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I Don't Call Them Pallets

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  • I Don't Call Them Pallets

    These are a variety of "plates" I use regularly for fixturing parts or multiple parts on the various milling machines in the shop.

    Used mostly for prepping multiple blanks to go on the smaller faster machines.
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    Also sometimes used to cut multiple molds in a single setup.
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    Blanks from the setup above on a different fixture plate ready to cut two hinged casting molds in a single setup. Setup so you can index the plate and the location of all blanks is known. I find Z0 with a 123 block before loading the blanks.
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    This fixture plate allows me to repeatably mount two spin indexers face to face so I can do "manual" indexing for 4 axis machining. It is keyed on the bottom to the table of one machine. The indexers had to be machined to an "exact" base size, and hold down screw slots were added. The wide slots in the fixture is a very close match to the base on the indexers, and there are grooves for t-nuts to fix them in place. I can loosen the bolts, slide the indexer back and forth, and snug it in place with a wrench without fear of loosing position (within the accuracy of my machining). I've made parts that looked "almost" like there were turned on a lathe in this setup. I did finish polish them on the lathe. I've also made parts that had to be repositioned multiple times for machining from a variety of angles. This was setup for one of the small high speed machines, but I have an automated 4th axis I use on the Tormach for most of those jobs now. There is only one indexer on this because I needed the other one on the surface grinder a while back.
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    Ok, technically this one works like a pallet. I load an AR15 lower on it before loading this fixture into the vise on the machine. This goes through the magazine well, and leaves the side of the magazine well open for decorative engraving. I've found most AR lower magazine wells are not perfectly flat or uniform in thickness. Usually I have to indicate the surface, loosen it up, and shim it to minimize the amount of over depth cutting I have to do to get a clean decorative engraving.
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    *** 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
    On the AR fixture, I also do an outline trace with a Sharpie marker to locate my engraving. That's how I learned Sharpie markers explode at high RPM. It's hard to get the Sharpie to mount with low runout so I do a trochoidal profile with it. This gives me the max and min so I can average center. I forgot to set the speed down from the default 24000 rpm.
    *** 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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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
      On the AR fixture, I also do an outline trace with a Sharpie marker to locate my engraving. That's how I learned Sharpie markers explode at high RPM. It's hard to get the Sharpie to mount with low runout so I do a trochoidal profile with it. This gives me the max and min so I can average center. I forgot to set the speed down from the default 24000 rpm.
      You can also re-energize a dry sharpie like that, but you may want to use a lower RPM

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