Workholding, Rotary Tables
& Dividing Head
Last updated on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 05:58:02 AM Mountain US Time Zone
Mill Vise, Parallel
Drawbar Tool, Work Stops, Edge Finders, Safety Shields,
Precision Blocks, Work Hold-down Clamps, Rotary Tables,
Rapid Rotary Table Positioning, Fixtures, Dividing Head
TE-CO Parlec PSW-6900 6" wide angle-lock vise (Taiwan).
75 lb, 9-3/16" opening, 1.75" jaw depth.
Bed height 2.875" +/-0.0005".
Parallelism of base to bed 0.0006".
Perpendicularity of jaws to bed 0.0005".
Flatness of base 0.001". Repeatability within 0.001".
Hardened vise bed & jaw plates.
Outside rail edges of the body machined. 80,000 PSI
high-nickel, ductile iron. 8200 lb clamping pressure. Powder
paint & sealed bearing system. Larger, precision
main screw & bolted solid jaw allow higher torque
loads. Dimensions are industry standard. Another reason
why I chose the Parlec vise was because the near
equivalent, Kurt Model D675, when fully closed,
has a movable-jaw nut that protrudes out the back 1.4"
which would interfere with table travel on a smaller mill.
The Parlec does not have a large protruding nut.
Parlec PWS-6900 single station vise parts list Parlec flyer
Indicating a Mill Vise
A common question is, "When I machine a surface
using an end mill, why do I get a small ridge
after each pass?" The answer may be that the
mill needs to be indicated (aligned). The spindle
(cutter) must be perpendicular to the table.
Other causes may include: excessive machine flex,
improperly adjusted/lubricated/worn dovetail ways,
improperly held cutter (e.g., a drill chuck),
worn spindle bearings and/or a dull/damaged end mill.
Indicating the Parlec solid jaw animation.
The slot on the top of the solid jaw can also be used.
Move the bed left & right, make minute adjustments
of the vise position until zeroed, then lock it
down. Minor (+/-0.0001") variation may be observed
but that is usually manufacturing tolerances.
This Swiss Interapid DTI has 0.0005" resolution.
See instructions on how to set tip geometry &
see illustration. Lock the Y & Z axes
before aligning the fixed jaw of the vise.
Indicating the vise bed animation.
Note in the center location, only the
small needle moves showing that
the large needle changed by 0.030".
Mill vise lock down hardware uses 3/8" thick
steel plates with hardened T-nuts, bolts, & washers.
A two-position speed handle.
Parallels accurately hold a workpiece
fixture at different depths in vise jaws.
6" long, 1/32" (0.032") ultra-thin, 1/2"
through 1-11/16" by 1/16" increments.
Needed when working close the piece's edge and/or
gripping near the top (1/16") of the vise jaws.
Parallelism +/-0.0001". These ultra-thins also clear the
tightening nut of the 5C collet fixture when it is used
in a vertical position. To keep closely-spaced parallels separated,
I place a piece of closed-cell foam in-between them.
A drop of light instrument oil will also stick parallels to
the vise jaws. For wider openings, I use a Kurt separator.
6" long, 1/8" thick, 1/2" through 1-5/8"
by 1/8" increments, standard parallel set.
6" long, 1/4" thick, 3/4" through
1-3/4" by 1/8" increments parallel set.
6" long, 1/2" thick, 7/8" through 1-3/4" by 1/8"
increments parallel set. Accuracy +/-0.0003".
These thicker parallels form a very stable part
base when there is enough room for them.
Adjustable parallels. Two sets are handy.
Can also be used to gauge inside dimensions.
4-1/2" long wavy parallels, made out of spring steel material,
compress when holding small pieces. Use one or two at a time.
One slightly compressed parallel will support a narrow piece.
3-inch long, parallel set.
Kurt spring-loaded parallels separator.
Holds the ultra-thin parallels nicely in place.
Fabricated a 17mm drawbar wrench with an integral
brass hammer. Loosen the mill's hardened nut & give it
a tap. Used a 3/8" carbide end mill to make a hole through
the Craftsman six-sided (for strength) deep socket
for the tightly-fitting steel handle. There are milled flats
on both sides of the hole. The locknut fits inside the
milled flat edges. The handle is located midpoint.
The brass head has a tight-fitting peg pressed into the
square hole & is held in using an 1/8" roll-pin.
There is a heavy 45 deg chamfer on the hammer's face edge.
The longer handle allows a tighter draw down & the
socket keeps the nut in good condition. The open-ended
wrench was shorter & caused micro-burrs which were
stoned off so the socket would slide on & off smoothly.
5-axis milling stop with 1/4" rod; strong
construction & versatile low-profile positioning (USA).
The metal-constructed locking handle can be
easily repositioned by lifting upward & rotating.
One end of the steel rod is squared-off (diamond ground)
while the other end is hemispherical.
The stop came with a 5/8" T-nut so I had to make
one that was 1/2" to match the RF-25 mill's slot size.
The T-nut is tapped with a 5/16-18 thread to match the stop's
hardware. It's not hardened but still performs well.
Made a blind hole slipover aluminum handle,
held on with 6-32 set screws, for the 1/4" hex wrench.
The three flush hex screws positively engage the flat.
Left off the knurling so it would not hold dirt.
The stop rod engages the square 5C fixture edge.
The 5C collet has a depth stop screwed into its end.
Made a 1/4" steel stop rod that is 4-48 threaded so it
can accept different types of screw-in dial indicator tips.
The example shows an installed tip that uses a chrome steel ball bearing.
This stop attaches using two, 1/2-13 threaded holes in
the back of the solid jaw & is below the top of the jaws.
This work stop, which is below the part, attaches to the
mill table & is shown setting the position of a 5C fixture.
Only clamp a stop onto the
vise's solid (reference) jaw.
The stop fixes the left part's position while the right
part acts as a spacer to even out the clamping pressure.
Only clamp a stop onto the vise's solid (reference) jaw.
Specialized rule that can be used on
lathes & mills. Stop-Loc instructions.
Electronic edge finder with a 3/4" shank. The 0.400"
diameter ball tip is spring-loaded to prevent
damage from over travel. After the edge is detected,
zero the DRO, retract the quill, move the axis
1/2 the distance of the ball's diameter (0.200") & then
zero the DRO, again. Electronic edge finder manual.
LED edge finder animation. Note how the self-centering,
spring-loaded ball allows over travel without damage.
See more vises.
A variety of edge detectors & center finders with
3/4". 1/2", & 3/8" shanks. The spindle is turning.
The wiggler-type (right) works best at about
1000 RPM. The LS Starrett brand is superior.
Using a center finder to zero the DROs. The spindle
turns & the point is centered by gently pressing on it.
Edge finder animation.
The spindle is turning at about 1000 RPM.
3/8" diameter Starrett edge finder with an adapter so
you don't have to change a collet just to indicate an edge.
Step sizes: 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" & 1".
Step depths vary from .100" to .200".
A stepped center indicator for quick alignments.
Made out of stainless steel rod.
1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 1/2" steps.
For the most accurate indication,
use a center finder or dial test indicator.
Dowel-centering tool. Gauges are far more accurate.
Be sure to start with a center drill, first.
Handy for use on a drill press.
Small, low, 1/16" thick, polycarbonate chip shield.
The aluminum base has five glued-in magnets.
Three, 6-32 set screws hold the shield into the base.
Larger polycarbonate shield on a magnetic base.
SS holder rod with aluminum edge holder.
Accurate, 1-2-3, 2-3-4 & 2-4-6 (inches)
precision-ground, hardened, steel blocks.
3/8-16 threaded & clearance holes allow clamping.
The 2-4-6 blocks are shown
being used to stiffen the setup.
Animation illustrating the use of precision
blocks to help indicate the RF-25 table.
The 1st Word fixture by Sparro is discontinued.
RF-25 mill table slot dimensions where:
24mm = 0.945", 14mm = 0.551", & 10mm = 0.394".
Work Hold-down Clamps
The RF-25 slots require 1/2" T-Nuts using 3/8" studs.
Hold-down clamp set.
Six-inch Phase II+ rotary table. Perfect size for the RF-25
table (40- lb). Worm gear can cam out of mesh to
allow free/rapid rotation of the table. Before use, remove
the table scale index retention knob that is above the
front left table locking lever, in order to fill the oil reservoir
through the hole. Plastic reservoir window to the right
of the front locking lever shows the oil level. Filled it to the
middle of the window with Starrett light instrument oil.
Phase2+ Rotary Table manual.
6" rotary table with 6" 4-jaw chuckmounted.
M8-1.25 counter sunk hex bolts use the existing
chuck adapter plate holes. Hardened 5/16-18 hex bolts
hold the plate to the 6" rotary table. The aluminum
plate is made from high-precision (milled) stock.
Bolted a narrow, milled bar with 3/8-16 threaded
mounting holes onto the bottom of the rotary table.
Just clamp it into the vise with the bottom of the table
resting on the top of the precision machined jaws.
The table aligns fine & it is quicker than
removing & re-installing the 75 lb Parlec vise.
4-5/8" of Z are lost but if the part is small, no problem.
The rotary table is also better centered.
Rapid Rotary Table Positioning
Mounted the wafer onto a 1"
A 1-3/8" spacer holds/centers the first part I made.
Completed parts with fixtures.
A single HSS toolbit can be ground to a gear profile.
My first try results. The three-jawed chuck did
not hold the stock perfectly centered. This is easily
corrected using a 4-jaw chuck or collets.
I have now switched to CNC gears
Mill Vise, Indicating a Mill Vise, Parallel Sets, Parallel Separator,