I picked up a “CNC Fixturing Pallet” and a pair of “CNC Beginner’s Vises” from Bantam Tools about a month ago. To be honest, it was priced below Carbide3D’s offerings and looked like good values. In particular, the “CNC Fixturing Pallet” is listed as 0.75" thick and 9" x 11" in dimensions, so both thicker and bigger than Carbide3D’s Nomad plate.
Taking the tooling plate out of the packaging, I noticed the heft, yes, but then after putting it down on my work bench, immediately noticed it was rocking across a diagonal. Not a good sign so far, and sure enough, putting it on my granite surface plate showed the same result. The bottom surface is definitely worse than the top surface, but the top surface is rocking rocks as well.
The tooling plate lack of flatness is to be honest not the end of the world. I have a CNC afterall and can resurface it. I’d lose the anodization properties and a bit of thickness.
Now about the vises:
If one just take a look at the fixed jaws, one will notice some hand work that has left some non-uniform / non-horizontal scratch patterns and has rounded the jaws. If you put two of the fixed jaws face to face, sure enough they show high spots and light gaps. To me this is inexplicable. These were presumable made on a production CNC, for pete’s sake. No matter how bad the tramming / chatter / galling / chip embedding is, I cannot imagine it being worse than this hand work. I don’t want to toss these out so I will cut a relief grove in the inside corner and re-mill the fixed jaw face.
To summarize, I would not recommend these two products to anyone. I am also glad I didn’t spend the extra money on the “Low Profile Vise”, which appears to be similar to production CNC vises. Furthermore, with these as examples of the level of quality of Bantam products, I cannot imagine their actual CNC machine being a quality machine.