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old surface plate - buy or pass?

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  • old surface plate - buy or pass?


    This popped up used - its supposed to be an old 18x18 calibrated surface plate with legs, but look at the big dings! They are asking $75, but after I saw the dings in the picture I am thinking a 12x12 granite one from shars for about the same price shipped is looking pretty good! I have very little machine tool knowledge so I just figured I would get a second opinion in case I was over looking something.

  • #2
    Forget it. IF it ever was a surface plate, it ain't now. That hanger thing looks very out of place. To be a surface plate, it would have to be scraped and then to maintain it's flatness, scraped or lapped on a regular basis.
    Granite is cheaper, more durable and easier to maintain.

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    • #3
      Are they claiming it's calibrated now?
      Mike

      My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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      • #4
        No not now - this is the ad. http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/tls/2949531194.html
        Thank you for the feedback!

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        • #5
          Honestly I wouldn't mind having something like that for bolting down parts for welding.
          Andy

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vpt
            Honestly I wouldn't mind having something like that for bolting down parts for welding.
            This was an old welding project with surplus 80/20 t-slot purchased off ebay when aluminum was cheaper. The T slots with nuts from 80/20 work great for bolting things down.

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            • #7
              my surface 'table' is a bit bigger but followed the same advice as above. It made a great welding table. Added some wheels and a ironworker, I should bolt a vise to it also....hmmm
              "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment" R.M.Brown

              My shop tour www.plastikosmd.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by donf
                This was an old welding project with surplus 80/20 t-slot purchased off ebay when aluminum was cheaper. The T slots with nuts from 80/20 work great for bolting things down.

                Thats a bit big and to open for me and probably to weak for some stuff. I like big solid chunks to bolt my stuff down to.
                Andy

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                • #9
                  I don't think there's any doubt it is a surface plate, but it doesn't look like it has been used for one so I wouldn't rely on it. Nice piece of iron though....if I had to buy an 18x18 to scrape it in I'm not sure what use it would serve....as I'd already then have the 18x18!

                  with dubious existing accuracy 75 is too high imo.
                  in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mcgyver
                    with dubious existing accuracy 75 is too high imo.
                    Yes I emailed him back thanking him for the bigger pictures and telling him I'm going to look for a nicer finished plate.

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                    • #11
                      One thing I had thought to mention is that it is cast iron- the feature of cast iron is that it does not swell with the dings the way that steel does. For the most part, stone it and it is good to go again.

                      That being said, it still may not be what you want in a surface plate, and I'm not sure I would be interested at that price. But there would probably be a lower price point where I would be interested and would not be afraid to use it.

                      At the shop where I served my apprenticeship, there were a couple of different cast iron surface plates, and each bench had a smaller cast iron surface plate, just guessing (over a span of about 30 years) 12" x 15" or so. Very handy, and if it got dinged up too bad, touch it up on the Blanchard and stone the grind marks out of it. Not granite to be sure, and not calibrated, but handy nonetheless.

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                      • #12
                        Cast iron DOES have SOME growth at the side of a ding.... if the metal isn't chipped off it has to go SOMEWHERE....

                        That's the nice thing about granite..... granite does not have ANY "swelling"..... it chips, or it doesn't.

                        An old granite flat may be worn, but dings won't hurt it. But if it is really dinged-up, it may be worn badly also....
                        1601

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

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                        • #13
                          If it were me and if its cost was close to zero, I'd just get a facing cut done on a Blanchard grinder and test it against a known good surface plate.

                          Scraping if any should be minimal.

                          Again, a good big shaper used as a planer should do very well too.

                          Fly-cutting on a big well trammed mill should do OK as well.

                          If nothing else it would do nicely as a marking out or setting up table.

                          But I bought my "float glass" table to save me all that trouble.

                          http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...4&postcount=66

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                          • #14
                            It is no longer a surface plate. I have a similar one, and it took two days to scrape in using a biax power scraper. Getting anything touched up on a Blanchard around here costs more than a new granite plate.

                            The only reason that I bothered to restore mine was its application as a spotting master when restoring the horizontal ways on my universal mills.

                            +1 on the observation that metal plates get a raised crater rim around any dings.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Greg Q
                              It is no longer a surface plate. I have a similar one, and it took two days to scrape in using a biax power scraper. Getting anything touched up on a Blanchard around here costs more than a new granite plate.

                              +1 on the observation that metal plates get a raised crater rim around any dings.
                              yeah maybe less than steel, but the metal has to displace somewhere

                              anyone ever blanchard ground something like this? I heard of wood planes going ka-boing when ground because of the heat, but then again may be thats BS because they had to be ground at the factory.

                              Coolant or no, there are high local temps when grinding and that may carry a big risk on thin sections like that
                              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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