I have a lot of endmill and other bits but I am unsure how to classify and catalog them to us on my shapeoko XXL. I know I can create a tool list under carbide motion. But I am not sure how to do it that would be a benefit. Like knowing what each does and when to use them?
We’ve discussed machinist notebooks/logs a bit in the past:
Some folks have very elaborate systems in place for tracking usage which includes numbering schemes (for a while I was considering color-coded dots on the labels) — while it’s a nice idea to use a new tool for finishing cuts only, starting in softer materials, then cycling it through harder ones, then relegating it to use as a rougher, that’s probably only helpful in a theoretical way on an inexpensive machine.
I have a few 3D printed trays with various sizes of endmill. I have a CSV file with which endmills are in which tray so I can find them as needed.
I also have a pile of new endmills that I need to print more trays for…
But I also have about 10 different variants for each of the kinds of endmill I use, which is far more than I actually need. I’m planning to identify the best of those variants and just start buying batches of those few endmills, so the endmills I have will just live in my “mental tool crib”.
I made a word processing doc with all my end mills listed. The purpose is so I make a pdf of the word processing doc and keep on my phone. When I go some place with suitable bits I can check to see if I have a good supply of bits and can buy ones I might need. Or more importantly not buy ones I have an abundance of. My whole inventory of CNC stuff is in the pdf. (attached)
I am a big fan of cryptography and embedded meaning. So I encode meaning into my nomenclature so that I can think of what I need and get the name, and vice versa.
If you can come up with a cataloguing system that makes sense to the way you think about things, that would be by definition intuitive and well suited to you.
As an example, the one that suits me is to try to form three digit representations of each tool since some software isn’t comfy with a fourth digit. I am metric only, so the last two digits are the tool’s size to one decimal place (ie: 11 is 1.1mm). The first digit is the flute count, unless its a B(8)all or a (5)V-bit. For V bits the two following two digits are the angle rather than the size since it’s mostly irrelevant.
This system sits comfy with my brain, but is not perfect and not for everybody. But the notion of encoding the bits into a system you find intuitive is what I propose you explore.