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.

52H-3E Series Manual Clamps for Prototype Fixtures

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
With the new 52H-3E series, De-Sta-Co is offering an individualized, adjustable manual power clamp primarily for prototype fixtures.

Range of Hydraulic Chucks Increase Tool Productivity

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
ERI America offers WTE’s line of precision hydraulic chucks, including high-performance holders and micro universal chucks.

Dillon’s quick-change collet pads and collet pad jaws

Collet Pads, Jaws Hold Hexagonal, Square Workpieces

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Dillon’s quick-change collet pads and collet pad jaws are intended for small-diameter workpiece machining applications.

Big Kaiser ESM 138 Turbo and Ergo 138

Expanded Chuck Series Doubles Clamping Force

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Big Kaiser has expanded its Unilock 138-series round chuck with the ESM 138 Turbo and Ergo 138 models.

Dillon’s Full Grip Jaws Made from 1018 Steel

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Dillon Manufacturing’s full grip jaws made of 1018 CR steel from 6” to 15” in diameter, with heights of 2”, 4”, and 6”, are heat treatable and weldable steel jaws that allow for complete gripping of the workpiece to maintain repetitive accuracy.

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