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What do I do with a herd of surface plates?

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  • What do I do with a herd of surface plates?

    A few years ago I bought a Chinese tombstone... one of those cute little surface plates that sell for $90.

    Then I found a nice 18 by 24 granite plate being surplused for less than the tombstone.

    Then I found another nice 18 by 24 that was so cheap I couldn't pass it up.

    Then I got a 24 by 36 cast iron plate from a machine shop going out of business. It was cheaper than any of the previous ones.

    Now I bought a 36" by 48" granite plate that is the same price as the Chinese tombstone. I can justify the work and space because I will need something to use while working on my antique Covel Hatchett surface grinder. Besides, it costs less than eating out at McDonalds everyday for a week. Yeah, I got it that cheap.

    Now what? I seem to have a LOT of surface plates. What do I do with them? They don't seem to sell well... I see them sitting on Craig's list for months and then I make a rediculously low offer and the seller is glad to dump it. So, what should I do with them?

    And somebody convince me that I don't really need the 48" by 62" cast iron surface plate that is selling for scrap iron price...

  • #2
    Make your own tombstone, leaving off the end date of course with engraved favorite layout tool and saying. A fitting tribute, wouldn't you say?


    • #3
      You don't need the CI one because it is a real pain to bring back to flatness, and it wears faster than the granite flats.

      I would at least keep the big one, and the little one. The little one is handy for taking to the part instead of the reverse, I use mine quite a bit for getting flat surfaces co-planar, like the column face on a mill, etc.

      The middle size are not that handy, and duplicate the large one, so they seem as if they are surplus to your needs. I was just up near you... I would have bought an 18 x 25 granite from you, as I am currently looking for one. (I have a 9 x 12 and a 12 x 18, but want one that I can do 24 and 30 inch straightedges on.).

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        I bypassed all the "herd" and picked up a DoAll "inspection grade" 4 foot X 5 foot stone ( .0001" from the markings)

        What to do with the thing?/// ;-) It sure is solid!


        • #5
          If you would put your approximate location in your profile, you might find someone who lives nearby and could use one of your surface plates for local pickup or delivery. I don't have one and I have occasionally thought of getting one if it was cheap enough. But I don't do much high precision machining so it would probably be mostly used as a work table.

          P S Technology, Inc.
          and Muttley


          • #6
            My 4'x8' 8000# less the 5 legs is a Do-All so about 10k #s total, the a 3'x6', Then 4 3'x3'x6" black granite from an optics lab that has .0000xx for the flatness, have 2 left 996# each but have the side bolts to move. Good weight for a plow truck.
            "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
            world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
            country, in easy stages."
            ~ James Madison


            • #7
              Check their sexing. Make sure they are not female and male. Otherwise they may breed.....


              • #8
                Keep on the lookout for an autocollimator (1/10th wavelength first surface mirrors are cheap from surplus shed) or make one. Then use it to calibrate the larger plate. If needed, smaller cast iron plates can be sacrificed to be laps.


                • #9
                  Welding table?


                  • #10
                    It's a bugger to get a good earth return through the granite.


                    • #11
                      All i can add is - eat at micky-D's everyday of the week and you soon won't have to make a decision about anything anymore.

                      ba-da ba-bah-dah


                      • #12
                        If you are not using your CI one consider this.
                        Drill and tap holes in a 3 or 4 inch squares pattern, then use for precision layout, figuring or assembly m or even welding.
                        Good luck tapping your granite plates.


                        • #13
                          Don’t granite have thread inserts epoxied in.


                          • #14
                            Where are you located? If you are close enough I can help you figure out what to do with one of them!


                            • #15
                              Host the first annual HSM surface plate roundup?