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Re: Beginner seeking milling process advice

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  • Lynn Livingston
    ... Jim, I just finished machining some aluminum grille mounts for my brother s 56 Chevy Nomad. I faced the same dilemma as far as having to cut the pieces
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 4, 2004
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      --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Stoll" <jim_stoll@y...> wrote:
      > Rank-beginner seeking some fixturing and process advice...
      >
      > I'm cutting a gear out of some plate material (plastic).
      >snip>
      >Thanks!!
      >
      > Jim

      Jim,

      I just finished machining some aluminum grille mounts for my
      brother's '56 Chevy Nomad. I faced the same dilemma as far as having
      to cut the pieces out. Also, I had to flycut the stock down to the
      planned thickness. However, I couldn't use screws to hold down the
      grille mounts because they were going to be solid except for some
      slots. In my case, I just used a piece of stock that would allow me
      to use clamps around the perimeter.
      Concerning the pieces that needed to be cut out and considering the
      stock also needed flycut to thickness, I choose to setup the cutting
      operation to plunge cut the outside of the parts to within .005" of
      the stock's thickness as the last cut for each part. When all the
      parts were made, I flipped them over to flycut the back to
      within .001" of releasing the parts. I left them this way because
      the pieces needed to be polished. I then mounted the plates
      (containing the loosely held parts) to the workbench with
      doublesided tape and polished them with my hand held buffer. When
      the finish was done, I simply "pushed" the parts out kinda' like
      taking model parts off of a sprue tree. It was very easy. I then
      cleaned the edges with sandpaper and mounted in a small soft jawed
      vice to further polish the edges with the buffer. It turned out
      great.
      Your plan seems to be in order. However, there is a type of clamp
      you might want to look at that would make your task easier. It's on
      the Sherline site under the tools and tips section.
      It is a clamp designed to hold the stock to the table but does not
      locate above the stock. Therefore, the tool can pass over without
      interference. I have made a couple of these clamps and use them ever
      so often.
      I also find MDF a very good sub-table. I made one like a tooling
      plate, with 200 threaded holes spaced every 3/8". I bought plastic
      plug screws from McMaster-Carr to occupy the unused holes to keep
      swarf out. A trick I learned with the MDF is to spray a couple coats
      of clear sealer on before you start to use it the first time and
      whenever you put tool marks in it. It will help seal the surface and
      keep the oil and such from swelling the surface and the threaded
      holes.
      Well, I've rambled enough. Good luck with the project and take care.

      Lynn Livingston
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