How to clamp work....?

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BadDog
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by BadDog » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:49 pm

The riser setup blocks I was talking about are like this one and this one, but I didn't pay half what they are asking, so shop around. You can also get something like this that incorporates mounting points with elevation. But of course, you can modify any block to add some tapped holes in the appropriate places in order to mount a vise or something. You just have to look till you find something the right size, or maybe just dig in and try to make one, though something like that size with suitable accuracy is really going to push the limits of your machine and your skills. But the result would fit the way you want it to, and provide whatever fastener options you think appropriate.
Russ
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TechTony
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by TechTony » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:56 pm

Wow... uhm... that's quite the rundown.... thanks much for the clarifications and explanations.

I have an XY vice that anchors on my t-slot table currently... which also elevated the work to a level that the EM can touch the work with the quill (did I get that terminology right?) lowered. The solution that you mentioned that I should either machine or buy in order to gain elevation, I came to that thought earlier but hadn't settled on it until you confirmed it -- so thank you. I'll pick up one of these in the near future: https://amzn.com/B01EYHWOZ8
Maybe even stack 2 of them if necessary.

I've reread your post a few times and am still trying to figure out which way I should go immediately though - collets or EM holder. I haven't had much luck finding a collet holder with the right drawbar threads (I think 3/8-16) and able to hold ER32s as of yet, so this decision might have made itself.

Thanks again for the information - it's way more than I started with.

TechTony
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by TechTony » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:02 pm

Oh, and the clamping kit I have has the end to end nuts so they should be able to handle the elevation --- but if I buy the stackable XY table then I'll have elevated t-slots anyways. Also, I tend to work in softer metals so I didn't think rigidity was going to be that big of a deal for the most part --- mostly aluminum, copper, and brass - but point taken nonetheless.

John Evans
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by John Evans » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:33 pm

After reading the PDF on that thing the lathe section is actually pretty good with power slide and cross feed and threading. However the mill section without a way to raise and lower the head is in a word pathetic !! Harsh I know but having to hang the milling cutter out and block the work up renders it close to useless . Start looking for a mill/drill ,even one with a round column would be 1000 times better. I would never believed something like that would ever be made let alone sold. Even the cheapest of the 3 in 1s I have seen with no power feeds/threading have mill heads the move up and down. Again a decent lathe section but the mill part ??
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spro
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by spro » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:43 pm

Drawbar is not a big issue. You will thread it to fit shank or get another but now I see why the best can't be used. It is flex in head delivery or table/ part suspension. And now another table above it, no way. This has been covered. An MT#3 shank collet head using ER style collets will give the approximate set out to actually work. Not the best yet definitely better than a drill chuck.
Oh there are tables. Elevating tables which came off early laser lathes. They would be called optical tables now. Heavier than the whole carriage so what is the point of having that type machine if you have make an entirely new addition to use it.
There is much info here about the cheapest and the best collet heads. Some were much better than others and the bad may fall away to be resold by various avenues. Things have tightened up with some and a whole set under $100. isn't a bad investment.

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BadDog
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by BadDog » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:05 am

I'm afraid I agree with John, it's a deplorably bad design. But it's what you have, so make the best for now, and maybe you can get a small dedicated mill to go along side.

Side note: The quill is the thing that moves up and down. The spindle is the part that spins inside the quill.

Stacking another x-y table is a bad idea. Not that rigid to start with, and then stacking with your lathe cross slide which is itself less than ideal. To many places with clearance, and without outboard support, too many place to flex. The best you are going to manage is a nice rigid stack of metal as wide as is practical to provide as solid and stable an elevation aid as possible. I remember seeing somewhere that was selling what was essentially just the table off an x-y setup like that. I'm not there to look at it and investigate in detail, but I think maybe that might be a route to a workable solution. Get a few precision blocks (123, 246, shop made, just as long as parallel) to space off your cross slide table to bring the milling table acceptable height. Having a few block option (like 123 and a ~4" shop made riser) would allow swapping to work with different envelopes for different sized work based on quill travel. But it would be up to you to machine the back of the top table to provide solid pads for the spacer blocks to mate with. A few well placed holes and studs would mate the new top table to the cross slide table, and your clamp kit would then be needed only on the top table to hold your work.

It's never going to be a nice milling setup, but that may make it functional enough for your needs. As I said before, just being an MT spindle is enough to mark it off my list of optional mills, but that's just the beginnings of the problems here. Hopefully those here who have struggled with the problems inherent in the various 3-in-1 designs (pretty darn successfully in some cases it seems) will be able to offer more specifics. I'm just spit-balling on how I would approach the issue, assuming I didn't just sell it down the road and try to get my money out of it, which in all honesty would without a doubt be my choice if it were mine to make...
Russ
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reggie_obe
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by reggie_obe » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:13 am

TechTony really needs to buy or borrow a book on basic machining practices. Should be able to find something in your local library before you hurt yourself or damage your machine.

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Gary Armitstead
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by Gary Armitstead » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:31 pm

I just started reading this thread this morning and some of the things that Tech Tony is doing are well.......a little dangerous in the setup. He has been lucky thus far to not have injured himself OR damaged the machine. I agree with Reggie that Tony should stop doing anything or buying anything until he does a little reading on Shop Theory and the machine shop. We all started at the same place that Tech Tony is right now. Learning the trade and doing it right will make for a greater enjoyment of the hobby. Big thing is to be SAFE and practice working SAFELY. I have worked in the machine trade for over fifty years and still have all the fingers on my hands and only minor cuts and bruises. If you look at some machinists in the old shops, many were missing a digit or two on the hands. ANY machine, both small and large, can turn around and "bite", before you realize it even happened! JMHO
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rudd
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by rudd » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:40 pm

I've run into the drawbar issue on another machine with another taper. Get some drill rod and make a drawbar to suit - you can thread with the lathe, right? Or start it on the lathe, and finish it with a die?
DO NOT use a hunk-o-allthread from the hardware store. Stuff is too stretchy, the drawbar will constantly be coming loose. DAMHIKT (Don't as me how I know this.) :)
I really would vote for the EM Holders. Every bit of added length you get from the holder is the same length taken out of the extension of the quill. I'd wager the EM holder is more rigid than the quill/spindle ass'y.

jcfx
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by jcfx » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:07 pm

I really would stay away from aluminum X-Y tables like the one in your Amazon link,
my gut just says no way on a mill.

I'd shop carefully for a X-Y table paying particular attention to the overall height of
the X-Y table so that you stack with the least amount of spacer blocks to get to a correct height.
Stacking two X-Y tables in my opinion is a extremely wobbly base to do milling.

Amazon isn't the only place to look for machine tools, Grizzly, Victor Machinery, Shars, are good places to look.

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BadDog
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by BadDog » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:13 pm

But my point is he doesn't need an x-y at all, he's got the basic travels from the lathe intended to also use in milling. I don't see what an x-y table would get him at all, other than travels closer to the milling action.

But other brought up excellent point that probably should become the focus. I was focused on how the problem might be solved, but as some have pointed out, there are also fundamental issues that really need to be addressed. A good book and/or a mentor would be the best options to resolve that. When I was starting, I found an old high school shop text book (typical hard back school book about 1.5" thick) from the 70s that was a huge help. But nothing helped so much as a local (sort of) mentor who could show me things "hands on" and answer questions. And once I knew a bit more, the help I had already received on the forums became much more useful and it kind of takes a life of it's own from that point. But the basics appear to be missing here, and that needs to be resolve before bad things happen, then further exploration and learning can follow.
Russ
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warmstrong1955
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Re: How to clamp work....?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:17 pm

When you have no Z, other than the quill, you have to improvise a lot.
Been there.
I ended up with a multitude of risers.
1-2-3 blocks.
2-4-6 blocks.
Various thicness' and many pieces of flatbar and plate, milled flat.
I-beams & H-beams, square & rectangular tubes, also milled flat.

And, you can adjust from the top down.....
End mill holders.
A collet chuck.
I made some extensions too. Light duty, small cuts, but they will work.

And as others have pointed out, if you are drilling a hole, the Jacobs chuck is fine, but if you are milling....no-no.....

Lots of options.

:)
Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

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