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Work-holding tips for metal plates?

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by cdii, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. cdii

    cdii New
    Builder

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    I want to use my OpenBuilds MiniMill for cutting brass/aluminum plates 1/4" thick, but I haven't looked into workholding yet. Do you have any tips for this? Or if you know good resources to learn?

    I don't have tight tolerances at all, but I want to cut both sides of the part. It would be useful if I could square the part with some reliability. This is what I think I'll be doing:

    Operation 1:
    • Facing the top
    • Milling the side profile
    • Milling a pocket
    • Chamfer edges
    Operation 2:
    • Flipping part
    • Facing other side
    • Chamfer edges
    • Engraving serial no.
     
    #1 cdii, Mar 19, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  2. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Likely one of the following, depending on size:

    1) Cut oversized plates, strap clamp, drill workholding/positioning holes, circumference/tab off in second op.

    2) Vise, soft jaws, parallels.

    Workholding is a never-ending adventure. Always improving.
     
  3. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

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    superglue and masking tape!
    you just need 2 or 3 pins in the surface for alignment for the second op.
    chamfering in particular will show up any misalignment >-:

     
  4. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    For pure plate-making (outline, holes/slots/pockets, done) in onesie twosies, I'd agree, but this sounds like a production run and that's a lot of hassle and additional cleanup, though for 1/4" plate it'd be slightly easier because it wouldn't bend when you go to lever it off the deck.

    Palletization is likely the way to go in this specific instance, though. Saunders ain't supergluing his fixture plates!
     

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