shapes can be secured by epoxying them to a second, more easily held piece of material. The part is then broken loose from the material after machining. A tooling plate (P/N 3560) offers a drillable surface with a predrilled pattern of holes to help mount parts and fixtures while also protecting the mill table and adding further stiffness.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU START CUTTING
The following steps should be considered before commencing any part:
Is the material about to be machined best suited for the job, and is it machinable with available cutting tools and equipment? Work with aluminum, brass, plastic or cast iron whenever possible. Too often a hobbyist will pick up the first correctly sized piece of material he finds at his local salvage dealer thinking that if it is rusty, it's steel, and that all steels are pretty much the same. Not so! Anyone who has ever tried to machine an old automobile axle can attest to this. If the part must be steel, grade 12L14, commonly called "lead-loy", is about the best material for machining. It was developed for screw machine use and is available in round stock only. However, it works so well that many times it may be advisable to machine rectangular parts from it. It can also be case hardened. Your local screw machine shop will usually have scrap pieces available and may be a good source for obtaining it.