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Grid o' holes

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  • Grid o' holes

    I'm thinking about making some more generic (universal?) fixture plates than the ones I currently use.

    Do you use a grid of holes fixture plate? What do you think of yours?

    Are there accessories you wish were available?

    Are there things you think could make it better?

    What are the things you don't like about your "universal" fixture plate?
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    3/8 tapped holes are preferred. 5/16 is the tap drill ( ream) , so you can use dowel pins in holes. Use set screws to plug holes so they dont clog up with chips / swarf. I now prefer no holes and drill / tap as required. Too many times the grid is not right for the job. If a large table ( cnc mill ) the grid 1/2-13 is the way to go.

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    • #3
      Used a 1/2-13 on my father-in-laws Hurco. Liked it except when someone did not plug the holes back up. We used rubber plugs we made a mold for. I would think threaded plastic with a slot would be ok also. The grid was 1.5" and there will always be a job where they just don't meet perfectly for the job.
      There are times I wanted 2 or 3 keyways for Mitee Bite type clamps when I needed to machine the whole top without remounting a vise back on the plate etc.
      It all depends upon what space you have and what types of clamps you have available.
      I do like the spherical collar nuts for the threaded rods. These flex so the force matches the angle of the clamp so it is even. I have used these on Sherline CNC mill (#10-24) up through Hurco CNC mill. They are worth it in my opinion.
      Also have 4 toe clamps (angle style with movable toe) which work great. Reminds me of using the Starrett No 54 hold down edge clamps that I use in my shaper.

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      • #4
        I was thinking of a master grid with drop on adjustable hardware. I've had dozens of ideas run through my head, but ultimately when I walk through it step by step slightly more purpose made fixture plates always seem like they will give me easier fit up and higher part density and better use of the available work envelope. I'm not giving up on it. I'll just let it percolate on the back burner for a while until a better idea boils up.
        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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        • #5
          I have a piece of MIC 6 that's 3/4" x 16" x 24" that I needed for one specific job. I just drilled and tapped
          the holes I needed for that job. I've used it two or three times since and I've just added holes as needed.
          Couldn't see the point of drilling a bunch of holes I might never need. As to plugging the holes, that's a
          pain in the ass too. A good blast of air is all I've ever needed to clean out a hole when I need it.,,
          Keith
          __________________________
          Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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