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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    7

    Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    Hey everybody,

    I'm new here, and to CNC machining in general, and I'm seeking advice for work holding setups for my Taig.

    The parts I'm cutting are simple small injection molds in 6061 aluminum bar (will upgrade to better alloys after testing the molds), typically around 3" deep x 8" wide and usually about 1" thick. I started with a 3" screwless toolmakers vise, but quickly realized that the height of the vise interferes with my Z axis leadscrew, resulting in very limited travel. I searched around for some t-slot side clamps to try to hold the work down directly on the table, but the small t-slots on the Taig make it difficult to find pre-made solutions. I also tried some of these shop fox cam clamps, but worry they're going to shake lose over time.

    https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-D334.../dp/B00012XE0A

    Just wanted to reach out and see if there is a solution out there I overlooked. Another option would be to oversize the stock and bolt it directly to the table.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5361

    Re: Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    Taig sells a tooling plate you can screw things down to: https://taigtools.com/product/4-x-14-x-5-8-tooling/ You can also use 10-32 all-thread studs and square nuts in the slots to hold things down; another alternative is strategic grinding on carriage bolts. Strap clamps and step blocks are easy to make on the mill; steel or hardened aluminum both work. Those cam clamps are an interesting alternative; what size are the screws that hold them down, and did you find T-nuts that work with them?
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    7

    Re: Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    Thanks Andrew! I appreciate your quick response. That tooling plate looks like an interesting option. To keep my vertical height in check, I'm leaning towards bolting directly to the table.

    The cam clamps come with 1/4-20 hardware and nuts, so they actually work fine with the stock Taig table. My biggest fear is them shaking loose, I did a facing operation with one and it held okay, but I'm not sure about long term.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5361

    Re: Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    If you're always using stock pieces with the same dimensions, you could use Loctite on the studs to keep them in place. Otherwise, just keep checking tightness before each run.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    210

    Re: Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    I have used my taig for 10 years using these clamps , i don't remember what they are called,it is by a popular work holding company, several online stores sell them, i am sure someone here will reconize them. m tooling plate is 1/4" alum bar stock, 4inch wide, it should have been 3/8 because the screws hit the bottom and put the middle of the tool plate so slightly, so I have to do a fly cutter to level the plate off, the holes are are 1/4-20, 1/2" centers so I cut bar stock a lot so it is easy to change the clamps to the correct size. I have never had anything come loose. I make 2 part molds and my cuts are not very aggressive.
    I can also put my 3" vice in and out using these clamps
    David L. Aery
    www.hooksolutions.com

  6. #6

    Re: Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    Mitee Bite, Talon, and others make low profile work holding devices that close in around 30 to 40 thou in most sizes. Some simply compress, others press and provide downward force against the table like toe clamps or bite into the work. Google on low profile work holding and see if anything that looks applicable comes up. Look also at shop made cam clamps, the cost for some of these gizmos is fairly high compared to turning the head of a socket head screw 40 thou off center :-)

  7. #7

    Re: Work Holding on a Taig Mill

    Just realized I hadn't mentioned making or using a two piece vise. If your mold blanks are all the same rough size, you could also just use a fixture plate with two dowel pins on one long edge, a single dowel pin on a short edge, and clamping hardware for the other two edges. This setup will avoid poor workholding if the parts vary a wee bit. Over constraining rough blanks on a fixture can cause more headaches than it helps.

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