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Squaring C-Beam with a Mill

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by abavery, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. abavery

    abavery New
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    I'm preparing to square all of the extrusions for my C-Beam XL build, and I'm wondering if I can just load the extrusions one by one into a vise on my CNC Mill and run an endmill along the ends of the machine. The real question is this: am I going to damage the extrusions by clamping them down nice and tight in a 3 inch vise? I don't know how strong the extrusions are and don't want to bend them or crush them so the v-slot wheels don't run properly.


    Thanks
     
  2. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Remember, you're only milling aluminum so there is no need to put a cheater bar on the vise handle to tighten it down. Seriously though, I suggest covering the gripped edges of the V-slot in a layer of blue tape to prevent surface marring and when you clamp it you shouldn't need significant pressure on the extrusion to hold it still while cutting. The aluminum is fairly soft and doesn't put much of a fight.

    If you are still concerned however, an alternate solution would be to take solid block of some material you don't see a problem with squeezing with the vise and drill holes up through it that align with the V-slot channels and run screws up through it into tee-nuts in the channel, affixing the V-slot to the block and then gripping the block in the vise.

    Good luck with your build. :thumbsup:
     
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  3. abavery

    abavery New
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    Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of throwing some painters tape on it. I will definitely do that. The vise is a small one. Just a 3 inch toolmaker's vise that I tighten down with an 8mm allen wrench, so I didn't figure I would be able to cause any issues with the extrusion just using that, but it is always good to consult experts when possible.
     
  4. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    If you are gripping C-beam do be sure and grip it across the solid side (i.e. legs up).

    (That probably didn't need said but I figured better safe than sorry.)
     
  5. abavery

    abavery New
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    I figured that would be the best way to go about it. I hope I have an endmill tall enough to get it all in one pass, or I will have to flip it and get creative with the fixture.
     

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