Like those used on many of our large production machines, the mill tooling plate solves two main problems. It not only protects your mill’s table from damage (while also adding additional stiffness), but it also provides an inexpensive, modifiable surface for clamping work that is as flat as the machine’s original table. The best way to hold a part more securely is to add more clamping points rather than over-tightening the points you already have. The mill tooling plate allows you to easily do this. Like a lathe faceplate, the mill tooling plate should be looked at as somewhat disposable. It has a hole pattern predrilled to make it easy to clamp down the Sherline mill vise or the rotary table, but you should feel free to drill and tap whatever additional holes are needed to meet your clamping and setup needs for a particular job. The plate is made from cast aluminum, which is accurately milled to 1/2" thick. Though not quite as strong as extruded grades, it is very stable and free from internal stresses so it will not warp when you drill additional holes. The surface is not anodized, as it is intended to be easily drilled and machined to suit your unique needs.
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