Tooling & Workholding


Workholding refers to any device that is used to a secure a workpiece and hold it in place against the forces of machining. The most basic workholding device is a simple clamp that is screwed into place on a machining center’s table, but workholding can also involve complex fixtures that are custom-built for particular parts. Other common workholding devices include vises and chucks, as well as indexers or rotary tables that are able to change the part’s position while it is held, so the machine can reach various features of the part without the setup having to be changed. In most machining applications, workholding also locates the part. In turning, for example, a chuck not only holds the part securely but also holds it precisely on the centerline of the spindle. On a machining center, the vise or fixture that holds the part may also hold it in the precise position and orientation where the machining program expects to find it. For this reason, components such as locating pins and workstops that make it easy to place piece after piece in the same location are also common workholding components.

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Featured Zone Content

The Case for Custom Fixturing

Photos of custom fixtures illustrate the types of applications that call for non-standard workholding.

Small Engine Precision Fuels Fifth-Axis Production Workholding Concept

The challenge holding tight tolerances for its billet RC helicopter engine components drove this company to develop an innovative fifth-axis tombstone device to complete multiple parts on an HMC in one setup.

Get That Part off the Table

Vertical machining centers with simultaneous five-axis machining capability have become popular in recent years.

Incremental Automation

This machine tool supplier sees shops searching for just a little bit of unattended capacity. Many shops are closer to obtaining this extra capacity than they realize.

Dillon Jaw Nuts and Keys are Certified and Include MSDS

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Manufactured from certified 4140 heat treated steel and shipped with an MSDS to verify, Dillon jaw nuts and keys provide superior wear resistance, impact resistance, higher tensile strength, and extended jaw nut life compared with jaws made from case hardened 1018 steel, the company says.

Glacern Modular Vise Offers Three-Way Versatility

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Glacern Machine Tools’ CNC vise, the Glacern modular vise (GMV), offers flexibility with a versatile design that allows fast setups in three modes.

angled part

3D-Printed Tooling Speeds Manufacturing of Cutting Tools

By: Peter Zelinski
Knight Carbide's insert delivery times had to wait on custom tooling, so they acquired a Mojo desktop 3D printer from Stratasys make their own. Lead times for insert carriers were shortened from weeks to just six hours.

Clamping System for Three-, Four- or Five-Axis Machines

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
According to Schunk, its Vero-S clamping system reduces setup changes by 90 percent with this fast, accurate, quick change workholding and positioning system.

Slim Hydraulic Chuck for Narrow Workpiece Applications

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
NT Tool’s hydraulic chucks in the slim-bodied PHC-S holder are especially useful for tight spaces.

Self centering vise is a cost effective and universal workholding method for five sided machining.
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