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Thread: Tips for working on material longer than my x axis travel?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    DFW, TX
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    33

    Default Tips for working on material longer than my x axis travel?

    I knew I might run in to this issue when I bought my mini mill. But let's say the x-axis travel is 12", and I need to mill slots in a piece that is 16" long...

    Short of buying a larger mill (although I'm thinking about it), how do I go about moving my work piece and maintaining as much accuracy as I can?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Kelowna BC
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    2,484

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    Circular edge stops that fit in your t slots.. i.e. a stepped bushing, smaller diameter fits t slot. Both have to be identical diameter..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Langley, British Columbia
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    A set of 5C collet blocks and a few collets is the ideal answer. You can easily index in 90 degree
    and 60 degree increments...

    https://www.banggood.com/Machifit-5C...r_warehouse=CN
    Keith
    __________________________
    Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    1,060

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    Planning and fixturing.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

  5. #5

    Default

    A lot of vices


    110" part in a 60" machine.
    Last edited by Bented; 06-29-2019 at 04:23 PM.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2009
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    NW Illinois USA
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    752

    Default

    I've done some inline six chevrolet block deck surfacing on machines way way way too small. One tip is to use a hanging weight from a pulley on the ceiling to support the overhung workpiece.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Springfield Mo
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    Depends on the accuracy you need. Non-super critical you could probably get away with keys in the t slots. Butt your workpiece against the keys, clamp it as appropriate, mill the first section, unclamp, slide the piece down while maintaining contact with the keys, re-clamp, resume machining. If more accuracy is needed, use the keys for initial alignment and follow up by aligning the previous cut with the direction of travel with a DTI

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chilliwack, B.C.
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    11,754

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    I built a matching pair of vises to mount on my mill table. Requires some alignment as they do not key into a T-slot, but that's fairly quickly done. Loosen both, slide workpiece, tighten, repeat.

    Basically what you need is a fence aligned in the X direction. This is your reference edge as you move the workpiece along and re-clamp for each segment of the machining.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Buffalo NY
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    Do you even indicate, Bro??

    -Doozer
    DZER

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    12,324

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    Yes, that's why I purchased two milling vises. Line them up carefully and do the slot one section at a time



    Quote Originally Posted by Bented View Post
    A lot of vices


    110" part in a 60" machine.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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