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Undercutting Ideas

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:13 pm
by MeanderBolt
In another thread I was talking about Vises. The Carbide vise came up and has been itching my brain ever since. I have been now milling aluminum for a few months and would love to try something like that, but it got me thinking about what sort of endmill to use. This is not a common cut. Well, at least around here, on our sized machines. So, I thought I might start a dialog discussing the possibilities.

I am thinking that you would have to mill it in 2 steps. The first step would be a pocket, milling the center strip out to the end depth. Then I think you would do a tool change using something like this, starting at that end depth and doing several profile cuts. Each cut would get progressively wider, ending with a deliberate return to center before being extracted. It would be much more hands on in the CAM process as I am not seeing any tools for doing this manually.

And before someone says it... yes, I know I could just go buy it and save a lot of time and headache, and no, it would not have the dead sexy red anodized finish, but this goes beyond the milling of just that vice, I have a several other ideas which could benefit from this pipeline. It is more for the education, and furthering the ability.

Any thoughts?

Re: Undercutting Ideas

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:32 pm
by chamnit
Here's another idea that may work better for most people. If you have something with t-slots, like an aluminum bed with them or you just mill a plate with a bunch of t-slots, you can make a really simple low-profile vise like this ( ... -for-mill/). I have one on my Sherline, and it's wonderful since it's so simple. You just have to mill square blocks and put two holes in them. You can mill the "jaws" to hold any shape work you have, small, large, and/or irregularly shaped.

This should also be much easier to make than the Carbide one and infinitely more adjustable.

Re: Undercutting Ideas

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:34 pm
by WillAdams
Instead just make it up out of U-channel and aluminum angle?

Agree your idea for machining seems reasonable.

Re: Undercutting Ideas

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:14 pm
by MeanderBolt
Heh. Life in the uncanny valley eh? Awesome title.
I hear ya, and that is a really elegant idea.

Wait... Chamnit, this is your site?

I think that it's still a process that I want to learn (if it's a proper process to do on a mill). I see so many places where this could be useful. Perhaps bringing up the vise was distracting to the conversation (although I really want to talk to you about your vise as it's really cool). And yes, I have a misumi aluminum bed, so it would be a matter of just working out the spacing of the slots and drawing it up in CAD.

Re: Undercutting Ideas

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:24 pm
by chamnit
Nope. Not my site, but this one has the nicest write up on this style of low-profile vise. It also has some really interesting projects on it. There are a few others low profile vise designs out there and some YouTube videos . The carbide one is the same concept but with dovetails, which maybe slightly stronger for the size.

As for the undercutting process, milling a tslot is the same as you described.