The original clamps I made for the CNC and Mini Mill work ok but I wanted a repeatable system. I have multiple flat parts to machine and wanted to set up Home position on X and Y and not have to do it again for parts that would be removed from the 15x15 maxi plalette. I always make my CAM drawings with a .250" boarder from "Home position". The outside edges of this system are exactly .250" thick so I have a surface to run the center finder on that is spot on with the edge of the part I am clamping on my new "vise".
A fixed "jaw" seemed like the best place to start and ended up being just what I needed. The first picture is of the original method which requires finding Home every time the part is replaced. Picture 2 is the new parts sitting on top of a plate that will be milled soon. Picture 3 shows all the pieces for the new "jaw". Included are two different height edges. One is 3/16 and the other is 1/4" high and both are .250" thick. Since they are aluminum they can be cut into without harm. One short end piece with two screws is the right edge stop for the plate that will be machined. The main block has a set of counter bored holes one inch apart that allows it to be positioned anywhere on the pallette. The remaining pictures shows it in use and two parts that have been surfaced on both sides.
I think it is going to work out fine over time. One note about the last picture that shows a part being cut for my steam engine build. Note that the entire outside edge may be cut as needed. The base of it is an MDF backer board and keeps the clamping system from being cut into when I cut all the way through the part.
I drilled the aluminum plate and the backer mdf in separate operations. First they were spot drilled with a center drill on the cnc. The holes were completed on the drill press and the aluminum was threaded 6-32. The MDF received clearance holes and counter sink on the bottom for 6-32 screws. Now I can put the blank aluminum on the mdf, clamp it on the cnc and cut. If I need to I can always reinstall it by fixing it to the mdf.
That works until I cut the part out of the scrap. It cannot be put back on the cnc once it is removed from the aluminum blank since all of the 6-32 holes are in the "scrap" areas of the blank.
Link to the CNC Router Build:
Link to the Maxi Pallette:
Last edited by jjr2001; 11-09-2016 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Links
I needed to hold this round piece of brass to cut the spokes for the flywheel. I had previously made some Mighty Bite type clamps so I adapted the maxi pallett clamps to utilize the Bite clamps.
See the Bite clamps here:
Here are the bite clamps in use:
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