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Atlas mill model MFC. Looking for a clamp set.

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Airpirate

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#1
Ive been looking around for a clamp set for my MFC atlas mill. i found several on ebay but not sure what size to buy.
They are listed by T slot size, what does this refer to? is it the dimension of the wide part of the slot beneath the table surface where the head would slide, or is the the dimension of the slot in the top of the table? mine has a lower slot size of 5/8 but the sets with a T slot size of 5/8 have half inch studs, my table slots are only .362 wide.
 

westsailpat

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#2
If I remember correctly when the set is referred to a fraction size , say 1/2 it means the set has 1/2 " studs . I would contact the seller and ask questions .
 

CluelessNewB

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#3
Link below is the set I ordered for my MFC ( 5/16"-18 studs 3/8" T-Slot) they seem to work but I haven't used then much. I believe Shars also has a similar sized set. I also ordered some 3/8-16 square head bolts and flange nuts from McMaster Carr. These required facing off the heads of the bolts to fit in the slot. I did that on my lathe, it took about an hour to do 20 of them.

Little Machine Shop #5491

https://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=5491
 

JPMacG

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#4
I had the same problem. I had trouble finding the dimensions of the various clamping kit tee nuts. I eventually found that if you dig down deep enough on the Shars site they give you a drawing of their tee nut.

I could not find any clamping kit that exactly fit my MFC. I purchased the Shars 5/16-18 kit but I had to mill about .030 off the tops of the tee nuts because they protruded above the table. I also had to cut some short pieces from 5/16-18 threaded rod because the shortest studs in the Shars kit were too long for most of my clamping jobs.

I tried the 3/8-16 square head bolt idea (this is suggested in the MFC owner's manual) but I did not like how they fit the slot.
 

Bob Korves

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#5
I find it best to just make my own t-nuts. They are not difficult to make, are cheap to make, and I can get the exact fit I am looking for. I also prefer t-nuts that are NOT hardened, and have well rounded and smoothed corners. Hardened t-nuts hurt your t-slots, are difficult to modify when they do not fit the slots, and will also ding anything they are set on while attached to tooling.
 

Rob

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#6

mikey

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#7
... but not sure what size to buy.
They are listed by T slot size, what does this refer to? is it the dimension of the wide part of the slot beneath the table surface where the head would slide, or is the the dimension of the slot in the top of the table.
Most clamp sets are sold by the dimension inside the top part of the T-slot, the narrow or leg of the upside down T. To be sure, measure and document all dimensions of the T-slot, then compare them to the T-nuts provided in the set you're considering. Take a look at Northwestern Tool clamp sets - very good value for your dollar. They sell on ebay but you can also contact Brent at NT and tell him you're an HM member. He has been really, really helpful to me.
 

NortonDommi

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#8
Metrickery sets are designated by the diameter of the stud and Imperial,Usually), by the width of the slot. Unfortuneately the majority of people writing tool descriptions work in advertising and usually don't have a clue about what they are describing. Imperial also come in different flavours, ISO,pre-ISO and manufactures special. As Mikey said take some careful measurements. The pre-ISO slots tend to have a fat leg with a narrow bar 'T' leg is upright, bar is horizontal. ISO ones are similar to the metrickery ones. The measurements for a M6 nut are width of leg 8mm, width of bar 13mm, depth total 10mm, depth bar 6mm. Sorry all info on Imperial sizes is on old computer and I haven't bought a data cable to connect with this one.
You could also check the download section as there is an enormouse amount of Atlas information there.
 

NortonDommi

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#9
Better add the slot sizes too for comparison. width of slot 8mm, width of bar 14.5-16mm, total depth 15-18, depth of bar 7-8mm. In the real world slots can be fractionally wider this is due to the fact that they are normally cast in and there has to be a little clearance. Nuts can vary a bit too.
 

Airpirate

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#12
Ive been looking around for a clamp set for my MFC atlas mill. i found several on ebay but not sure what size to buy.
They are listed by T slot size, what does this refer to? is it the dimension of the wide part of the slot beneath the table surface where the head would slide, or is the the dimension of the slot in the top of the table? mine has a lower slot size of 5/8 but the sets with a T slot size of 5/8 have half inch studs, my table slots are only .362 wide.
 

Airpirate

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#13
I appreciate all the helpful comments. I now know I need 3/8 T slot with 5/16 studs.
Found a decent price for a set on Ebay and bought them.
 

wa5cab

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#14
You may find that you still need to reduce the height of either or both the narrow and wide portion of the T-nuts. Easiest way to do this is to put one of you smaller studs in a chuck (or better, a collet) on your lathe. Run one of the flanged clamping muts onto the stud, followed by the T-nut. Use a solid carbide cutter to face the flats down until the T-nut will slide into the slot and not have anything standing proud of the table surface. Some T-nuts are case hardened. With those, first grind through the case a few thousands. And then face it. If you don't have a lathe, you can do it on the mill if you have either a 5/16" collet or a Jacobs No. 56 spindle chuck to hold the stud, and a milling vise to hold the lathe cutter. Use your bench grinder to take the resultant sharp edges off after you have enough height reduced.
 

Silverbullet

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#15
I'd get some grade eight bolts in the 2" - 5" length in 7/16 or 3/8" . I'd mill the sides to fit the top of the table and mill the heads to fit the bottom of the slot . Heck I'd grind a couple to get started . Your studs will be stronger and fit tooling slots better. With coupling nuts your set . It's best to buy the hold down nuts with the flat washers on them. I have the same mill and that's my plan ,, plus I have tons of bolts being a repair and fabricator. Or is that fornacator lol
 

NortonDommi

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#16
I was thrown by your measurement of 0.362" which is not 3/8" aye? The manual states the size so now you have it sorted. If you do have to shave a bit of the nuts to make fit please make sure that you stake the bottom threads to prevent the studs winding through freely. This is done to prevent jacking the underside of the slot and causing damage,(as in a dirty great hunk broken out), and also that when the stud is seated in the nut the nut is free to slide within the slot. It is an easy thing to overlook but will prevent damage to the most important part of your mill - the table.
 
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