Aluminum surface plate
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  1. #1
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    Default Aluminum surface plate

    Spud commented in the metrology section about a recent purchase of four surface plates, one of which turned out to be aluminum. Was surprised to hear of a surface plate made of aluminum. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a foundry pattern on a match plate in aluminum but not an actual plate.

    Is there a reason for aluminum surface plates I don’t know?

    L7

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    When you're 80+ and you need a lighter plate to move around?

    Unless it's only being used for spotting, I can't see a good reason to have a plate made from Al. Even with spotting use, you'd have to be extra careful about contaminants embedding in the surface, or of inadvertent distortion due to localized heating.

    Maybe it was to be used as a lapping plate, with embedded grit?

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    Aluminum surface plates are easier to true up when they wear. Somewhat perverse logic and not serious in this case. Alternate uses than an actual surface plate are more likely.

    OT, but as a kid I remember a joke about a Brit being asked why they ran plumbing on the outside of houses and was told it was easier to fix when it froze. And I remember seeing some of such on a trip through 60 years ago. It took many years to realize the real reasons behind it - many buildings were built before indoor plumbing was common and it was by no means easy to re-plumb on the inside.

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    I've seen them used in pattern shops. Being lighter there easier to move around. Also a pattern shop doesn't need the accuracy of a cast iron or granite plate. There also used to build clay models in a model shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGTool View Post
    It took many years to realize the real reasons behind it - many buildings were built before indoor plumbing was common and it was by no means easy to re-plumb on the inside.
    This is also why many older buildings in the UK have exposed pipes inside the house.

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    Here's mine






    I plan to sell it and 3 steel surface plates. Any idea on what it's worth? Will post dimensions tomorrow.


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