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5C Collet Indexing fixture

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  • 5C Collet Indexing fixture

    I buy a lot of my tools at auction, normally at very large discount. The last auction, I got a indexing fixture. It didn't come with bolt down cutouts to mount it to the table. After looking around the net I found out that they don't have cut outs? Why not?

    So how many of you have cut bolt opening into the base of their indexing fixture? I ask because I thinking about doing that to speed up setups. The next question is how did you hold it when you cut it without messing up the paint? And cutting the flats for the bolts?

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I just cut the sides of the base parallel and perpendicular to the spindle and put them in the mill vise or on the mag chuck of the surface grinder. That particular cheap Chinese kind is actually a pretty well made tool. Mine like that are, anyway.

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    • #3
      It's been a long time but I think I clamped a 1" bar in a collet & clamped the whole thing upside-down in the mill vise...rigged some additional clamps & carefully cut the .slots. I don't recall worrying about the paint as it was brittle & had bondo under it in places. It's gonna get dinged up right away in use.anyhoo.
      Milton

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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      • #4
        My thought was a bar and two jacks with claps on top of the flange over the jacks. The flats I'll just spin a fly cutter over it.

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        • #5
          I squared the base of mine up, cut notches for bolts, and made a fixture plate so I could mount two of them face to face on one of the small CNC mills for indexing longer round parts clamped at both ends. As machine tools go they are cheap. Do what you need to for the next job you need it for. If its a one off, just use some hold down clamps on the table and tap it into alignment with your brass hammer.
          *** 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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
            I just cut the sides of the base parallel and perpendicular to the spindle and put them in the mill vise or on the mag chuck of the surface grinder. That particular cheap Chinese kind is actually a pretty well made tool. Mine like that are, anyway.
            I did the same for my Phase II spin indexer when I bought it new nearly 30 years ago. I don't know what they cost new today, but at the time I bought mine it was so cheap I thought it was in the category of consumable tooling. If I recall correctly I paid $49.00 for it. It came in a cushioned wood case with a wrench and a single 3/4" 5C collet

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            • #7
              I picked this one up for 28.50 with 5 collets in a crappy cardboard box with white Styrofoam. I have paid for most my addiction this way.

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              • #8
                I clamped mine to an angle plate and with a ball nose cutter I milled the tops to get parallel seating spots for the bolts or nuts on each wing. I didn't mill the edges flat but I guess I could have. If I were to mill the edges I'd have wanted to set a larger size bar in one of the collets and aligned that with 1-2-3 blocks or similar to ensure the edges were parallel to the spin axis.

                I was trying to remember how I cut the slots. On close inspection apparently I drilled down from above to set the two holes slightly closer together than my table slot center lines and then cut in from the outer edges with the horizontal/vertical bandsaw and filed the edges to form the slots. I know it's not fancy machining but for hold down bolt slots it's just fine.

                A couple of things I've done with mine found me working around the indexing disc. So I've got a plan for turning the spindle around so the collet will be at the other end from the indexing disc. Just need to get a few other promises out of the way first. At the same time I might just set up and mill the edges since it would make quick jobs that much easier to set the base close enough to squared.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  "promises out of the way first" I am in the same boat and I still have a new to me Milwaukee No3 sitting center of the shop that I have to finish checking out and move to its spot it will sit.

                  Thanks for the thoughts.

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                  • #10
                    The reason they don't have bolt slots is these kinds of fixtures were originally intended for use on surface grinders, where, as Toolguy notes, you just use the mag chuck.

                    of course, those original designs also had the base cut square, so you could use squares, parallels or even sine bars to set it either for angle or for true on the magnet, but that was one feature the Asians dropped early on as a cost-cutting measure, not knowing why those faces were machined.

                    So yeah, just set the piece up to the bore is true, and mill at least the two sides square. That way you can just drop it in the mill vise, which, assuming it too is true and square, means the fixture is pretty darn close, too.

                    On my Bridgeport-sized mill table, the T-slots are too far apart to use clamping slots, and I just wind up using a couple of standard hold-downs anyway (if I don't use the vise.)

                    Doc.
                    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                    • #11
                      The best way to preserve the paint is to leave it in the box unused.

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                      • #12
                        To get the base exactly parallel and centered on the spindle, I set mine up with the spindle on a 123 block on either side of the casting, and the base clamped to an angle plate. The top of the angle plate was below the casting, so I didn't mill it too. Milled one side of the base, flipped the spin jig over, milled the other side of the base to the same Z height, done. No indicating or measuring for the whole project, unless you want the base a certain width.

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                        • #13
                          I got the exact one pictured in the OP.
                          The collet doesnt get tight. I mallet tap on the handle to tighten, but the work still crawls around inside the collet.
                          Anybody else seen this? fixed this?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ringo View Post
                            I got the exact one pictured in the OP.
                            The collet doesnt get tight. I mallet tap on the handle to tighten, but the work still crawls around inside the collet.
                            Anybody else seen this? fixed this?
                            Mark the taper on the collet with felt marker and with the proper size material in the collet draw it in tight then loosen. Repeat a half dozen times. Then pull the collet out and check the wear on the felt markings. I suspect that all the wear will be in a narrow band on the loose end of the taper. Or another option might be that the threads are not freely going into the collet deeply enough so it never really gets that last bit tight. To test that again with the proper size in the collet start the thread where it just catches and then count how many turns of the handle before it binds tight. Remove the collet and draw tube and thread the tube into the collet and count the turns again. Make sure you can go at least two or more turns without bottoming out. If it does bottom out make up a .05 spacer ring to use on the draw tube.

                            On the other hand if it is the taper that doesn't match you'll want to look in the collet sleeve and see if there's something that is causing the issue. You may also need to find a way to check the angle of the taper in the collet sleeve. There may be a little burr or shoulder or some other issue that is blocking the collet from seating deeply enough to lock the taper.
                            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                            • #15
                              I also just squared the base to the spindle and use it in a vice, or if using it on the adjustable angle plate, with a clamping kit.

                              Worth noting - I pinned the plate to the spindle so the relationship stays fixed. All I did was drill between them and tapped in a pin I had hand-ground with a slight taper.
                              Location: North Central Texas

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