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  1. #1
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    Default Sub Plate recommendations

    Looking to put a sub plate in the Brother for several reasons. Looking to protect the table top, looking to setup ball locks as money allows, to decrease setup time, and then hopefully I will finally take the time to model in my setups.

    Question is.... Do I plate the whole table, or just the middle area where I put vises?

    Brother (according to literature) recommends plating the whole table to install their 4th axis.

    Next question is, the table top of the S1000 is 43.3" x 19.7". Travel is 39.4" x 19.7"

    I am hesitant to get a full size plate and have to move the plate to hit the ends? Biggest face mill I have is a 3", will have to get some aluminum inserts for it.

    I have little experience making subplates, I've helped machined a couple, but the design/layout work was done, and we did them on a bigger machine for a smaller machine. I appreciate any advise given.

    thanks

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    This is a topic I am very interested in as well.
    Because, if I end up keeping my Brother, I am going to HAVE to implement a different set-up strategy.
    No way I will be able to just keep setting it up the same way I do it now in the HAAS's. (I probly should have done this years ago, LOL)

    Now, I have made several sub-plates myself. I always use 1.5" MIC6. It works fine. But, it is fragile!
    It may however let you fart around with table lay-outs before you drop real coin on a proper sub-plate.

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    A 7075 1.5” plate for the area I put the vises is $325. Just guessing, waiting to hear the price for the whole table, should be around $650

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    If you end up going with 7075, I would be curious to see if you have any problem with corrosion. I had some of this stuff on a garage floor and it ended up getting wet with road salt. Over time, there were pits nearly 1/4" deep and I ended up scrapping the stuff. Don't think a softer alloy would have been that bad.

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    The ground plate I was quoted was $270, but salesman wasn't sure about the alloy. Possibly 5083, made in Germany.

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    Not on a Brother, I use a Stevens subplate. I have 2 Stevens vises, 2 riser plates and 2 angle plates. I have a Pierson pro pallet that mounts to it with a pallet for a Kurt vise and several different size 3 jaw chucks. I also have a 4th axis rotary that mounts to the Stevens subplate. I try to work 4 hours a day, the quick changeovers make this possible.

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    My concern over a long aluminum subplate bolted to a cast iron table is creating a bimetallic strip that warps with temperature changes just like the strip in a mechanical thermostat! I put a sub plate on a 60x30 Fadal once and used 3 pieces with a tiny gap between them to prevent it from possibly being a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    A 7075 1.5” plate for the area I put the vises is $325. Just guessing, waiting to hear the price for the whole table, should be around $650
    I don't think we ever put a sub plate over the whole table. Even with a fourth. Most of the time we use aluminum.

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    Why on earth do people want alu ?

    Asking to learn.
    Ci is cheaper, less thermal expansion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Why on earth do people want alu ?

    Asking to learn.
    Ci is cheaper, less thermal expansion.
    I'm guessing on a Speedio the weight is important?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2outof3 View Post
    I don't think we ever put a sub plate over the whole table. Even with a fourth. Most of the time we use aluminum.
    I am over complicating it, over thinking it, but I keep running into . . . . what if? The length of work I put in my *cough* 4th (dividing head) varies quite a bit. So the tailstock gets moved accordingly. For me it seems most logical to do it all (or at least 95%) over a small section, because I start running into issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Why on earth do people want alu ?
    Asking to learn.
    Ci is cheaper, less thermal expansion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I'm guessing on a Speedio the weight is important?
    That is a small part of it. My dividing head is almost 200 lbs, tailstock probably 20-30. Orange vise, Kurt Vise, 3-jaw chuck, etc. I think the weight limit on my Speedio is 600lbs on the table.

    Ultimately though, the answer is REALLY simple. For the ball locks I want to use with my Orange Vise, they require a 1.5" plate. CI would be how much? Rough guess, 340lbs? Aluminum would be 120lbs?

    I am 6' 2" and 135lbs. No forklift, no overhead crane, nothing but a hydraulic lift cart.

    Do the math

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Why on earth do people want alu ?

    Asking to learn.
    Ci is cheaper, less thermal expansion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I'm guessing on a Speedio the weight is important?
    Yes, weight is a huge factor in a Brother. At least in the pallet-change machines it is. Weight limit before you need to limit index speed is 400lbs.

    And, MIC6 isn't really that much money. Can you really buy two sides ground CI cheaper? Where?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post

    And, MIC6 isn't really that much money. Can you really buy two sides ground CI cheaper? Where?
    A36 is cheap and super stable. Ground and cut to size would not be that outrageous.

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    I went with 6082-T6 on all machines and overhung the right side so the rear motor mounted rotary could sit and the spindle could machine the table face.
    So on an 850mm machine, we could get 850 mm travel, with the rotary on.
    Then I laid out the vices (CAD) so we could get 2, 3 and 4 in a line and put the screw holes in the table (M12 wire inserts).
    The rotary was on a riser and dowel as well, so would repeat for off and on.

    For the smaller (brother sized) machines, I put a riser table with the vices on, but could still keep the rotary on too.
    Same idea for the rotary, doweld and right hand side (the pic below (yellow rotary) is the only one I have with no riser table)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails capture.jpg   4thaxis-2.jpg  

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    Just a question on nomenclature.

    I am assuming after reading this when you are talking about sub plates you mean shop made soft metal plates you set up for your own exact desires?

    This is as opposed to a fixture plate like the offerings from Chick and a ton of other companies that are ground hardened precision parts.

    From an accuracy, repeatability, durability standpoint no homebrew sub plate is going to compare to a fixture plate. So I am assuming an aluminum sub plate is entirely to save money, custom design, and be able to rework it or damage it without worrying about the consequences.

    Just trying to get get clarification as to how these things are categorized.

    I personally have a Chick fixture plate and the .0006" in 20" repeatability and just being able to drop things on the locating pins or use the hardened top bushings of each hole for locating dowels has been a lifesaver in quick setup changes. But I am mostly just moving around vises so not doing weird stuff. Hence the question.

    Thanks for any clarification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxian View Post
    Just a question on nomenclature.

    I am assuming after reading this when you are talking about sub plates you mean shop made soft metal plates you set up for your own exact desires?

    This is as opposed to a fixture plate like the offerings from Chick and a ton of other companies that are ground hardened precision parts.

    From an accuracy, repeatability, durability standpoint no homebrew sub plate is going to compare to a fixture plate. So I am assuming an aluminum sub plate is entirely to save money, custom design, and be able to rework it or damage it without worrying about the consequences.

    Just trying to get get clarification as to how these things are categorized.

    I personally have a Chick fixture plate and the .0006" in 20" repeatability and just being able to drop things on the locating pins or use the hardened top bushings of each hole for locating dowels has been a lifesaver in quick setup changes. But I am mostly just moving around vises so not doing weird stuff. Hence the question.

    Thanks for any clarification.
    In red ^^^
    That is pretty much why I make aluminum plates. Another reason is: machine tables don't always have good T-slot, or clamping feature arrangements.
    Yet another benefit: if you have a very specific desired arrangement? You can use very specific clamping, and minimize what I call "chip-traps".
    I personally can't stand toe-clamps holding shit down that will be there a while. All it does is create a bunch of little nooks & crannies to collect chips.
    I want smooth, closed, tight surfaces that hold as few chips as possible.

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    Excellent answers on weight !
    Never occurred to me as such.

    Yet CI or steel is == same strength / mass as alu, so ci is not necessarily heavier - just usually used as more massive.
    CI == 1$ / kg, 2 $ / kg for steel and 6$ for alu, depending.
    And anyone can easily surface CI in their machine.
    And CI has 10x better vibration absorption per mass than alu or steel.

    But a (bigger) q. to me was thermal expansion.(+ cost).
    Yet since lots of very good credible people use alu, obviously this is a non-issue in practical terms.

    Maybe the table thermal mass, high conductivity of alu, and coolant, practically keep the subplate more or less near the original setup temp.

    I learned unexpected good stuff.
    Thanks guys !

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Yes, weight is a huge factor in a Brother. At least in the pallet-change machines it is. Weight limit before you need to limit index speed is 400lbs.

    And, MIC6 isn't really that much money. Can you really buy two sides ground CI cheaper? Where?

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    If you Swiss cheese a 7075 plate with fixture holes it will warp. I’d use a more stable allow like 6061 and save the difference in cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Excellent answers on weight !
    Never occurred to me as such.

    Yet CI or steel is == same strength / mass as alu, so ci is not necessarily heavier - just usually used as more massive.
    CI == 1$ / kg, 2 $ / kg for steel and 6$ for alu, depending.
    And anyone can easily surface CI in their machine.
    And CI has 10x better vibration absorption per mass than alu or steel.

    But a (bigger) q. to me was thermal expansion.(+ cost).
    Yet since lots of very good credible people use alu, obviously this is a non-issue in practical terms.

    Maybe the table thermal mass, high conductivity of alu, and coolant, practically keep the subplate more or less near the original setup temp.

    I learned unexpected good stuff.
    Thanks guys !
    I wouldn't worry about thermal expansion, as long as you go big.
    Two 18.250"x 40" chunks of 1.5" MIC6 cost me $600. Here is one getting "perforated" to bolt down:

    20170613_165224.jpg

    Here is how both of them ended up:

    20170621_160722.jpg

    The job that got set up on all that mess ran for 18 months straight. And, nothing ever moved. I mean, seriously, nothing moved.

    I was running a profile finish .0015" above the top of the jaws.
    Even with the HAAS factor in play, and the pallet-changer (chip contamination), I never saw one single witness mark where a cutter touched a jaw.

    And, again in the Brother, I went aluminum:

    20180302_182059.jpg

    Never saw any movement there either.
    And several times before that. I have probly done 6 subs from MIC6. The Brother is 7075 tops, and 6061 risers. No issues with any of them.


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