Monday, April 4, 2011

Machining Nuisances

I needed to cut a diagonal slot in a piece of acetal, so I put in the Sherline vise, mounted that on the tilting table at 30 degrees, and started cutting.  The Sherline vise under the best of conditions just does not have a lot of clamping force.  The head on the 10-32 machine screw that provides the clamping force, unfortunately, is now pretty chewed up, so I need to replace it--limiting the clamping force even more.  The next result was that I could not do what I needed.

I have a drill press vise that I squared pretty decently last year that I use for larger workpieces--but it is way too large to fit inside the Sherline tilting table.  I am thinking of removing the front and rear of the tilting table from the two pieces of very flat aluminum, and installing them on two much larger sheets (which I will also have to make as flat as I can using the vertical mill).  I could make a tilting table big enough to handle this larger drill press vise.  Of course, how do you hold a piece of aluminum larger than the drill press vise, when you are going to mount the drill press vise on those pieces of aluminum later?  The answer is not the Escher device, but to mount the aluminum plates on something that fits inside the vise.  This may require several passes of approximate squaring.

If I had to pick a single aspect to the Sherline vertical mill that drives me utterly crazy, it would have to be the Sherline mill vise.  It simply does not have enough grip to handle anything large enough to be worth my while to machine.  There are other mill vise makers out there, but I suspect that retrofitting the tilting table to handle my larger drill press vise is probably the right solution.

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