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Milling Angles...? Sine Plate Or Tilt Vise?

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by EmilioG, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    This is an operation on the mill that I have never attempted. I don't own a sine plate or tilting vise,
    so what do I need to mill angles to create 15° and other cuts on steel, e.g. to make a Jacobs style wedge
    or toe/edge clamps and similar tools. Can this be done safely and effectively on a tilting vise?

    I would rather use a sine plate but the good quality plates are expensive. B&S or Suburban tool.
    I may buy a good used plate, small. I see them on Ebay, but then you also need a set of gage blocks.
    All this can easily become a $500 purchase. I see no other way to do this type of work accurately.
    Thanks.
     
  2. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Here's how I've milled a block at an angle (lot's of methods):

    1) Dykem the part and scribe a layout line using a protractor (like the $9 one from CDCOtools.com below). Set a parallel flat on top of the mill vise jaw and set the block so the layout line lines up with the parallel. Then remove the parallel which will give you some clearance to the top of the vise.

    2) Use an adjustable angle block like the $42 one from CDCO below. Set the angle block to the appropriate angle and hold it up against a vise jaw. Set the part in place and tighten the vise. Naturally the part will need to be wider than the angle block or you'll need to use some spacers between the moving vise jaw and the work to clamp it up.

    3) Use the 15 deg. angle block from the $25 set from CDCO. Pretty much the same set up as #2.

    I've used all three methods with success. I'm sure there'll be a ton more ways posted on your thread from guys with a lot more experience than me.

    Bruce


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  3. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That's excellent. Thank you. Sine plate is nice but this should work.
     
  4. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Does the head of your mill not tilt? Tools like toe clamps do not need tools like sine plates to set a clearance angle. What is the difference if you are a degree or so off? You could make a wedge block to a random angle that visually looks good to you and then use it for making repeatable angles on parts, never measuring an angle in the process. Sine bars and plates with gage blocks are for when you need a very accurate angle, like for instance, making a Morse taper shank that fits correctly, not a trivial project. The angle blocks at the bottom of the pics that Bruce posted are inexpensive, easy and quick to use, and are accurate enough for the vast majority of work.
     
  5. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I really don't want to tilt the head of a mill back and forth.
    Trivial is not a word I use to describe my projects, some things may not need super accuracy but others do.
    I'll look in to the angle blocks but not sure I want to deal with CDCO machinery. I'd rather pay a little more and
    buy the Brown & Sharpe Precision angle block. With 30% off= around $120.00. I want better accuracy for other
    projects that I have in the works.
     
  6. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    My statement was that making a Morse taper shank is not a trivial project. Read it again, it had nothing to do with your projects. My apologies for not communicating effectively if you took it that way.
     
  7. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    No worries. I take my work seriously, not myself. :)
    and, I don't like cheap tools. I don't know much about CDCO but I've read a lot of bad reviews.
     
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  8. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  9. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yes, CDCO seems a bit like a pawn shop on skid row, but I got the nicest BXA tool holder blocks there for the incredible price of $10 each. I would not bet to repeat that deal again, and I also have read plenty of bad reviews on CDCO, especially if you want to return something...

    Suburban Tool also sells those blocks, and Browne & Sharpe as you noted. I think those are all China imports, subject to concern. Unless they actually do calibration work on acceptance I would still be concerned, regardless of re-branding. That is why you need a good reference, so you can check and perhaps calibrate them yourself.
     
  10. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Suburban Tools is mostly USA with a few value line products made in Taiwan.
    The SPi angle block looks decent and they're known for quality tools. That's OK. As long as it works well.
    I'll keep looking. Good inspection tools can tell you where or how far off you are. I'm not chasing tenths,
    but I do like accurate measurements.
     
  11. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'd like to suggest another option. I like and use a small machine vise on a tilting angle table that is perfect for smaller parts. Granted, I only have it for my Sherline mill at this point but I've done a whole load of stuff with it, and quite accurately, too. This allows me to grab the part sitting flat in the vise or on parallels instead of having the part angled in the vise.

    An angle block set like Bruce showed above is good to have, provided the blocks are accurate. My set is an import set that I checked with a vernier Starrett angle gauge and its more than accurate enough for my needs. I use them to set the table angle in conjunction with a DTI and it works fine.

    Granted, a sine vise will be more accurate but I rarely need that kind of accuracy. If I had a surface grinder then maybe I would use one. For milling an angle? No, haven't needed it so far.
     
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  12. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    This would depend entirely on the accuracy required, if seconds of an angle are demanded then a sine plate is needed, whole degree angles may often be accomplished with a protractor.

    If the person that you are making a part for has the equipment to measure it and will do so then reject it as noncompliant then a sine plate is used.

    If not just hold it in a mill vice at an angle or rotate the vice using the protractor then mill away.
     
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  13. brino

    brino Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Lee Valley tools also has a set of angle blocks:
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32524&cat=1,43513,51657

    They claim: "Each block is 3" long, hardened and precision ground to an accuracy of 0.0001" per inch."

    at $43 USD ($59 CAD) it seems like a reasonable deal.
    I had no problems returning the one bad tool I got from Lee Valley. (...out of the many, many I have purchased there!)

    -brino
     
  14. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    With a sine plate (or a sine bar, much cheaper) you don't have to use gage blocks if you trust setting adjustable parallels. Just a way to save a buck or two, but everyone ought to have a shop grade gage block set anyway. But often, for vise work especially, a bar is easier to manipulate than a plate anyway, IMO.
     
  15. Chip Hacket

    Chip Hacket United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    One problem I've had with the angle blocks is that my vise is small (2 in). Sometimes if I'm doing a steep angle the angle block takes up much of the space within the vise leaving little to clamp the part.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Chip Hacket

    Chip Hacket United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've been considering gauge blocks and a sine bar, thinking I could fixture the work on the mill table. I have an aluminum plate the size of my table.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  17. Chip Hacket

    Chip Hacket United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Problem is, gauge blocks are fairly expensive. And I just bought a new lathe.
    So much to do! So little time! So little money!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    An adequate shop grade 81 pc set can be had for less than $100.
     
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  19. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    This is the approach I'd probably use. However, if you have a swivel base you could set the angle, lay the part flat, and mill it that way.
     
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  20. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Guys have had mixed results from CDCO. I've been very fortunate and only had one "buyer's remorse" case with a set of center line gauges for calipers. The instructions said that the stock diameter was 1/2", so close the jaws with the extenders in place, tighten the set screws on the caliper jaws and zero out the calipers, but add 0.500" to your measurements. The diameter is actually 3/8" . . . The little set screws were total garbage, but other than that they work fine for a $9 tool.

    I've bought a 5-C collet chuck and two sets of 5-C round collets (1/64" step set and 1/32" step set), set of 5-C square collets, 2" indicator with a mag back, couple of mag indicator bases, set of TNMT 1/2" lathe turning tools, at least 50 250-201 QCTP tool holders, etc. etc. and haven't had any problems with any of that stuff. I think someone here posted having a problem with a mill X-axis power feed and wasn't treated well by CDCO on the return. Shars is another source of Chinese tooling, I've never had a problem with any of their boring bars, calipers, etc. purchased from them. Lots of options that unfortunately for the hobby machinist on a budget means supporting the Chinese economy instead of our own. I could never justify buying the 50 or so 250-201 tool holders from Aloris at $60 a piece when the CDCO's at $11 work fine. Good luck on your angle project!

    Bruce

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  21. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I agree with you, Bruce, and have had good luck there myself, but the combination of known hit or miss products and a seller known to to be difficult at returning items, combined together, gives me pause, especially on more expensive tools. I will say, though, that my worst experience trying to return a misrepresented part was with MSC.
     
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  22. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    Bruce, I have a pair of those, except I had to adapt them to measure across a groove in the face of a thrust bearing race. The OD was about 8", about an inch thick and the radius I was cutting was 0.6405, so those discs are 1.281 diameter and pressed on. I used them on 12" digimatic calipers. The parts were then carburized. photoX.jpg
     
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  23. Chip Hacket

    Chip Hacket United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Well Guys, as luck would have it, I just received this box today from CDCO Tools. Haven't opened it yet. Should contain stuff for my new 8X12. I hope my luck is good. Even cheap things add up to cost a substantial amount of money

    --Chip.
     
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  24. Chip Hacket

    Chip Hacket United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    This is the QCTP that was in the box. I got the suggestion from KenS on another thread. It's the wedge type for $122. Says precision right there on the device. That's all one needs to know right? In all honesty it does seem pretty hefty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  25. Glenn Brooks

    Glenn Brooks H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have one of these Bostar Qctp's. Works well. I think I bought mine from Little machine shop. They offer excellent return policy and superb customer service. Also got an angle block set from them two years ago - fine equipment for a hobbyist. I don't think you can go wrong buying from them.

    Glenn
     
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  26. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    Yep I like LMS too, good service and return policy. Not always the cheapest, but the service is worth a little more for me, esp. for import tools.
    Mark S.
     
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  27. kwoodhands

    kwoodhands United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    A quick and easy way is to cut a wooden wedge that will fit in your vice. The wedge should be slightly less in width than the part so the jaws can tighten up. I use this method often for model engines that use 16-1/2° or 8°. Not sure what degree of accuracy you need but I can assure you a wedge cut on a miter saw is as accurate as the small angle fixture shown on other posts. I have that same fixture and rarely use it, the size gets in the way to tighten the vice. I would need taller jaw to make it useful.
     
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  28. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I picked these up for an excellent price:$65, Spi made in USA 12 piece angle block set in nice wood case.
    This set is from the early 90's and is in near perfect condition. Looks like they were only used for inspection. Hard to find USA made blocks now. Suburban tools are excellent, but very expensive.

    USA Made in mint condition 12 piece set. Spi
    CDCO's claims of .0001" accuracy is hopeful at best. with this Spi set, I can set accurate angles on
    an angle vise or plate that isn't so accurate., then double check with a Starrett vernier protractor.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  29. sanddan

    sanddan Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Buy what you can afford.

    I've used the angle blocks to setup for an angle cut before, works great for small parts that fit in the vise.
     
  30. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    For what it's worth, I was surprised when I saw the cute little Surface Gage from Brown & Sharpe was made in India.
    I also bought several items from CDCO and was pleased with the product for the price.
     

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