Author Topic: ebay Tooling Plate  (Read 546 times)

Offline propforward

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ebay Tooling Plate
« on: August 29, 2021, 07:23:55 PM »
I always feel like I should be attempting to make as much tooling as possible in this hobby, just because that seems to be the norm. And the reason of course is that tooling is expensive, and it is often more interesting to a hobbyist to make a thing than buy it, especially when considering the actual hard earned $$ outlay. That is true of me too, but I am not yet retired and don't get as much time in the shoppe as I would like. So I do sometimes lean towards a purchase over making something if it is a fairly mundane item, and not very specialist. Since I sold all my motorbikes that gives me some means to do it also.

Anyway, rambling aside this is such an item - a simple tooling plate.

I bought this from a chap on ebay, who makes these on his CNC machine and sells them at a fairly reasonable cost stateside. This one is a 6" X 6" plate, with 1/4-20 tapped holes, 4 counterbore holes and 4 recess clamping features. It was $45 shipped, and I considered that very fair for the time saving for me to make one.

Here is a picture:

 

Why the numbers? Well it wasn't flat. In fact  it was about 9 thou out of flat, and on a granite surface plate had a noticeable rock to it.

On the face of it that's a bit disappointing, on the other hand it wasn't that hard to deal with.

By taking a very light cut (after tramming the mill as best as possible) each side I had it within about 0.003" parallelism / flatness. I actually cannot detect any kind of rocking on the surface plate.





I think that if I were to now clamp directly to the mill table, shimming in each corner and in the center so as not to distort when clamping the plate down, I bet I can get it even better.

So my review is that this plate is adequate for the price. Be prepared to skim it to get it better, but it certainly takes the laborious activity of drilling and tapping a bunch of holes on a sacrificial plate away, which is fine by me.

I'm not going to list the ebay seller publicly, as I don't want to look like I'm trying to trash the guy. The point of the post is to let people know such items are available, the rough price, and that people should bear in mind that they may have to do some quick facing to get it just so. It's not so different to buying a new lathe chuck backing plate in some ways.

I'm happy with it, and I think it will help a lot with fixturing small parts on the mill. I have some aluminum toe clamps to complement the plate.
Stuart

Offline propforward

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2021, 07:36:55 PM »
Anyone wanting to buy one can PM me for the ebay sellers name and a link.  :ThumbsUp:

Pretty easy to find searching on ebay though. The guy makes a couple of different sizes. This one is perfect my milling vise.
Stuart

Offline mklotz

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2021, 08:38:25 PM »
When I built my small job milling table, I provided it with drop-down fences that are a big help when setting up jobs.  My plate is fitted with a block that can be clamped in the mill vise.  In that configuration the fences are automatically aligned with the x-y axes of the mill.

You may want to think about adding some of those features to your new tool.  A full description can be found here...

https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/miniature-milling-table-27312
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Offline propforward

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2021, 09:16:40 PM »
Absolutely yes - I see the value in those fences for sure. I will definitely be adding those. Thank you for adding those to the thread.
Stuart

Offline Roger B

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2021, 07:03:01 PM »
I can see that without heat treating that plate could relax over time. Maybe it was flat when he sent it  :thinking:
Best regards

Roger

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2021, 07:40:58 PM »
Hi Roger

It is cast aluminum, I wouldn't think that it would move around much, but I suppose anything is possible.
If you look at the specs on a 6"x6" plate from McMaster Carr it is like plus or minus .005" on thickness and .-015" on flatness. This plate still has the factory finish on it so the error that Stuart found is not surprising.
https://www.mcmaster.com/86825K821/

Dave

Offline propforward

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2021, 09:06:17 PM »
Yes cast aluminium tooling plate should be very stable - it's a huge advantage when using it to make certain types of aluminum weldments, it does not distort readily, and can be pre heated before striking the arc. Very interesting stuff, I got into that in a big way recently.

I think it's most likely that it was just clamped and machined, and sprung back. No problem. Since it's a fixture plate I had hoped that part of manufacture would involve flattening - ie machining flat - but then again this was made to a price point, so not really a big deal, and with only a small amount of work I have it much improved. I'll measure it again in a week or so and see if it has stayed put or if it has moved again - which would surprise me a bit.
Stuart

Online Twizseven

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Re: ebay Tooling Plate
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2021, 05:46:14 PM »
I have made a couple of fixture plates.

The first large one is dual purpose and is designed to be able to hold my large 8" Bison Rapid Indexer as well as has rows of m10 tapped holes and M10 reamed holes.  The smaller one is designed to fit in the vice and has M8 tapped and M8 reamed holes.  This one was machined whilst held in vice to ensure all stayed square.

Colin