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  • milling plate

    I would like to mill some "thin" plate without using a vise. Have some 3/8 " thick aluminum plate (3x5") that I want to face mill. Can't figure out a way to secure it to the table. Both sides are to be as parallel as possible and faced at the same time.I was thinking of some T-slot clamps. These little things seem pricey. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Maybe some 1/4" workstops on all 4 sides (like in the last issue of HSM) with 1/8" setscrews to hold a bit firmer and bolted to the table with T-bolts? Never done it, just thinking out loud. Why not a vice and parallels? Worried about bowing in the middle? How is the piece going to be measured for parallelism?

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    • #3
      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JasonW:
      I would like to mill some "thin" plate without using a vise. Have some 3/8 " thick aluminum plate (3x5") that I want to face mill. Can't figure out a way to secure it to the table. Both sides are to be as parallel as possible and faced at the same time.I was thinking of some T-slot clamps. These little things seem pricey. Any ideas?</font>
      Use double-back tape,plus,maybe dogging it down on the edges.Take really light cuts dude...

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      • #4
        I like to use miteebite edge clamps ( http://www.miteebite.com ). You can make them or buy them from your local industrial supplier. Great if you are doing several plates.


        Another solution, is to epoxy your workpiece to another plate that can be held in a vice. After you are finished milling, warm it up to released the bond. This method allows you to work on all sides without stooping to move clamps.

        Is 3/8" the starting size or finishing size...?

        One more solution is to simply use regular "machinist hold down clamps" at several locations...and move the one that is in the way for the next cut..relying on the others to hold the work.

        Good luck,
        Rob

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        • #5
          There are many options, but none of them are really excellent...your best bet is to hold in vise or use mitee mite type clamps...

          But if you really want to get creative, get or make a vacuum chuck,....then you could do all your surface at once,...except for the bottom....

          Why can't you use a vise??? You can still get it perfect by using a vise....just remember to keep rotating your part so the machined side always faces your back(fixed) jaw...

          brent

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          • #6
            One more Miteebite suggestion. They just came out with a high strength heat activated tape for milling and lathe operations. I cannot remember what publication I seen it in but I seem to recall that it is reusable to some extent and designed for just this purpose. Call them.



            [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 04-21-2002).]

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