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Thread: More versatile finger plate

  1. #1
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    More versatile finger plate

    A recent task involved drilling a hole in a key too odd-shaped to grip in the mill vise and thin enough to need support while drilling. Hand holding was out of the question - too dangerous if the drill caught in the brass.

    What I needed was a finger plate. I had seen the iconic British form of the device and, elegant as it is, I felt it lacked a bit of the versatility and expandability I like in jigs I intend to keep and use in the future.

    I remembered that I had more of the perforated tooling plate stock that I had used with my miniature milling table...

    Miniature milling table

    I found a piece in which I had long ago threaded all the holes 1/4-20 (my standard thread for multi-use jig stuff)...

    More versatile finger plate-jig-1.jpg

    The bottom of a finger plate should be useful too. I had fitted this plate with three SHCS arranged in a triangle. This allows me to hold the plate in three different orientations in the bench vise; makes tasks like filing and sawing easier to perform without contortions. Since things can be screwed to the bottom as well as the top, I put a SHCS at each corner with surplus bronze bearings as spacers. These feet make the plate nice and steady when used on the bench for soldering tasks. The spacers make the legs slightly longer than the triangle screws so the plate rests only on the feet. Also, elevating the plate with these feet allows drilling through holes without fear of marking whatever is supporting the plate.

    More versatile finger plate-jig-2.jpg

    The next step was to assemble a kit of clamping parts, studs, nuts, etc. A surplus fishing tackle box with dividers provided some storage for the smaller bits...

    More versatile finger plate-jig-3.jpg

    And here's the glamor shot with some clamping examples set up on the plate.

    More versatile finger plate-jig-4.jpg

    I regard the plate as a semi-consumable. I won't drill into it willy-nilly but, if a hole is needed for a legitimate purpose I'll plan it into the layout and try to think of how it might be made another "feature".

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  3. #2
    Supporting Member old_toolmaker's Avatar
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    Fixture

    Looks nice and adds a lot of flexibility with all the tapped holes.
    I think I remember you do miniatures and such and other interests involving bench work with hand tools.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Finger Plate to our Workholding category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  6. #4
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    I neglected to mention that the triangle of screws in the bottom of the plate is an instance of a trick one can use for milling certain types of polygonal shapes without the aid of a dividing head or rotary table.

    Lay out the desired polygon on a piece of stock and drill and tap a hole at each corner of the shape and insert a SHCS. Attach the workpiece, centered to the polygon center, to the other side of the stock. Mount the stock in the milling vise with two adjacent screws touching the fixed jaw. Mill one side of the workpiece. Rotate so the next pair of screws is against the jaw. Rinse and repeat.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Supporting Member NeiljohnUK's Avatar
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    Nice job, I made something similar out of a redundant/scrap (failed final inspection by manufacturer) laser table breadboard plate with M6 tapped holes every 25mm in a grid pattern, we use the same plates for sacrificial drill tables and micro CNC milling machine tables for ease of fixturing. Not expensive even bought new https://www.newport.com/f/sa2-solid-...adboard-plates

  9. #6
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    And, due to my careful planning (all right, it was just dumb luck) the central hole in the finger plate was just the right size for tapping 3/8-24 so the previously constructed double-ended stud can be used to mount it to the Panavise base.

    More versatile finger plate-p1010320.jpg
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    Regards, Marv


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  11. #7
    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Mr. K's fixture plate is a good layout.
    The offset, alternating rows offer greatest density of attachments, compared to square or rectangular patterns.
    Use of a common thread is important, shoulder [aka stripper] bolts are terrific reference/ locating pins. No other common threaded fasteners have decent concentricity between thread portion and body or head, with flat head screws worst of all.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  12. #8
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    Congratulations mklotz - your Finger Plate is the Homemade Tool of the Week!

    This is an already-versatile tool that is made even more versatile with modifications on its underside, and again made more versatile by mounting it to a Panavise base.

    Some more good entries from this week:

    Helping Hand by Toolmaker51
    Hatchet by SteelCraft
    Profile Cutting Guide by Frank S
    Spring-Loaded Gate Latch by orioncons36
    Hone Extension Shaft by Frank S
    Hydraulic Splitter by Tech Paradise
    Plating Methods by Kovanca Polock
    Mechanical Hacksaw by Mr. Factotum's Workshop
    Steel Workbench by Bricoleando
    Retrieval Tool by Frank S
    3-Step Arbor by Frank S
    Spindle Bore Depth Stop by Frank S
    Table Saw by Didpoolhall

    mklotz - we've added your tool entry to our All Homemade Tool of the Week winners post. And, you'll be receiving a $25 online gift card, in your choice of Amazon, PayPal, or bitcoin. Please PM me your current email address and gift card choice and I'll get it sent over right away.

    This is your 14th Homemade Tool of the Week win. Nice work

    Here are all of your winning tools:


  13. #9
    Supporting Member old_toolmaker's Avatar
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    Congratulations Marv!
    I noticed your PanaVise base in the pictures. I was inspired by you to buy a PanaVise base a few years back! I also have a small articulating vise with two different sets of jaws that is extremely useful.
    Dick

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    wizard69's Tools
    Thanks for another great post Marv!

    At work I use scrap aluminum to make consumable tooling plates similar to this for use on the Kurt vises. I'm often dealing with small and very small stuff at work and you need small clamps to deal with. In my case it is 1/4-28 due to having a bunch of screws that size, laying about, for tool post and some linear slides. Your post however just gave me a couple of more ideas when it comes to the clamping kit which I fully intend to implement if free time ever happens at Work.

    In any event with retirement nearing I'm really thinking I need to implement something like this for use at home! Your Panavise idea frankly is golden so it will be a smaller plate than I use at work. Which brings up a question just how big is this plate of yours? I might even buy some prehard plate to make sure this does not tempt me to make it consumable.

    There is something else I've seen that I haven't tired yet and that is to have a series of dowel pin holes in the plate to establish common angles from. Probably not sine plate accurate but many times you don't need that.

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