View Full Version : what do you do with the "fixtures"

02-22-2005, 12:36 PM
you've made to hold the part that you are machining? You know, you've made a part to hold a part that you are making to hold the final part and now you have finished the one-up job and have these fixtures.
Do you scrap them, throw them in a drawer "for next time", package and label the package, catalog them in a ledger or computer data base?

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-22-2005, 12:42 PM
I make a special holder to hold all of them in. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif


02-22-2005, 02:33 PM
I send them back to the customer, they paid for them, so their shop/business/home deserves to be cluttered!

02-22-2005, 04:13 PM
Some I kept, some go with the job, and some I recycle. Modular fixturing is the best thing going. Some 1-2-3- blocks, some jig plate aluminum, or if your lucky, a drilled and tapped base plate. Add a few customized de-Staco Clamps, and some miscelanious jig and fixture parts from Jergins or Carr-Lane and what you usually use as a clamp/hold down kit and you should be good to go. Just take a picture and make a list of the components to be filed away with a description of the job, part and machining sequence, before you take it apart to be used for the next one(it may be needed again). The best thing is, you can make this kind of tooling up yourself as needed. You don't have to spend a small fortune to buy a starter kit from Stevens Engineering the way big and medium sized businesses do( I may be wrong, but I think they start at around $3,500.00 and go up).

02-22-2005, 05:10 PM
I always try to make fixtures in a generic sense so that they will be useful for something else. If the hole spacing is unique then I try to add enough additional holes at standard increments/angles/BC's so that it could be used for something in the future. That's the theory, in practice I've got the lower part of my bench at work littered with jigs/fixtures. I occasionaly butcher them hoping that if I keep removing enough metal they'll eventually disappear.

02-22-2005, 05:18 PM
I carefully store them for future use. I usually find the one I need a day or two after making another one for the same job.

Lynn Standish
02-22-2005, 06:00 PM
I keep them. Some specific ones for jobs that I do maybe once a year or 18 months. Some of the smaller stuff I throw in a box in case it will work for something else or I can use the material to make a different fixture or jig.

02-22-2005, 06:22 PM
We have a shelf at work that is loaded with them. I save them all, I have repeat jobs come in sometimes a year or more later.

Spin Doctor
02-22-2005, 07:01 PM
Depends on the fixture. A fixture can be nothing more than a plate with a couple of drilled and tapped holes that match something on the finished parts. These get recycled for future use. Some are more elaborate for lathe or mill use. On these if we need a dozen or two dozen parts now we will often make three to four times the amount to put them in the bank. These fixtures usually don't get saved they are too job specific. As posted above modular fixturing is the best way to go. And I have noticed that on large transfer lines the designers that really know what they are doing use as few odd-ball dowel and screw center distances as possible so as to allow the machining of multiple parts of of the same fixturing

02-22-2005, 09:28 PM
Don't make many myself,use the machine's table and various fixtures like angle plates etc.

Custom tooling I do make,most of which I keep unless the customer wants it.

02-23-2005, 01:36 AM
One of my most fun aspects of machining is in making the jigs to hold the parts, or to do whatever the job is. I keep pretty much all of them. I had a customer a few days ago come in wanting more curtain hanger hooks that I custom made for him a couple years ago. When he needed more, he came back and was surprized that I still had the jig I used to first make them. At that point he said he would never diss me again for having all that 'junk' laying around.

kap pullen
02-23-2005, 07:35 AM
I do like I was trained many years ago.

The foreman back then told me when I suggested a fixture;

"If you make a fixture for every job, you end up with a shop full of junk fixtures."

I use standard setup equipment whenever possible.

When I do make one, it goes back in the junk(unidentified, uncertified material) box where it came from.

Most of what I do does not repeat.


02-23-2005, 08:27 AM
I keep them. Usually I make them so they can be adapted in the future for another job. I have a rack of aluminum plates, 6 x 24, 18 x 24, 4 x 6, whatever. Holes drilled all over them, shapes milled in. Plates probably going on 15 years old, and re-used fr so many jobs it is crazy. i know that on many of these plates now, I can find the right tapoped hole locations to just drill that "one more hole", the right dowel pin hole to locate on and do minimal work, such on and so forth. A few years back I was re-inventing the wheel in fixturing, but now, with minimal effort and searching, I already have enough "pre fixturing" that this becomes a relatively moot point.

Use stuff with the idea of making it work again. Think of future fixturing base on what you have accumulated.

Learnt that in my apprenticeship.