In this operation, the clapper box must not be
lilted or else the cutting tools may bind on the side of the groove. Further, the shaper should
be equipped with an automatic tool-lifter which lifts the tool clear of the work piece on the
return stroke. If the shaper is not equipped with an automatic tool-lifter, the tool should be
lifted clear of the groove manually on the return stroke.

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