Woodruff cutter for side grooves


Complete noob here looking for some advice on my first project.

I’m wanting to make this out of aluminium on the Nomad 3 and whilst I’m going to do the upper groove on a lathe in a separate operation, I can’t do the same with the lower grooves highlighted in the last image.

I believe the part will be too tall to stand it up on its side and mill those grooves vertically with a normal endmill (its 76mm tall when on its side), so I was hoping to use a horizontal cutter to do this on the Nomad after cutting the main flange shape out.

The problem I’m having is that the grooves are 2.5mm deep and from looking at some woodruff cutters online it seems like the only ones will do that much of an undercut have a bigger shank than the nomad 3 can handle. I can always make the grooves shallower or remove them entirely, but like I said I’m a complete noob so I want to check and make sure I’m not missing anything before resorting to scrapping features entirely.

So I guess my questions are:

  • Is a woodruff cutter the only way to do this or is there a better option?
  • Is 6mm the largest shank size I can use with the Nomad 3 (I got the 1/4" collet with it) ?
  • Does anyone know of any suitably sized cutters that I’ve just missed in my searches?


Or a tee shot cutter. They work great. I own about a 1/2 dozen. Bought from that Jungle Place. (About $9).

Edit add. Oh wait. On the Nomad? No way. Sorry No huevos…

oh what is it about the Nomad that means you can’t use them?

My very last statement. Starting with Sorry……

The spindle on the Nomad doesn’t have the horsepower to spin larger tooling when cutting harder materials.

oh ok. So not even a smaller one with a shank that fits in the nomad? If that’s the case, how do I know when looking for cutters which ones the nomad is capable of using? I assumed it was just a case of if they fit in the collet then it can use them

In harder materials, use 1/8" and smaller tools.

In softer materials, larger tooling may be used.

See the feeds and speeds and tooling options in Carbide Create for an initial guide:

1 Like

Thanks, didn’t know there was a list of suitable tools in the software.

So just to clarify, would even a 1/8" woodruff cutter not be usable? Like is there just something about woodruff cutters that needs more power, or is it purely the shank size you’re going off of? Even if I have to get a real small one, I’d rather have small grooves in the sides than no grooves at all.

We can’t speak to tooling which we don’t sell.

Lots of folks use unsupported tooling — I do myself:

but it has to be done using good practices, and suitable safety considerations, and w/in the physical limits of the machine.

If the cutter has a cutting diameter of 1/8" or less, it should be okay to use in harder materials — if the cutting geometry is suited to cutting such materials at the feeds and speeds and torque which the Nomad can apply.

For a bit on calculating these see:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.