Workholding question

I’m looking for a solution to clamp an 8"x 8" x 0.25" piece of Aluminum onto my table. Anyone have a suggestion that would be easy to swap plates to keep things running?

Is running a compressor and using a vacuum an option?

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No to vacuum, as I’ll be cutting through the plate. I’m personally biased towards mechanical clamping.

If you’re doing repeated work on the same stock size, I’d machine an 8x8 pocket into a chunk of MDF, attach the MDF with some hot melt and Roberts your Mother’s brother. Little bit of double-stick tape on the AL bottom and it won’t go anywhere. Plus perfect registration every time.


I cut a piece just that size recently. I screwed it down with wood screws into a larger piece of sacrificial MDF, then clamped the larger MDF using normal clamping. If you had a couple pieces of MDF the same size, and a way to set them into the same place every time (dowel pins, etc.) you could swap that way and have the next ready to go. I usually make 1/4" dowel pin holes with the SO3, I drill the holes into MDF, then set the first piece just where I want it, run the same NC program to drill holes in that (and every subsequent piece) in the same place, then place 1/4" steel dowel pins in and always have the same position, works good for 2 sided jobs too if you place the holes along a center axis. Or as Adam pointed out above, you could cut a pocket the same size as your stock and use tape.



Thanks for the suggestions.

I’m thinking of an oversized scrap board with a pocket sized for the stock, and a cam pin to lock the stock in place.

This sounds like an interesting project.

Runs off to drawing cave to make plans for tooling…

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