Workholding for minuscule parts?

Recently I had to cut a number of very small discs (4mm/0.15" in diameter) out of a 0.7mm/0.03" copper sheet, on my Shapeoko.

I used tape & glue workholding and slightly overcutting, which almost worked, but some of the discs went free during the final cutout pass.

I wonder how you guys manage this situation? Probably, Nomad users have some workholding tricks up their sleeve? I never tried wax, would it work for holding very small parts ?

I could always use micro-tabs or onion skin, but cleaning up such small parts is not going to be easy.

My solution is to secure it on a fixture bracketed with threaded inserts around the perimeter of the part — do the operations in stages which gradually reveal the threaded inserts, then screw in nylon or aluminum bolts to hold the part in place (you’ll need to adjust the stock thickness and cutting operations) and then allow them to be partially cut away if need be.

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Mmh. I guess cutting three quarters of each disc perimeter, then attaching long braces on top of the rows of half-cut discs, and then cutting the remaining part, could work.

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Yeah, for multiples you won’t want to cut away multiple fasteners — it adds up quick cost-wise — a sacrificial strip as you describe instead would be a lot more affordable.

I’ve actually just finished drawing up some parts along those lines — not sacrificial I hope, but will hopefully work well enough.

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