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.

Lexair 16C collet chuck

Concentrically-Adjustable Collet Chuck Provides 6" Capacity

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Lexair’s 16C wrench-operated collet chuck has an integrated A2-5 nose to accommodate standard 16C collets ranging to 1.625", as well as bolt-on closing rings and ID mandrels.

Vises, Chucks Provide Excellent Price-Performance Ratios

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
The Orange Line’s Extra RV-E keyless and Prima-L keyed drill chucks, available in different sizes and clamping capacities, accommodate applications.

KME CNC five-axis trunnion

Smaller Trunnion Fits Variety of Machines

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
KME CNC’s five-axis trunnion is designed to be integrated with existing equipment without size restrictions.

Exsys Tool pL Lehmann 500

Multi-Axis Rotary Tables Enable Hundreds of Configurations

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
The Swiss-manufactured pL Lehmann 500 series of modular multi-axis rotary tables, now available from Exsys Tool, enables users to upgrade a vertical machining center to increase productivity.

Colliflower LLC Set-Up Stick

Clamping System Can Adjust in 0.030" Increments

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Colliflower LLC’s Set-Up Stick is a clamping system comprised of a “stick,” a “stop” and a “tippy clamp” that together produce a strong forward and downward grip onto as little as 0.050".

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