When you’re dealing with CNC, keeping things square is vital to the entire process. While you can get away with a crooked vise, it will eventually come back to bite you.
Last September, we talked about a few tools that you never knew you needed in your shop, but when it comes to machining, there are a million different ways to do everything. So, here’s a sequel to help you discover some tools you never knew you needed in your shop… or maybe you did know, and you can just use this as a justification for all those tools.
While there are a number of ways to hold work, when there aren’t many (or any) flat surfaces, a standard vise can complicate things. When using a lathe or holding something that just doesn’t have flat sides, a chuck is a great solution. A chuck is essentially a round vise, with jaws that hold your workpiece.
Your G-code program has ended and all looks well with the part. What’s your next move? For most, the next move is to pull the part out of the machine and chuck up another blank to start machining the next part. But, depending on how well debugged your manufacturing process is, and it isn’t very debugged if this is a one-off part you’re making for the first time, you may want to avoid pulling the part out just yet. Why? Because the easiest time to rework the part, assuming it needs any rework, is while it is still in the original setup where the original work was done.
We’ve all been there – that moment of panic when the machine makes an awkward noise or the spindle seems like it’s making a rapid move just a bit too close to the vise. When you learn to trust the machine and your programming, things become so much easier, but there are still a few mistakes that folks worry about making that really shouldn’t be a concern.
If you haven't seen toolmaker vises before, then it might not be immediately clear why you might need one. It turns out, however, that they are a very handy device to have in your work holding arsenal. Small tool maker vises are designed to be held inside a larger machinist's vise.