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Clamping surface-finished work pieces without marring?

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  • Clamping surface-finished work pieces without marring?

    What are some methods for clamping parts with finished surfaces without marring the finish?

  • #2
    Put something softer than the work in the jaws. Brass, Aluminum, plastics, etc.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by macona
      Put something softer than the work in the jaws. Brass, Aluminum, plastics, etc.

      I have been known to use Leather on occasion to pad the jaws of the lathe chuck, or Lead to pad the vise jaws.

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      • #4
        A lot of times a piece of masking tape is sufficient.
        Kansas City area

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        • #5
          My vote goes for masking tape too.


          Nick

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          • #6
            Originally posted by macona
            Put something softer than the work in the jaws. Brass, Aluminum, plastics, etc.
            These plus lead, copper and even plywood on occasion. Plywood is very good to use under large flat parts when clamping on top of the milling machine or drill press table. That way you can cut into the plywood and not mar the machine. Plywood also tends to be reasonably consistent in thickness. If you need to be more accurate hardboard (Masonite) or Plexiglas can be used, but of course are more expensive than plywood.

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            • #7
              I usually use pieces of aluminum. Sometimes stuff as thick as 1/16", mostly flashing, which is .015". There's a box of miscellaneous pieces next to my mill, used on it, and both lathes. I've even used a strip from a soda can, but that's only .005".

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              • #8
                I use printer paper, it helps to give it extra grip as well. I also use it if something hasn't got a great surface, so I don't mark the table surface.

                Dave

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                • #9
                  I got no idea where or what it was used for but I bought a roll of lead about 1" wide and wound up to about 5" in diameter. It was a yard sale find for something like a buck or two.

                  A neighbor gave me a cigarbox full of shimstock with some very thin copper sheet thrown in for measure. The thin copper also works well.
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                  • #10
                    I have a few pieces of copper on hand as well as a supply of old business cards for this purpose. These work in the lathe chuck as well as the milling machine vise.
                    Jim H.

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                    • #11
                      Drywall tape works quite well in the mill or drill press vise. In the lathe, brass shim stock is what I prefer to use.

                      David
                      David Kaiser
                      “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
                      ― Robert A. Heinlein

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                      • #12
                        I like to use tempered masonite.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike Burdick
                          I like to use tempered masonite.

                          I tried to anneal the stuff before I cut it but it kept catching fire!

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                          • #14
                            Alternatively, make 'soft jaws' for your vise/lathe/drill press, Or use collets. (While collets can marr, the wide distrabution of force generaly prevents it)
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                            • #15
                              Ease off

                              If the "good face" is a reference face - against the vise fixed jaw or the mill table etc. it may be hard to put anything between the "good" and reference surface/s. Just good machine hygiene is all that can be used - depending on the accuracy required.

                              Otherwise I use newsprint pages between flat surface or brass or aluminium between clamps and the surface to be protected.

                              Not being so/too "heavy-handed" with spanners on clamping bolts and vise handles will be a good start too.

                              Good table or vise stops drastically reduces the need for clamping forces to reduce "sliding"movements.

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