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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A very Handy Friend in the Workshop

The Base

A machinist’s friend in the workshop

A friend has asked me to help him make a Fingerplate like mine, so I have decided to Blog the how’s and why’s as we proceed, I hope you find it interesting.
 A few months ago I had the need for a fingerplate, I searched high and low and was completely confused, I had one somewhere. Then it dawned on me, I must have left it at work when I retired. (I won’t repeat my language) it would no doubt have found its way into a toolbox somewhere and be treasured for another fifty odd years by some lucky machinist who couldn’t believe his or her luck.
As many of you would know, not a cheap item to purchase these days, and probably made in one of the far eastern countries where the quality seems to be the last thing on the manufacturers mind, if you can find one for sale that is. Over the years I have found it invaluable on many an occasion, holding the little intricate pieces that needed drilling or milling. Anyway a must have item in any workshop of merit, the situation needed to be rectified, and I certainly was not about to purchase one, you all know my philosophy; Don’t buy it if you can make it yourself!
What is a fingerplate? It is a flat vice, handy on the bench, the surface plate, the milling machine and the drill press, I have also found it very useful clamped in the bench vice for small filing jobbies. You know as well as I do you must clamp the job, or in this case the fingerplate, against rotation when drilling. If you attach a rule to it and stand it on end on the surface plate, ideal for marking your work.
So, searching through all my old engineering mags for three or four nights I found a drawing from 1947 that looked ideal and set to work adjusting some of the measurements, sorry they are in imperial, but I still can’t get used to metric, it is what I was brought up with, and that is still how the little grey cells function.
During these next few days I will take you through the procedure I followed, hoping it all makes some kind of sense. I will leave you today with the drawing for the base for study.
Thanks for stopping by.     

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