Tooling & Workholding

Toolholders

The Toolholder is the essential connection between the machining center and the cutting tool. The toolholder fits into and is secured by the machining center’s spindle, and in turn secures the cutting tool such as a drill or end mill by clamping onto its shank. The taper of the toolholder matches the toolholder interface of the particular spindle. Toolholder tapers are often conical, including CAT and BT taper specifications. A different kind of taper, HSK, is not tapered at all, but instead includes a variety of flanges for securely locking the toolholder in place. Toolholders use different mechanisms for clamping the tool. A set screw can clamp onto a corresponding flat in the tool’s shank. Or, a collet can be compressed around the tool by tightening a nut that also surrounds the tool. More unusual clamping mechanisms include hydraulic toolholders, which compress a bladder of hydraulic fluid, as well as shrink fit toolholders, which clamp and release the tool by heating and cooling the toolholder’s metal to take advantage of thermal expansion and contraction. Other toolholder types use still other methods of clamping. Various clamping mechanisms aim to provide not just secure holding of the tool, but also tool concentricity to the centerline of the spindle that is accurate to a level of runout error appropriate to the tool and the machining process.

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Featured Zone Content

Gripper for machine tool

Video: Parts Gripper Allows Machine To Act As Its Own Robot


This footage shows a workpiece gripper that enables a machine to load and unload workpieces on its own.

toolholder balancing machine

Video: Balancing Tools And Toolholders


This video provides both the argument and methodology for performing offline balancing of tool/toolholder assemblies for high speed machining centers.



Flexible Tooling System Enables Small-Part Manufacturing

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Designed for small-part manufacturing applications, the Deco-Flex tooling interface from Exsys is said to offer flexibility, precision and cost savings.

Rego-Fix IntRLox mini clamping nut

Clamping Nuts Prevent Tool Slippage

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
The slip-proof IntRLox mini clamping nuts from Rego-Fix feature a frontal milled slot on the outside diameters that mates to a corresponding wrench to prevent slippage during the tightening or loosening process.

Rego-Fix Offers Retrofit Coolant-Through System for Static Tooling

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Following the success of its retrofit reCool coolant-through system for live tooling on CNC lathes, Rego-Fix has expanded the low-maintenance system to bring internal cooling capabilities to static toolholders on Swiss automatic machines, the company says.  

GenSwiss Dual Port toolholder

Coolant-Through Toolholders Equipped with Dual Ports

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
GenSwiss Dual Port coolant-through toolholders feature a single coolant feed line and a double-jet design with one port on the front and one on the back.

ITI Tooling Quick-change Varia tooholding system

Toolholding System Promotes Productivity

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
The Quick-Change Varia toolholding system from ITI Tooling is designed to improve the productivity of CNC lathes.


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