Author Topic: Treated myself to some new parallels!  (Read 1615 times)

Offline simplyloco

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Treated myself to some new parallels!
« on: May 16, 2023, 12:06:42 PM »
I've been using this motley assortment for more years than I care to remember, so it was time for a rethink and a pocket money splurge!


I wanted a thin, thick and thicker set, in multiple heights, to deal with every possible setting situation, and ArcEurotrade have just the job!
Not cheap but worth every penny/cent!


https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Measurement/Parallels-Angle-Blocks-Test-Bars/Precision-Metric-Parallels-20-pairs-100mm-long-5mm-to-24mm
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Offline A7er

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2023, 01:29:03 PM »
I have never used a milling machine, so be gentle with a nidiot. The parallels sit in the machine vice, so one must assume, and hope, that the base of the vice is trammed (right word-ish?) to the spindle or cutter. Therefore, couldn't two pieces of metal bar be clamped in the vice and the edges machined as one, then turned over so that the machined edges sit on the vice, and then the opposite edges machined as one. Would that produce two identical parallels, or am I missing something? Blocks would have to be placed each side of the bars to keep the cutter from damaging the vice jaws.

Offline tghs

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2023, 01:36:16 PM »
looks like a great set, that should be money well spent.. no more fiddling about for the correct support
what the @#&% over

Offline crueby

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2023, 02:23:53 PM »
I have never used a milling machine, so be gentle with a nidiot. The parallels sit in the machine vice, so one must assume, and hope, that the base of the vice is trammed (right word-ish?) to the spindle or cutter. Therefore, couldn't two pieces of metal bar be clamped in the vice and the edges machined as one, then turned over so that the machined edges sit on the vice, and then the opposite edges machined as one. Would that produce two identical parallels, or am I missing something? Blocks would have to be placed each side of the bars to keep the cutter from damaging the vice jaws.
True, and the result will be as good as the precision of the machine it is done on. Nice things about the purchased ones is that they are ground to a much tighter tolerance than most of us can achieve on our machines, there are a lot of widths in the set, and they are hardened well and of an alloy that doesn't flex or twist. Trading off time for money, with precision thrown into the mix!

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2023, 03:44:38 PM »
Nice set!

Thanks.

A7er:

That would certainly work and produce an adequate set of parallels. The blocks on each side would have to be accurately machined parallel before use. In fact parallels would be prefect for this job. So, the cost of a cheap set of parallels would be well worth it, and likely more accurate than I could make. The only problem with a cheap set of parallels is that the cost to upgrade, to a nicer set of parallels, is a hard jump to make.

Blocks would have to be placed each side of the bars to keep the cutter from damaging the vice jaws.
Hugh

Online Jo

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2023, 05:38:37 PM »
That's a lot of parallels. Why do you actually need so many  :headscratch:

Jo
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Offline Kim

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2023, 05:50:08 PM »
Nice set of parallels!  :ThumbsUp:
You'll enjoy having a nice set like that.

That's a lot of parallels. Why do you actually need so many  :headscratch:

Jo

Hmm... Well, I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to find the parallels that are BETWEEN the sizes that I have :(
I have some 1/2" wide parallels, some 1/8" wide and some 1/32" wide parallels (oh yeah, and some wavy parallels) but they all come in 1/8" increments.  And when you're working with small parts, sometimes 1/8" is just TOO big of a difference.  I need to be able to hold onto the part in the vise but the place I want to mill has to be above the vice jaws.  And with small parts...

For me, having more heights and widths is a great thing.

Making a specific holding device for the part at hand can also be a good choice, but tends to be somewhat more work.
Kim

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2023, 06:43:52 PM »
I think the three sets I have probably cover that range and a bit more, Useful to have a good range of sizes as if you only want to have the minimum amount of work above the vice jaws you can adjust the height easily and with several vices to choose from all have different height jaws

And not just for use in the vice if you are setting upwork on the mill table having a good range of sizes saves having to start stacking multiples up and having a set of metric and a set of imperial covers all cases.

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2023, 06:44:14 PM »
Nice set of parallels!  :ThumbsUp:
You'll enjoy having a nice set like that.

That's a lot of parallels. Why do you actually need so many  :headscratch:

Jo

Hmm... Well, I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to find the parallels that are BETWEEN the sizes that I have :(
I have some 1/2" wide parallels, some 1/8" wide and some 1/32" wide parallels (oh yeah, and some wavy parallels) but they all come in 1/8" increments.  And when you're working with small parts, sometimes 1/8" is just TOO big of a difference.  I need to be able to hold onto the part in the vise but the place I want to mill has to be above the vice jaws.  And with small parts...

For me, having more heights and widths is a great thing.

Making a specific holding device for the part at hand can also be a good choice, but tends to be somewhat more work.
Kim

Agreed 100%!
Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people. ― Socrates

Offline internal_fire

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2023, 07:03:21 PM »
Hmm... Well, I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to find the parallels that are BETWEEN the sizes that I have

I often use new 3/16" HSS lathe tool blanks to achieve intermediate sizes. The sizes can be anything, but they tend to be very parallel. Any given brand will probably have consistent sizes as well.

This approach requires stacking, but that is often no problem.

Gene

Offline ShopShoe

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2023, 01:38:06 PM »
That does look like a nice set.

I am in the US, so I have the popular set of parallels sold under lots of names from lots of suppliers here.

I have also found cases where what is in the set I have doesn't work so:

I have made stepped parallels occasionally. Basically, take a parallel or a piece of bar stock and mill part of the bearing surface (the 1/8-inch width on a 1-in deep by 6-in long parallel, for example) so that the workpiece is supported on its bottom and on its side when it is clamped in the vise.

I keep some tool steel ground stock on hand to make parallels for special needs: Precision won't be up to the standard of purchased parallels, but work is less than from plain bar stock.

I have some home-made bars I have milled to act like parallels in the vise I use on my bench top for filing and working by other techniques: why should I risk by real parallels in that situation?

--

I occasionally suffer the Tool-Envy-Syndrome over adjustable parallels, but have saved the money and still been able to get what I want done.  Can anyone comment on why I might also want to decide to need those?

ShopShoe

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2023, 03:04:02 PM »
I need to be able to hold onto the part in the vise but the place I want to mill has to be above the vice jaws.  And with small parts...

After obtained a set of aluminum soft jaws for my vice I cut a 0.10" notch along the top of the fixed jaw. That gives a nice edge for holding small parts above the jaws. Not as accurate as ground parallels but OK for most jobs. I have not yet machined into the jaws to attack a part less that 0.10".

Thanks.
Hugh

Offline internal_fire

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2023, 04:04:07 PM »
I occasionally suffer the Tool-Envy-Syndrome over adjustable parallels, but have saved the money and still been able to get what I want done.  Can anyone comment on why I might also want to decide to need those?

I have a couple sets of adjustable parallels my father gave me years ago. (He was a toolmaker.)

I have never used them. I believe they are more appropriate for fixturing an assembly than for support when machining. Sort of a quick and less precise version of Jo-blocks.

Of course the parallels could be used for anything, but usually it is easier to just find the work surface and offset the cutting machine appropriately.

Gene

Offline john mills

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2023, 12:04:31 AM »
it is a nice box that will keep the parallels in good condition if they are kept there  throw them in a box together they might be hard but they will get burrs which will scratch and stop material sitting properly.you will find sizes which suit the vice and the machine you are using
and use the same ones most of the time .50years in a machine shop and it surprising how few you use.we used to make your own from tool steel harden and grind.these set weren't available  it is nice to have these sets i have two small sets  .and oddments that i have had form
when i was at work.
John 

Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Treated myself to some new parallels!
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2023, 04:06:22 PM »
. Sort of a quick and less precise version of Jo-blocks.


I agree with that.  I have a couple of sets and use them frequently for say measuring a slot or setting over the lathe micrometer stop.  In a pinch when a millionth of an inch didn't matter I've even used them to set a sine bar.  I rarely use them direction as a machining fixture, viewing them as more an inspection tool and wanting a little more gentle treatment, but the one thing they are ideal for is making straight gibs.  They are just the thing for holding the gib in the mating part while you machine the gib's angles

 

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