A Simple and Inexpensive Workholding Solution for CNC Machining

March 18, 2019 8:28 am

Fixtures are a fundamental part of the machining process. As we’ve discussed before, keeping the workpiece solidly in place will allow the machine to work at its full potential, helping you produce quality parts efficiently.

Depending on the design of the part, however, finding a fixture that will work perfectly with your part might not always be possible and sometimes you will be required to get creative. John Saunders, from NYC CNC, offers a good example of creativity in fixturing.

In one of his popular videos, he demonstrates how to build an extremely reliable CNC fixture with just a few cheap “ingredients”.

To make this handy fixture you will need the following items:


Here’s how to make it.



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  • Handlewanker says:

    Hi, although I’m a supergenerian and not a CNC person as such having spent 60 years of my working live as a manual machinist I still like to dabble with CNC to the point that I bought a CNC mill a year or two back and have been doing the learning curve.

    Long story short…..I had a problem with holding my vice to the mill table as this type of vice is one of those with the slanting screw ……….to move the jaw to another position you need to move the end of the short crosspin at the end of the screw to reposition it in another slot under the jaw…..I modified the vice to have a long cross pin instead of the short pin in the end of the screw because the short crosspin end kept twisting and falling out of the slot

    Watching your video on the super glue method for work holding I realised I could glue the vice to a sub base and so fix the sub base to the mill table leaving enough room for the pin to be removed sideways when moving the jaw back.

    This type of vice has a slot and holes along both sides that have been put there in the manufacturing stage to enable the slots to be milled in the bottom of the vice and normally you would clamp the vice down with clamps in the side slots….that would make it difficult to remove the new long crosspin with the clamps in the way.

    The sub base raises the vice 9mm and allows the bolt heads to be below the side slots and so allows removal of the long pin for jaw repositioning.

    Gluing the vice to the sub base means I don’t have to drill holes in the vice case hardened bottom and attempt to tap them

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