Machinists often admit finding a secure way to anchor a workpiece is one of the biggest challenges to machining, and we at Tormach agree; it can be a challenge to select the right workholding for both large and small pieces. In an effort to curb this, Tormach offers a variety of workholding accessories, such as vises, hard and soft jaws, vacuum tables, and other general workholding elements.
Vises: A machinist vise is the go-to method to secure workpieces, especially those with straight edges, but they can be adapted for workpieces with rounded edges as well, with the help of soft jaws which can be milled to perfectly support your workpiece.
Vacuum Tables: While vises are quick and repeatable, the material being clamped can’t be accessed by the mill without jeopardizing the workpiece’s security. That’s normally allowable, but when it’s not, machinist turn to vacuum tables. Vacuum tables secure a workpiece by suctioning it to the table with a vacuum chamber. This allows the mill to machine everything but the bottom surface.
Clamps: The most basic way to secure a workpiece is to clamp it down. This typically includes using T-nuts, studs, clamps, and flange nuts.