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  1. #1
    JMWorks is offline Aluminum
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    Default Subplate integrated w/ modular fixturing

    Has anyone done or thought about making their mill subplate with the modular quick change stations like the Kaiser Unilock or the Jergens System? We just picked up a Fadal 4020 at auction and am looking to make it our "new" go to machine since its bigger than what we currently have. We do alot of long work that we hold using multiple aligned vises, also need vee block and clamps for holding shafts and various other fixtures. I am considering making a subplate with either of those systems or similar built in so taking vises and vee blocks on and off is very quick and accurate. Thoughts, and oppinions encouraged, thanks!

  2. #2
    gregormarwick is offline Stainless
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    Thought about it plenty

    Unfortunately can't spare the time or expense (so I'm told...) to do it, but I was all over those Zero Point fixtures at the Mach exhibition. Being able to swap chucks, vices, fixtures etc. on and off the machine in a matter of minutes with that kind of repeatability would be an absolute dream...

    Probably never happen...

  3. #3
    Mud's Avatar
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    Check out the AME Safeflex stuff. We have it here and love it. Carr-Lane makes compatible fixtures and plates, but the AME fixtures are more versatile.

    AMFLEX Modular Workholding

  4. #4
    jkcnc is offline Plastic
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    We have outfitted most of our machines witht the Stevens sytem. We really like the system and feel that it has gained us allot.

  5. #5
    Loner Industries is offline Cast Iron
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    +1 for Stevens

  6. #6
    CBlair is online now Diamond
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    Yea I dont have the money for a Stevens System but I do have a customized angle plate and I wouldnt trade that for all the tea in China...well you know what I mean. Yes the Stevens stuff is pretty nice.

    I got a 12" angle plate that I had them cut down to just under 9" tall. That gives me more room to use it on the VMC and still plenty of real estate to hold larger parts.

    I would love to put a subplate on the machine but that will have to wait.

    As for the pallet changing stuff mentioned earlier Hainbach has a nice looking system they use.

    Charles

  7. #7
    JMWorks is offline Aluminum
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    Thanks for the replys guys but I was thinking more of a hybrid system where a home made subplate has a dowel and bolt pattern similar to the stevens system also with the Kaiser or whatever mounts machined into the subplate in standard locations of where my vises/vee blocks would be. My main concern is if the mouting blocks may be in the way of bolting something down only with the dowel and bolt pattern, unless I can perhaps make the top of the mounting block the same height as the subplate except that may require an extra thick or raised subplate. I don't know if that will interfere with the clamping or hold down of the fixturing though, since there is a greater chance of getting chips between the vise and table.

    Maybe I would be better off to make/buy a typical stevens style subplate and then make a fixture that holds the quick change mounts to bolt to it with shoulder bolts to locate it correctly.

    Also I am concerned of the weight on the table, our machine is supposedly rated at 1100 pounds, I dont expect it to see anything over 500 but we are a job shop. Some have recommended an aluminum subplate but I still am not sold on that idea.

  8. #8
    CBlair is online now Diamond
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    You may want to look at the Dexloc as a cheaper alternative then if you want to go homemade.

    Charles

  9. #9
    Corym is online now Aluminum
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    I've been wanting to make a base plate for our VF-1 using SpeedLocs by mPower

    From doing some research it sounds like people prefer the design to the Jergens ball lock, due to the balls eventually wearing out and the fact that the speedlocs are self extracting.

  10. #10
    Edster is offline Titanium
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    I've got a jergens ball lock subplate on my 20 x 16 fadal. It works great! The only downside I see is you can't just clamp something down quickly, so we made a fixture plate the same size as the subplate with a grid of tapped holes. I've wanted a ball lock subplate for my 40 x 20 okuma and this time I'm going to make it myself based on the ball lock locations of the jergens subplate but with a grid of tapped holes integrated into it. The only drawback I see is where the ball lock recievers and the mounting holes are there won't be any tapped holes, but I think it will work fine for our needs.

    Good luck

  11. #11
    PaulT is offline Stainless
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    Here's the "make it yourself" subplate design I like the best.

    Make a subplate with a grid of holes on 2" squares.

    At each hole location drill and tap a 1/2"-13 threaded hole and then accurately bore the top of each hole to 5/8" diameter and 3/8" depth.

    Now each hole can be used either for clamping or locating and you can also use the same hole for both by using 5/8" stripper bolts, these have an accurate 5/8" shank and 1/2"-13 threads and are available in a wide variety of lengths in small quantities from McMasterCarr.

    With this grid in place its really fast to make fixture plates that hold all your standard vises and its also easy to make up special fixtures, 4 stripper bolts both clamp and locate the plates and fixtures.

    If the plate will see heavy use, use 5/8" shoulderless drill bushings at the top of the holes instead of just boring them to 5/8".

    Paul T.
    Power Technology

  12. #12
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    Curt B is offline Cast Iron
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    The Jergens ball lock system has the option of face mount recievers that can be installed directly in machine tables to allow for direct fixture mounting/repeatibility without bothering with a subplate. Huge time saving can be had by storing work coordinate positions in G10's on repeat runs.

  13. #13
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    SteveinAZ is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulT View Post
    Here's the "make it yourself" subplate design I like the best.

    Make a subplate with a grid of holes on 2" squares.

    At each hole location drill and tap a 1/2"-13 threaded hole and then accurately bore the top of each hole to 5/8" diameter and 3/8" depth.

    Now each hole can be used either for clamping or locating and you can also use the same hole for both by using 5/8" stripper bolts, these have an accurate 5/8" shank and 1/2"-13 threads and are available in a wide variety of lengths in small quantities from McMasterCarr.

    With this grid in place its really fast to make fixture plates that hold all your standard vises and its also easy to make up special fixtures, 4 stripper bolts both clamp and locate the plates and fixtures.

    If the plate will see heavy use, use 5/8" shoulderless drill bushings at the top of the holes instead of just boring them to 5/8".

    Paul T.
    Power Technology


    I think someone else had this wonderful idea too...maybe it was Paul a while back, but this is what I did for one of our verticals. The only difference was the depth of the c-bore...only 0.200". This does work well as we have some dedicated fixtures that slap on in a jiffy and the 8 work offsets are loaded with G10's like Curt suggested.

    What's even better is Kurt HDL6 double vises are set up for either a 50mm or 2" grid in they have 5/8" and 16mm locating bores on the bottom and 8 hold down locations...4 either in mm's or inches. So, what you do is take 2 shoulder screws and lop off the head so you have an appropriate length threaded stud, screw it into the table grid at the right locations, plop on the vise(s) and again load offsets from your program, or at least know where they are on the machine.

    A couple of downsides...the shoulder screws I found run about 0.623" diameter, so your always apt to be off a bit unless you indicate your locations after bolting stuff down. Also, unless you just want to use set screws, you cannot find plugs to fill the unused holes...and they ALL fill with chips. I have the solution, but no time on the lathe to run some brass plugs, 5/8" shoulder, 1/16" o-ring grooves to keep coolant out, 1/2"-13 threads and rotary broach a 1/4" hex in the head...simple, set up the bar feed and when we hit 500, stop. But those pesky customers want their parts, so those will have to wait.

    Steve

  14. #14
    Mud's Avatar
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    AME uses the same concept, except that the screw ground diameter is .500. They make hardware in various configurations to take advantage of it, including plastic or aluminum plugs. I put .500 drill jig bushings in the bottom of my Chick vises to match, and align them with .500 dowel pins. The advantage over the Stevens setup is that every hole is both a locator and a 1/2-13 clamp location.
    http://www.ame.com/fileadmin/user_up...ccessories.pdf

  15. #15
    JMWorks is offline Aluminum
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    Okay, I like the idea of the threaded hole with the drill bushing at the top for a locator or a shouldered bolt. What about moving up to a 5/8" thread? We do alot of fixturing on larger items so we always have 5/8" all thread and clamps and blocks around but have very little 1/2" Any disadvantage to moving up in size?

  16. #16
    Mud's Avatar
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    Only that you have to use the larger clamps, as far as I can see, and that's not a negative for you.

  17. #17
    PaulT is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMWorks View Post
    Okay, I like the idea of the threaded hole with the drill bushing at the top for a locator or a shouldered bolt. What about moving up to a 5/8" thread? We do alot of fixturing on larger items so we always have 5/8" all thread and clamps and blocks around but have very little 1/2" Any disadvantage to moving up in size?
    That should work fine, the 5/8" thread shoulder bolts have a 3/4" shank so just size up your bored holes or drill bushings.

    Steve is correct that shoulder bolts by design are around 0.002" undersize. With the plate I made I didn't use drill bushings so I just bored the holes around 0.001" undersize to eliminate the extra slop. My feeling is that these bored holes won't see heavy wear since the fixture plates are firmly clamped, so the bored holes should only see light forces during the assembly process and not much load after that.

    If you are going the drill bushing route and need to get that extra slop out, one way to go is to make the bore diameter a little larger (ie 3/4" when using 1/2"-13 bolts) and then to fabricate sleeves that are a close fit to the bores that you slip on the bolts, basically making your own shoulder bolts but with a closer fit.

    If you are using 5/8"-11 thread its easier though, there is a 19mm metric drill bushing that is 0.748", which should be a close fit with the 3/4" shank of the 5/8" thread shoulder bolts.

    Also Steve this wasn't my original idea, I "stole it fair and square" from a previous poster on this topic a year or 2 ago, but I used it and it worked well for me.

    Paul T.
    Power Technology
    Last edited by PaulT; 08-25-2010 at 02:42 PM.

  18. #18
    Mud's Avatar
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    For some, hollow dowels would work.

    http://www.spirol.com/library/sub_ca...cations_us.pdf

  19. #19
    JMWorks is offline Aluminum
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    Well, I am going to the IMTS show next week for some more ideas, but I still think I am sticking with the idea of the 2" pattern with 5/8" threaded holes with the precision locator bushings at the top like carr lane offers. I did find some A514 Grade Q plate around the shop to make the sub plate out of so that should be plenty hard and durable. The combined length of the bushing and threaded insert is 1.5" and my plate is 2" so I think I will cut it down to 1.75" or 1.625" if for no better reason than to save weight and maybe have it ground both sides. Unless having it ground 1 side and fly cut with the machine on the top would be a more accurate approach? I have not had a chance to indicate the table of our new to us machine yet to see how truly flat it is with spindle.

    I do like the ball lock stuff but I just think we are going to be moving our vises around alot and would be hard to integrate all the ball lock bushing into our subplate, and I don't see it being much faster than using locator bolts and dowel pins. Kurt's new HDM690 vise is ready for a 2" bolt pattern and supposedly is ready for Dowel pins on the under side so setting it right on the table and bolting down will be quick and relatively repeatable.

  20. #20
    james05 is offline Plastic
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    We currently use this 2" thick aluminum sub plate on our 2040 vmc. It has .250 dowel pin holes for locating on 3'' squares. We use 1/2-13 holes on 3'' squares also. We have a vise pattern to hold 4 vises which lets a 3'' facemill still reach past the ends of the end vises.

    2040-sub-plate.jpg
    closeup-2040-holes-2.jpg

    As you can see there are lots of drill tips from drilling through plates. And having so many holes in the plate is a PITA to blow off and keep clean. We have SS 1/2-13 set screws in the holes not being used that helps.

    So we are now outfitting our 2216 Fadal with a sub plate with 20mm size Speedloc locators by Modern Industries. We are testing the whole quick mounting fixture system on this machine to start.

    I've been wanting to make a base plate for our VF-1 using SpeedLocs by mPower

    From doing some research it sounds like people prefer the design to the Jergens ball lock, due to the balls eventually wearing out and the fact that the speedlocs are self extracting.
    I have compared the Speedloc units side by side with the Jergens Ball locs at our Western Tool here in Santa Clara. They are a supiorior design and are my choice for our 2216 Fadal. I debated the Speedlocs with other options mentioned in this thread, but I decided to go with the speedlocs because of the ability to locate and lock down with one unit. Although some shouldered screws were also mentioned.

    2216-sub-plate.jpg
    closeup-20mm-speedloc.jpg
    20mm-speedloc-installed.jpg

    And I'm waiting to mount my sub plate before I face the top. I will also face the top of my vise pallets to make sure everything is dead flat.
    Last edited by james05; 02-12-2011 at 08:44 PM. Reason: add info

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