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Clamping flat bar stock for flycutter

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  • Clamping flat bar stock for flycutter

    I want to put a nice flycutter finish on some .375x2x8" flat bar aluminum. It's too long to put in the vise. How does one clamp this piece so a single continuous run can be made over the surface with a flycutter?

  • #2
    You need either toe clamps or Tee slot clamps something like this :-

    http://www.nolansupply.com/bysubcate...lse&specs=True

    Cheers
    Bryan

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    • #3
      Just use regular hold-down clamps and stop with the cutter off the
      material and reposition the clamps and start up again. Do it all the
      time with a lathe. Even with the cutter in contact with the work you
      can stop and start without a mark on a lathe so it should be a
      "peice of cake" with the flycutter off the work.
      ...lew...

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      • #4
        Thanks, Bryan.

        What are the pros/cons of toe clamps vs T slot clamps?

        How many clamps would be needed to secure the workpiece described?

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        • #5
          Lew- From my (admittedly limited) experience, any interruption of a flycutting operation is visible in the finish. Am I wrong?

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          • #6
            I guess it "Depends". :-) If the X drive can be stopped same as the
            spindle it should be OK. I'll have to try it next week and see how it looks.
            ...lew...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brozier
              You need either toe clamps or Tee slot clamps something like this :-

              http://www.nolansupply.com/bysubcate...lse&specs=True

              Cheers
              Bryan

              Yep... I had some from an auction and never used them until recently. How can those wimpy things possibly hold? LOL... they clamp REALLY well...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mensch-Machine
                Thanks, Bryan.

                What are the pros/cons of toe clamps vs T slot clamps?

                How many clamps would be needed to secure the workpiece described?
                Cost, those mite bite clamps are very expensive for what they are.
                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mensch-Machine
                  What are the pros/cons of toe clamps vs T slot clamps?

                  How many clamps would be needed to secure the workpiece described?
                  Good question, I think Toe Clamps can be used in more situations. T slot clamps are cheaper (and easier to make!).

                  You might get away with one at each end but you proably want a couple in the middle. Depends on what you can fit on your table.

                  The third option migh be to have a second identical vice but that gets expensive for a one off

                  If you are making them yourself have a look at http://homews.co.uk/page108.html

                  Cheers
                  Bryan

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                  • #10
                    Expensive? yep.... and not too difficult for a HSM to make once you see them (basically an eccentric center that pushes on a nut body), but these are hardened and ground very nicely for production work.

                    Two vices is often the quickest, and I do that a lot.
                    Last edited by lakeside53; 11-11-2011, 11:28 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mensch-Machine
                      Lew- From my (admittedly limited) experience, any interruption of a flycutting operation is visible in the finish. Am I wrong?
                      No, but a few suggestions:

                      *Don't clamp too hard. For a finishing pass with a flycutter, a light pressure is fine. Remember that even though you are clamping TO a flat surface, your clamps may distort the workpiece itself.

                      *Don't stop the spindle with the tool over the workpiece---as in, turn off the motor and let the spindle spin down to 0rpm. Depending on tooling, this can alter your DOC and leave a "groove" in the workpiece.

                      *ADD new clamps before removing old clamps to expose the rest of the surface. I find it tends to balance out most of the distortion if there is any from clamping pressure.

                      *Lastly, just because you see a line, doesn't mean that it is measurable to a significant digit You can finish it out with some scotchbrite or something for a more uniform look.

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                      • #12
                        carpet tape

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                        • #13
                          2nd on carpet tape.

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                          • #14
                            Carpet tape. Now THAT sounds like an inexpensive solution. Thanks!

                            Any problems with residue on the table? Have a specific type or brand to recommend?

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                            • #15
                              But.. if your table is as oily as mine, you'll need to use solvent to get a grease-free surface for the tape to stick.

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