thanks, I use the G-Wizard to figure my feeds and speeds. It's helpful
On cutting the blanks I use the 7/16 em to knock down the surface and clean up with the fly cutter. Then around the hinge and around the handle, I use a 1/4 em and finish with a ball mill.
On the cavities, after a rough cut I come back with a finish cut. My feed rate is 10 on the 1/16 ball nose cuts.
I have flood coolant so my bits are doing good and I think that has sped things up. I use to break them before I would wear them out. Now I might be able to wear some out. It's a good thing that MSC has next day delivery. I have access to another CNC, I don't remember what kind it is but it will only do 2-1/2 axis. The code has to be punched in manually. I have thought about using it to cut out the blanks. It has an auto tool changer. I would have it in my shop if I had room for it. I have thought about trying to retrofit it to 3 axis but I don't have much experience or time right now.
I ran across a freeware tool called ME Consultant 2.0 today when doing a search for something else. There is a conversation from 2003 on CNCzone that mentions it a couple times. I found it for download here and tried it.
I scanned the download with Avast, but you should scan it too just to be safe.
It seems to work similar to G-wizard except totally free unlike G-wizard that is going to subscription (pay every year to keep using it) soon according to an e-mail the author sent me recently. The numbers seem easier to plug and chug to try things too. I noticed there is no accounting for horsepower. In small cutters that's not an issue, but in bigger cutters that could be a problem. I figured take its numbers and stay conservative. G-wizard gives me numbers some times anyway that I know will plug and break a cutter.