PDA

View Full Version : Simple Projects



Bob La Londe
08-24-2017, 12:09 PM
Sorry. No pictures. If you have to have them move along. Too late now. The parts have moved on to their proper homes.

A few weeks ago I had a fishing buddy bring over a largish piece of aluminum that is a mount for one of his hydraulic/electric shallow water anchors. The mounting slot where it is supposed to be adjustable to set the height of the mount when bolting it to the side of the jack plate was to narrow. You could see where somebody had wallowed it out in a couple spots with a file or maybe a dremel, but it sure wouldn't slide. It had a round cylindrical section with ribs and the large flat plate with the mounting slot I described sticking out of it at an angle and then another angle. At first I had no idea how to mount it in order to mill it. Then I just lightly clamped the cylinder in the vise and leveled the plate with a small torpedo level. I tightened down the vise and milled it. It looked like a big complicated setup, but turned out to be dead easy. My aluminum soft jaws held it very well.

It took longer to cut it than to set it up.


Two days ago another fishing buddy (who also happens to be a Harley mechanic) brought over the top clamp for a handlebar mount. He wanted a little milled off the top so a fancy cover of some kind would fit over it. A lot of these I have handled over the years were aluminum, but this one was heavy so I assumed it was chromed steel. Not knowing what kind of steel I just assumed hard steel (to be safe) and figured I'd better setup a solid mount so it wouldn't go flying. I could not clamp it directly in the vise and be comfortable with it. There would have only been 4 tiny contact points with the jaws, and if it was not perfect there might have been only 3. Also, I didn't want to deform my aluminum soft jaws if I didn't have to. I found a piece of 1/2" x 4" aluminum flat bar in my scrap pile from failed bait molds. I drilled and tapped 4 1/4-20 holes in the plate to match the holes in clamp. I deliberately selected a smaller bolt than the holes so I could use a button head screw to give lots of clearance for milling. Then I smeared 5 minute epoxy on the bottom of the clamp, bolted it in place and set it out in the sun for half an hour to partially cure. It dropped in the vise nicely and clamped up easily after that. The first pass showed that it was some fairly easy machining yellow gold metal. Probably a brass alloy, but I did not recognize the color. It machined very easily so I stopped the job and set it to 40% stepover with a 1/2 end mill and let it fly. A couple minutes later I took a .006 cleanup pass with a 3" face mill at a slow feed, and then dressed the edges lightly on the belt sander. Out come the bolts. Clamp the flat bar in the vise. Two smacks with my plastic dead blow hammer and its free. Then some finger work pealing the epoxy off the chrome by hand and it was good to go. I probably spent an hour and a half on setup and finishing, and about 3-4 minutes on machining including tool changes.

Setup definitely took longer than machining. Cleanup took longer than machining.



FYI: I indicated in the face of the fixed side soft jaw when I setup the vises on the table, and then machined a step in the jaws for holding flat bar with a solid high hold. This allows me to use the step for stuff I need to KNOW is square, and use the larger face for bigger pieces that need more clamping area.

greystone
08-24-2017, 01:30 PM
Nice !

Sorry. No pictures. If you have to have them move along. Too late now. The parts have moved on to their proper homes.

Setup definitely took longer than machining. Cleanup took longer than machining.

FYI: I indicated in the face of the fixed side soft jaw when I setup the vises on the table, and then machined a step in the jaws for holding flat bar with a solid high hold. This allows me to use the step for stuff I need to KNOW is square, and use the larger face for bigger pieces that need more clamping area.