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Newbie question: holding 5.5" square stock on a 45 degree angle

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PrettyHateMachining

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#1
Hi guys,

I have never operated a milling machine in my life but will have a Bridgeport here shortly. I need to hold a piece of 5.5" square stock (about 9" long if matters) at a 45 degree angle so that I can mill a flat on the corners of the square. I need access to all parts of the corner. The end result will look like this:

Jp4Cwg5.jpg

Ignore the etched end caps and the handle and such, just the main hammer body is what's needed. I've been looking at v-blocks but they all seem tiny, and the clamps go over the top which wouldn't allow me to mill that flat.

Or does it just make sense to tilt the head of the bridgeport? Or get a 45 degree cutter of some kind instead? What would YOU do in this situation?

Apologies for the extreme beginner questions!

Thanks,
Adam
 

T Bredehoft

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#2
Bridgeport heads were made to move, crank it over to 45º and mill in the Y plane.
 

PrettyHateMachining

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#3
Bridgeport heads were made to move, crank it over to 45º and mill in the Y plane.
Thanks. I was trying to avoid this because it seemed like a ton of work. You can see all the angles on this hammer head and I figured it would take me ages. But maybe that's the smartest move?

Thanks,
Adam
 

cathead

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#4
A lot of times I will set up a milling operation using an angle block to set the angle in the vise. Then you don't have to move the head.
This may or may not work for you but very handy for lots of things. I made a set of angle blocks from 1 degree to 45
degrees so parts can be set at any angle. The part is quite heavily clamped in the mill vise and it is a good idea to
take only light cuts since the side pressure on the vise is all that holds the part in position. The size of the part in relation
to the size of the part determines if this is feasable. There's nothing wrong with angling the head if that looks to be
the best way to set up.
 

PrettyHateMachining

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#5
A lot of times I will set up a milling operation using an angle block to set the angle in the vise. Then you don't have to move the head.
This may or may not work for you but very handy for lots of things. I made a set of angle blocks from 1 degree to 45
degrees so parts can be set at any angle. The part is quite heavily clamped in the mill vise and it is a good idea to
take only light cuts since the side pressure on the vise is all that holds the part in position. The size of the part in relation
to the size of the part determines if this is feasable. There's nothing wrong with angling the head if that looks to be
the best way to set up.
Thanks, these are the kinds of things I would never have thought of. Much appreciated!
 

dulltool17

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#7
What Cathead said- you're fortunate to have the Bridgeport, so you have multiple options- rotate the part or the head. I only have a Griz combo machine. The limitations, however annoying, force you to learn creative ways to solve problems. Still, in a good vise, and with a few tricks, you can do a lot.
 

T Bredehoft

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#8
By tipping the head, you keep the ability to hold the work securely in the vise. Tipping the work looses contact area on the sides of the work.
 

Clock work

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#9
I was just screwing around with this last night so allow me to inject my ignorant 2 cents. My tram is Hand of God perfect and I didn't want to mess with it if there was another way. I have to put a 45 degree bevel on one corner of 4 parts and decided to use the ability to compare otherwise identical paths as a learning experience.

First try... hold down on the table itself. STEP ONE - (Photo "...941" below) - first set up 45-deg with a v-block. Note that it's referenced off an imprecise painted surface of the vise via a 123 block but at least with my squares, that surface is nuts on for the purposes of this exercise. The part is located on top of a 123 block... both the block and the part reference off the block. Clamp it down. STEP TWO - To supply a decent "moment of resistance" to the clamped part, add a second clamp... remove the v-block and apply it's clamp to the part. Now there are two hold downs. (Photo 555).

Second method... On the bench, I created a squared-up 123-block sandwich with a part on each side, primarily to protect the surface of the block from the clamp. The clamp had to be angled in a matter that allowed the v-block to mate up to the right side of the assembly (v facing left) during clamping in the vise (v-block shown removed). I centered the assembly above the vise screw.

I chose to abandon the First Try because I just didn't like the one-way up-force I was applying to the hold down slots. I can crank the hell out of the bolts holding down my vise because my vise resists the pulling against the table. Not so with the setup described. I just don't have the experience to know/divine the answer so I'm conservative. Nihil perditi:) So I did the first two corners via method two.

Conclusion...... WAY too many heartbeats spent pondering this. I didn't learn anything new and I could have been doing something more useful. The second two will be done by rotating the head to 45 degrees and holding the parts simply in the vise.

My two cents.
 

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Suzuki4evr

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#10
A lot of times I will set up a milling operation using an angle block to set the angle in the vise. Then you don't have to move the head.
This may or may not work for you but very handy for lots of things. I made a set of angle blocks from 1 degree to 45
degrees so parts can be set at any angle. The part is quite heavily clamped in the mill vise and it is a good idea to
take only light cuts since the side pressure on the vise is all that holds the part in position. The size of the part in relation
to the size of the part determines if this is feasable. There's nothing wrong with angling the head if that looks to be
the best way to set up.
I know this is off topic,did you take pictures of the process of making the angle plates or maybe you can just post the pictures of the finished product. That is if you don't mind sharing.
Michael
 

cathead

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#11
I know this is off topic,did you take pictures of the process of making the angle plates or maybe you can just post the pictures of the finished product. That is if you don't mind sharing.
Michael
Michael,

Give me a little time and I will make up a post for you and also an explanation of the process I used. I have to go to the dentist today but will have time later on today. Thanks for asking. I will put it on this thread.
 
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Suzuki4evr

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#12
Great stufffff. Lots of pics
 

cathead

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#13
I have a little time now so here goes.

There are several ways to make these angle plates. One way is to mount your
roughed out angle plate on a rotary table and set each angle and mill each side
smooth. It's quite accurate and quick do but requires a rotary table.



P1020170.JPG

Another method is to use a digital readout on the mill to determine the angle.
I used the DRO to place the pair of quarter inch holes in some of the ones
with the smaller angles. You can use a sine chart to determine placement of the holes. It's not hard once you look at a sine chart for a certain angle.
Mark the two holes and drill 1/4 inch holes. If you want to get real accurate,
drill the holes one size smaller than 1/4 and ream to 1/4 inch. Then install
a pair of 1/4 inch dowel pins into the holes and fit into the vise so the plate is
hanging on the pins. Then tighten the vise and mill off enough material until
the milled surface is flat. If you don't have a digital read out, you can position the
tholes using the dials on the mill.

Joe Pieczinski has a real good You Tube video of this, way better than
my explanation here.....Look up angle plates on YouTube under Joe Pi.



P1020171.JPG






That is the best ways I know to make your own angle plates. I use 1/4 inch
thick material to make these and will make pairs of them for the more commonly used angles.

There are other ways as well. You can use a little simple trigonometry
to find the corners of a plate and lay it out that way. Scribe the lines
in lay out dye and position in the mill vise very carefully and mill off each side. This method is going to be less accurate depending on how well you measure
and position.

My first choice is the rotary table followed by the DRO method. The trig
method will work but accuracy will likely suffer somewhat possibly due to measurement difficulty.

There are probably other ways as well to accomplish this as well.

If I can help in any way or if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 
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PrettyHateMachining

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#14
I was just screwing around with this last night so allow me to inject my ignorant 2 cents. My tram is Hand of God perfect and I didn't want to mess with it if there was another way. I have to put a 45 degree bevel on one corner of 4 parts and decided to use the ability to compare otherwise identical paths as a learning experience.

First try... hold down on the table itself. STEP ONE - (Photo "...941" below) - first set up 45-deg with a v-block. Note that it's referenced off an imprecise painted surface of the vise via a 123 block but at least with my squares, that surface is nuts on for the purposes of this exercise. The part is located on top of a 123 block... both the block and the part reference off the block. Clamp it down. STEP TWO - To supply a decent "moment of resistance" to the clamped part, add a second clamp... remove the v-block and apply it's clamp to the part. Now there are two hold downs. (Photo 555).

Second method... On the bench, I created a squared-up 123-block sandwich with a part on each side, primarily to protect the surface of the block from the clamp. The clamp had to be angled in a matter that allowed the v-block to mate up to the right side of the assembly (v facing left) during clamping in the vise (v-block shown removed). I centered the assembly above the vise screw.

I chose to abandon the First Try because I just didn't like the one-way up-force I was applying to the hold down slots. I can crank the hell out of the bolts holding down my vise because my vise resists the pulling against the table. Not so with the setup described. I just don't have the experience to know/divine the answer so I'm conservative. Nihil perditi:) So I did the first two corners via method two.

Conclusion...... WAY too many heartbeats spent pondering this. I didn't learn anything new and I could have been doing something more useful. The second two will be done by rotating the head to 45 degrees and holding the parts simply in the vise.

My two cents.
Thanks! Sorry for the delay, I never got notified that there were new posts. Being so new to machining it's good to see these practical examples of setups that I'd never think of. I don't have the machinist mindset yet, but someday!
 

Clock work

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#15
Thanks! Sorry for the delay, I never got notified that there were new posts. Being so new to machining it's good to see these practical examples of setups that I'd never think of. I don't have the machinist mindset yet, but someday!
First, it was my pleasure. Glad it helped. You and I are both rookies, but you made my night right there:)

Second, I finally got around to throwing the head over and making the cuts. Easy peasy.

CW
 

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jmarkwolf

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#16
Wouldn't a 45deg bevel cutter, with the work held flat, do what the OP wants?
 

P T Schram

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#17
Wouldn't a 45deg bevel cutter, with the work held flat, do what the OP wants?
Now that's another way of looking at things
I was just thinking about this topic last night as I need to make a batch of wooden, steel, and aluminum vee blox.

I'm gonna start out with an angle vise as I too do not want to have to tram my mill as with my luck, I'll break the clamp setting it up!
 

chips&more

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#19
If you are trying to make a hammer like you have shown in the pic. I would double check the angle. It does not look like 45°. The four 5.5” corners, yes. But not all the angles on the hammer faces…Dave

And I would use something like a single angle cutter and not tilt the head. The single angle cutter leaves a much nicer finish when all is said and done.
 
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PrettyHateMachining

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#20
If you are trying to make a hammer like you have shown in the pic. I would double check the angle. It does not look like 45°. The four 5.5” corners, yes. But not all the angles on the hammer faces…Dave

And I would use something like a single angle cutter and not tilt the head. The single angle cutter leaves a much nicer finish when all is said and done.
You are correct, the angles of the strike faces on the hammer are 27.5 degrees. I would need a custom made endmill for that (without using one of the tricks mentioned here like tilting the head). Maybe someday in the future if I make more of them I'll have the custom endmills made but they are like $200-300 a piece. This will be the second hammer I've made (the first one, as shown, was all hand-ground and sanded and such). 150 hours of work.

Now that's another way of looking at things
I was just thinking about this topic last night as I need to make a batch of wooden, steel, and aluminum vee blox.

I'm gonna start out with an angle vise as I too do not want to have to tram my mill as with my luck, I'll break the clamp setting it up!
Yeah I guess the biggest problem is finding a vise like that opens wide enough that can handle 150lbs but I'll look around.
 
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bfd

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#21
you asked what I would do so here it is; having a face mill with carbides set at 45 degrees I would lay the stock flat in the vice. set a stop ( so i can rotate the part 4 times. this would make all angles the same depth. a 45 degree cutter can be made out of a fly cutter and bit. bill
 

TORQUIN

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#22
I'd go the angle cutter route, and look on Ebay for one, either carbide or HSS. You can find that stuff used, but in good shape, cheap there. Otherwise Shars may have a carbide indexable cutter with a 45 profile.

Chris
 

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#23
A couple of things to consider. As has been said the head on the bridgeport is designed to moved, the problem is everytime you move it, you then have to set it back up square again. A lot depends on how often you're likely to want to move it, and how fussy you are about setting it up square again.

If you're likely to want to move it often and are not so worried about setting it back up square afterwards, then I'd go for moving the head.

If on the other hand if you're not likely to want to move it often and you are particularly concerned about having set up square, then I'd look at some of the other option.
For my money I'd look at getting a 45 deg cutter likely to get a fair bit of use anyway. other angles might want other solutions. Other common angles like 45, 30 60, even 27.5 you can probably get ready made cutters.

Another thought if you intend to make a lot of these, how about making a purpose built jig to hold the part at the right angle and go for it.
 

dlane

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#24
I’ll bet he got it figured out by now but One of these makes it easy.
708522DC-3548-4C70-B541-EB802B830685.jpeg
 
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