Work holding for large diameters on a mill table
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  1. #1
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    Default Work holding for large diameters on a mill table

    Hey there,

    I've got this project coming up and I'm trying to find the best way to grip this material.
    The stock size is 21" diameter 3.35" tall billet aluminum.
    I can't use toe clamps from the top so I'm looking at some knife edge clamps from Mite-Bite.
    It's just a little nerve racking with the material cost being so expensive so there is no room for error here.
    Has anyone ran jobs like this/used fixture clamps to hold real big diameters on a mill table?
    If so I'd greatly appreciate any insight.

    -Mike

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    Since it's billet aluminum I'd be careful with it...all kidding aside, what are you doing with it? Milling most away, facing and drilling holes, large pockets? Workholding really depends on what you are doing.

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    I hate the knife edge clamps from Mitee Bite. They don't really push "down" unless the timing and spacing is exactly correct. Not a great system IME.

    I've done large round parts before with just regular adjustable pusher clamps. The kind that are at an angle so they push down, and have nice serrations on the edge. Pretty sure ours are TE-CO.

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    What size of mill table and how many T slots? Can't use toe clamps from the top? What does that mean? Strap clamps go on the top, toe clamps go against the bottom.

    It is entirely possible to mill a portion of a part, then pause and move some clamps around to machine the remainder. You just do whatever it takes.

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    Use a 4-jaw lathe chuck at least a 12" dia. chuck. If you can rough-out an ID and grip the ID all the better. Do not use Mitee Bite clamps in heavy applications. Your work piece weight is close to 60-80 lbs., 4-point chucking is the most secure method.

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    Will the part get any holes you can use to bolt it down? I've designed parts with features having no other purpose than clamping or measurement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    Hey there,

    I've got this project coming up and I'm trying to find the best way to grip this material.
    The stock size is 21" diameter 3.35" tall billet aluminum.
    I can't use toe clamps from the top so I'm looking at some knife edge clamps from Mite-Bite.
    It's just a little nerve racking with the material cost being so expensive so there is no room for error here.
    Has anyone ran jobs like this/used fixture clamps to hold real big diameters on a mill table?
    If so I'd greatly appreciate any insight.

    -Mike
    Easy money
    just milled 29.7 in fadal 6030 pie jaws

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    I've never tried this, but have pondered it-

    Take 2 vises, assuming Kurt or similar and align them axially. Remove the fixed jaw from one vise and the traveling jaw from another. Boom, now you have a 2 piece vise with matching bed height. Use basic soft jaw practices from there.

    Could use 3 for a 3pt arrangement as well.

    Sent via CNC 88HS

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    Why not? Tony went there.

    Two Piece Machine Vise Build - YouTube

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    I do a lot of edge clamped work, that is a small part for me.

    There are LOTS of better options than mitee bites for larger parts.

    The best ones I have for that size of part are these: Down-Hold Clamps without clamping lever - EH 23210.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanola View Post
    Why not? Tony went there.

    Two Piece Machine Vise Build - YouTube
    Lots of work for something you can buy for small money. Not very useful on a knee mill without a nice thick sub plate as you can easily flex the table enough to cause it to bind.

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    I've tried to use the Miteebites with the offset nuts that are supposed clamp parts to the table. Never could get them to work right.

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    I use boring mill jaws, you just bolt them in the t slots and tighten them on your parts. You can get small 4" ones all the way up to 12" ones or bigger.
    I use them on mills, boring mills, vtl, lathe face plates. They are handy for all kinds of jobs. If you can find the ones with the rotating jaw ( not sure what to call them) they are great for holding stuff that the sides are not exactly square.

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    sounds like one of these 50 questions threads, it'll go on for about a week before anyone has a clear picture of what he's trying to do. You need to describe what your doing mush better.

    FWIW, there have already been a number of good suggestions, keeping in mind most of them will only work with military grade billet.

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    How big's your machine?

    Our 22" vise with machinable soft jaws and Mitee Bite Versagrips will make quick work of that. One vise with wide jaws or two vises with normal jaws.

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    I agree if you have access to a big enough lathe chuck. Only a 12" but was all I needed.

    20200708_171331.jpg
    20200708_195053.jpg

    Mill flip and rechuck.
    20200716_133555.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanola View Post
    Why not? Tony went there.

    Two Piece Machine Vise Build - YouTube

    That sure is entertaining!

    3 lefts doo in fact make a right tho!
    (To make a short story long)

    I skipped about 1/2 of it, but ...


    ------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark P. View Post
    I've tried to use the Miteebites with the offset nuts that are supposed clamp parts to the table. Never could get them to work right.

    I have a few sets of Mitee's that I use for certian jobs on Big Bertha, which has a 32" 3 jaw chuck on a lathe.
    The big chuck has T slots between the jaw slots, and that helps to keep rings somewhat round stable.



    ----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I have welded tabs, handles, lifting eyes on a number of things to hold or unhold them. Tack some flat bar al on the edge to clamp to?

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    Sometimes you can drill into the narrow sides, need not be deep. There you can apply downward force. While we’re waiting for the invention of the aluminium magnet


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