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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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.

Carr Lane Offers 2016 Catalog

By: Jedd Cole
The online version enables the user to order and obtain free CAD drawings.

Northfield Precision collet chuck

Collet Chuck Balances Drive Shafts

By: Jedd Cole
Northfield Precision Instrument offers a special internal-grip collet chuck for balancing drive shafts.

Dillon Soft Blank Top Jaws Feature Consistent Part Clamping

By: Lori Beckman
The chuck jaws are available in 1018 steel, and 6061 aluminum as well as 4140, 8620 and A2, brass, Delrin, or stainless steel to suit virtually any CNC or manual chuck project involving turned or bored parts.

Kurt SideWinder

Vise Reduces Setup Time for Secondary Operations

By: Jedd Cole
The Kurt SideWinder vise provides vertical workholding without interfering with an existing host vise or the spindle.

Exsys Lehmann SwissClamp

Modular Clamping System Enables Mounting of Multiple Workpieces

By: Jedd Cole
Exsys Tool offers the pL Lehmann SwissClamp modular clamping system, enabling operators to mount multiple workpieces on machine tool tables for uninterrupted production and unattended operations.

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