Author Topic: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.  (Read 3882 times)

Offline Gas_mantle

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Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« on: July 10, 2018, 11:57:44 AM »
Hi,

I thought I'd start a new thread where members could show some of the cheaper tooling items that they own and would recommend to other members.

Please keep it to fairly cheap items that most of us can afford and may be of use to beginners to the hobby who don't want to spend a fortune.

I'll start off with these metric 123 (or is it 321?) blocks, these are in mm sizes so are 10 20 40 and 20 40 80 blocks. The small ones are tapped at M6 and the larger ones at M8 allowing them to be bolted together in various configurations. Pretty much everytime I use my mill these get used for something, wether it be as parallels, spacers, packing pieces, mounting jigs etc.

At £15 for the small ones and £20 for the large ones I think they are a handy thing to have :-)





While typing I looked to see how much I paid for them and noticed a 15 30 60 has now been added to the range, now where is my debit card  ;)

https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Workholding/Vee-Blocks-Angle-Plates/Stevensons-Metric-Blocks
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 12:11:46 PM by Gas_mantle »

Offline steamer

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 12:30:41 PM »
A corollary to the 123 blocks is a 4" x 6" or so piece of aluminum plate, 3/8" thick.   Square  up the sides , and tapdrill a grid of holes in it for the clamping studs you use, or for a convenient screw size.   Can be any thread you want really.    This little piece comes in so handy on irregular shaped pieces.  You mount the work piece to the plate, and now you transfer the plate between machines or set it up in different vices or angle plates.   Because it's aluminum, it's sacrificial.   So if it needs a pocket, just cut one.   Because it's square it's easy to locate the plate and there by locating the weird shaped part repeat ably and accurately.  ( datum based on a straight known edge instead of a casting in this case)   

The dimensions aren't critical, just the squared up size.  and it can be rectangular, square or even round!...

Don't tap all the holes, just the ones you need, when you need them.  Saves a bunch of work.

Dave
   
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 12:51:04 PM by steamer »
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Offline pgp001

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 01:05:29 PM »
Pretty much everytime I use my mill these get used for something, wether it be as parallels, spacers, packing pieces, mounting jigs etc.

Peter

Strangely enough I thought I could never manage without a set of those 123 blocks so bought a set about five years ago. They are still in the box brand new and unused !!

Phil

Offline ShopShoe

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 01:44:42 PM »
Well, since you started with work holding.

I have V-blocks in different sizes. Don't need them often, but indispensible when I do. They are also useful sometimes for holding odd pieces for measurement or layout on the bench.

Also. Sometimes need clamping wedges for clamping odd-shaped pieces. Sometimes on sale, but cheap enough to buy "just in case."

An example:

https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/86779964

Just starting to think this morning, but let's see what others contribute.

ShopShoe

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 02:10:18 PM »
That's a lot of wedge for a wedge. I have a few tapered offcuts of Ali that I use and being soft ar ehandy to pack under uneven castings when clamping them down.



The other small item I use a lot is a vice stop, you can buy them even in fancy anodized colours but they all seem to leave a lot in teh opening so not much good for small/narrow work. I knocked this one up and the jaws can close down to 1mm. Often used when working on two or more similar parts or just to keep a ref edge on a single part that may need moving about.



No tapping guide - No problem. Just take a stub end of silver steel, put a 60deg point on one end and drill the other with a ctr drill. You can then hold in a collet or drill chuck and use it to guide the top end of your tap.








Offline propforward

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 02:36:37 PM »
This is a great idea for a thread, and one I'll be bookmarking and keeping an eye on. It's a lot of these kinds of ideas that I am often looking for - and sometimes don't know I'm looking for it until I find it. If you know what I mean.

 :thinking:
Stuart

Online mklotz

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 03:14:38 PM »
My variant of steamer's tooling plate...

http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,378.msg2579.html#msg2579

includes removable fences (very useful for setup) and a holding block for mounting in the mill vise.

For small parts, my tooling block...

http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,385.0.html

is made so that it can fit in the mill vise in all three, mutually orthogonal, attitudes.  Basically, it acts as a bolt-on set of reference surfaces for those awkwardly shaped castings.  It too has removable fences.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 06:10:12 PM by mklotz »
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Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 05:30:19 PM »
Great thread. Already some ideas I can use.

Keep 'em coming.
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Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 06:28:42 PM »
Hereís one to add to Jasonís tap center: attach a bungee strap to the quill lever and it will add constant down pressure to the center, freeing both hands for the wrench

Cletus

Online crueby

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2018, 06:29:34 PM »
Absolutely on tooling plates, I made this simple one and get tons of use out of it:

It has rows of evenly spaced tapped holes for hold downs, and two places between those where I put in holes for mounting to the rotary table. A stud screwed in from underneath centers a hole on the rotary table - the two mounting rows allow it to be set up centered or offset to one side a couple inches for doing long parts like conrods. I put down pieces of card stock to space the part up a little if I want to mill full depth, sometimes put a block of aluminum on with smaller holes to bolt down small rods and such. Very useful, and can be made lots cheaper than bought ready made.

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2018, 06:30:43 PM »
Strangely enough I thought I could never manage without a set of those 123 blocks so bought a set about five years ago. They are still in the box brand new and unused !!

Phil

Phil, it suprises me yours never get used, mine live on the milling table and get used regularly. I guess you have a lot more tooling though and probably have other things that do effectively the same task. I intend to buy another set from ARC when I next place an order but if you wanted to sell yours I may be interested.

2 other cheapies I bought that I really like are this spring loaded centre punch ( about £5) and a magnifier with crab claws (£3 !) When I first started making simple models I struggled a bit making accurate centre marks for drilling etc using a punch and a hammer. I bought the spring punch and magnifier and it's now a walk in the park. My thinking was for the price even if they are no good I haven't lost much. At £3 the magnifier is a bargain, it's at a price that means I can use it to hold items for soldering and if it gets damaged I'll just buy another.



As for the vice stop I'd agree with Jason that it's incredibly useful - I made mine in about 20mins and it certainly improves accuracy on repetitive operations.



I didn't want to start an off topic thread so I'll add this here - 'ya al rite luv' in a fine Yorkshire accent  :)




« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 06:51:22 PM by Gas_mantle »

Online Jo

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 06:41:14 PM »
I have two centres that I use for supporting taps both are nothing more difficult than a round dowel with a point on it that is a sliding fit in another dowel that goes in a drill chuck. Add a little oil to the joint and you get a natural "springy bounce" so you push it onto the tap it is pushed in and the compressed air springs the point in place as the tap cuts into the job.

I use the same tool as a long thin centre on the lathe as you can see on my Commander Lubricator thread :mischief:

I have a second smaller one that is used on little C.

Jo
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Online crueby

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 07:22:37 PM »
How is that vise stop gizmo used?   :noidea:

Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2018, 07:37:26 PM »
Clamps to the jaw of a machine vise, usually the fixed one.

Cletus

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Simple inexpensive tooling items you can't do without.
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 07:42:25 PM »
How is that vise stop gizmo used?   :noidea:

Chris, it's just 2 jaws that clamp over the fixed jaw of the milling vice. Mine has a couple of round pins to ensure it aligns and an Allen head bolt to tighten it. Once fixed to the vice it provides a useful datum stop to position your workpiece against. It allows you to remove you work and replace it at exactly the same place (or make multiple parts at the same positioning)





Mine is a bit crude looking but it does the job :-)