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The answer to this is: WE DO! As of November 2019 we are offering the 6″ Modular Vise! This unique Vise utilizes a multi configurable 6″ wide design. Our G-NOB Gripper Buttons clamp just about any shape easily on the bottom most .05″, and you can also use your standard 6″ Kurt Vise Jaws with the modular vise system.

6" Modular Vise

Get a GRIP Let Er RIP

Tosa Tool packages all subplates greased, sealed in plastic, and in a extremely durable wood crate (see pictures). It is then decided if it should ship UPS, FedEx, or LTL (LTL only for large plates other services will not pickup). Crates are screwed together using no less than 30 wood screws (get out your screw gun for opening it). All shipments are ground unless you are in a foreign country. Smaller items may come UPS or USPS flat rate.

The best answer is AIR CONDITIONING, but if you are not in a air conditioned space we suggest flood coolant. Regular usage of flood coolant will keep any rust from forming on your plate. The coolant has Rust Inhibitor chemicals in it to aid with this. The Hot Black Oxide really helps with the medium carbon as well. The 4140PH subplates are high in molybdenum and chromium and do not rust easily. If you care concerned with the space between your machine table and your modular plate we suggest CLP® Cleaner, Lubricant & Preservative. Many of our customers use it and we now offer it in a small bottle for $9.95 with a modular subplate.

In a review of Tosa Tools Modular Fixturing Systems Bob Warfield of CNC CookBook made a suggestion to put a thin film of it between the modular subplate and the machine table. Since then it has been asked for many times and we decided to offer it in a convienant size for our customers who like the suggestion.

Tosa Tool now offers the “Add Bushings” option for your modular plates. Our Bushings are wear resistant steel and hardened to Rockwell C 58, precision ground, and they are press-fit into the dowel positions in your modular plate. This adds considerable cost but insures durability and proper bore fit. We also offer kits to install bushings into holes that have worn over time. If you need perfect bores and ultimate durability no matter what steel you use, this is the correct option for you.

Our standard grinding is .002″ over 24″, and it may actually be better but, if you have to have ultimate precision,  we recently have found a partner in our area who can deliver the HIGHEST POSSIBLE GRINDING TOLERANCES for our line of modular plates. We call it SUPER GRIND (+/-.0003 over 50″ on parallelism). Check the box when you order. It will take a few extra days, but it will be the best grind that is possible.

In April of 2019 we began a reorganization / update / upgrade of our website and the addition of all the designs we have made over the years. It is a huge task. One of the things we did was to rename the products to more accurately describe what they are and the machines they fit.

EXAMPLE:

The popular TT1634C was TT (for Tosa Tool of course, and made in the USA), 1634 (is the size in x and y 16″x34″) and C is the revision level.

This plate will now be known as the TT1100XPH. TT (Tosa Tool, made in the USA), 1100 (for the machine it fits), X (for the fact that its oversize on length and width), PH (for the fact that it is made from 4140 pre-hardened steel.  The medium carbon version will be known as TT1100XMC instead of the TT1634CH designation it had previously.

Moving forward these part numbers will answer a lot of questions and avoid confusion easily.

Tosa Tool recommends any work holding device (fixture plate, vise, 4th axis, etc) be periodically removed and cleaned.  This interval depends on personal preference, frequency of use, types of material being cut, coolant and more but generally should be inspected every 3-12 months.

Standard lead time is two to three weeks from order.  We keep stock on hand for some standard fixture plate sizes but machine the plates on a just-in-time basis.  Certain plates for popular machines and configurations are kept in stock.  We often have blanks on hand for the Universal sizes in order to expedite delivery.  Please contact us with questions about lead time or to inquire about rush orders.

Tosa Tool does not qualify plates for a relaxed flatness tolerance. The plates are ground parallel to the specified tolerances.  However, we do evaluate and process the raw material in a specific way so that when the fixture plate is secured to the machine table, it’s “flatness” will be the result of the thickness tolerance plus any deviation, level, or tram error in the machine table. If you need the absolute best flatness and parallelism try SUPER GRIND!

The 1/2″ precision bores on the Tosa Tool PH (Pre Hard) Modular Fixture plates are machined to 0.5005″ +.0004 -.0001″.  We have found this to be the ideal tolerance when using a mix of dowel pins, gauge pins and accessories as most pull dowel pins are .5003 +/-.0002.  Keep in mind, for a dowel pin to have a “slip” fit (e.g. not require hand tools, vice grips, etc to remove), there must be some gap or “slop” in the fit between the pin and the hole.
The 1/2″ precision bores on the Tosa Tool MC (Medium Carbon) fixture plates are held to approximately 0.5007″ +/-0.0003″.  The additional tolerance range is due to the steel being less hard and tough than the PH.

We purchase all of our steel plate professionally ground and certified by our material suppliers. Hobbyist class plates are blanchard ground and the professional class plates are finish ground. The blanchard grinding is +/-.0015″ parallel over 12″ and the finish grinding is certified parallel within +/-.0025″ over 24″. If you are having problems with getting your plate flat enough for your requirements be sure to stone your machine table and clean it thoroughly before you install your plate. All of our plates are hand stoned top and bottom after the deburring to remove any irregularity before they leave our facility. Need it better? Check the SUPER GRIND box when you choose your options for your plate. Tosa Tool: Raising the bar.

If you are missing a part or a component to something you ordered from Tosa Tool the best thing to do is email our Quality Control specialist Jerri at qc-jerri@tosatool.com . Her sole function is to be sure that customers get exactly what they ordered on time every time. Please contact her first before you email or call Dan or someone else here. If you want to post on social media try our Facebook page first please. We monitor it regularly and will answer questions and get to the bottom of difficulties. We cannot monitor all forms of social media at all times.

Why invest in Modular Fixturing?

  1. See our Modular Fixturing home page
  2. Read the report from the Society of Mechanical Engineers here SME REPORT
  3. Look at the About Tosa Tool Modular Fixturing Page writen by Dan
  4. Read the article by Bob Warfield after he received his TT1634ch Modular Kit from Tosa Tool

 

 

The problems I see with this design are :
1) A dowel pin hole should go down at least as deep as the diameter of the pin, for solid location and strength. If it does not the hole will bell quickly with normal use and stresses.
2) If you tap a pin down into them and hit that top thread a little, the thread will bend down quickly rendering it impossible to use with a stud.
3) If you thread a stud down all the way to the bottom so you are sure to have a good grip, you will bottom out the stud and warp the plate if your not thinking about it.
4) Think about putting a stud into it and using it for clamping, how often does the stud stay straight and vertical when you tighten it? Each time it has to bend a little your trashing your bore because its the same size as the stud.
5) In good designs that are similar to this the bore is bigger than the stud and has a bushing to protect it, example: 1/2″ stud should have a 5/8″ bore with a hardened and carburized bushing to protect it. That would be an acceptable design.
After 30 some years of designing, building, using, and maintaining flexible modular fixturing hardware our opinion is: Poor Design.

Early in January of 2018 we completed our new tooling package upgrade, this is something we ordered in September of 2017 and it has all finally come in. It includes the best drilling, boring, threading and milling equipment made currently for all 3 of our CNC mills, and it was not cheap.

As you may be aware we have hundreds of designs for mounting plates and fixtures for many machines. It very difficult to even begin to stock all of these items so that they are ready for shipping as soon as a customer buys them, but we are a customer driven company and early this year we came up with a method to reduce our reaction time by weeks! Plan implemented and we hope you appreciate the difference!

In 2017 we hired QC-Jerri to head up our quality control and customer service. She has been VERY helpful with our customers and now in the second month of 2018 she has completed her QC education at the local tech school! DOUBLE THREAT! She should be a BIG help in 2018. Between Jerri and myself we are offering 24/7 customer service, you should never wait more than a few hours for a response from our Fixturing team.

This month we are releasing new versions of some of our old products. CUSTOMERS SPOKE, WE LISTENED! We have made design changes. The old extension plates are getting a redesign and the vise plate selection is growing everyday. 4″ vises are getting more and more  popular, and we are making plates!

So, NEW Tooling, NEW QC, NEW Designs and hopefully some new shop hands soon. Always doing our best to serve our customers.

Of course we suggest you buy one of ours, we spend a considerable amount of time ensuring they are exceptional, and if you manage to make something similar in quality you will spend considerably more (think thousands) than buying it here, but if you must, here are some tips: Our plates have .5005″ +/-.0002 bores and 1/2-13 2B threaded holes, the threaded holes have a .562″ diameter counter-bore that is .1875″ deep. The most important features of a well made fixture plate are the material used and the thickness of it. A good fixture plate should be at least .750″ thick and have at least .500″ deep threads and bores that are a minimum of .700″ deep. The fixture plates I have bought years ago are up to 1.5″ thick with threads and bores all the way through. Those plates are of course too heavy for a smaller machine. We use a .750″ thick 4142 for our pro plates and .875 1045 steel for our hobbyist / semi pro plates, be sure to have them professionally ground to thickness.

In my experience it goes like this:

Aluminum Fixture boards are for being able to cut into and modify while doing one off jobs until the board looks like swiss cheese, then you get another. Aluminum is very soft. Put a pin in a reamed hole, tap it on the side with a hammer and see the result. Even with a hard anodized surface that is only a very thin “crust” that will crack rather quickly under minimal stress.

6061-T6 Aluminum-      Brinell Hardness = 95       Tensile Strength = 40000 psi

 

1045 Steel Fixture Boards are for Hobbyist and semi Pro machinists. Steel will last a long time and its worth helicoiling and bushing as the years go on. Many of the shops I have worked in during my 30+ years in industry use this type of plate.

1045 Steel –     Brinell Hardness 210                Tensile Strength = 81900 psi

 

4140PH (aka 4142) steel Modular Plates are awesome for long lasting, low maintenance and high endurance, For the Pro or the semi pro who wants quality and durability.  I decided on this material for the first Tormach modular plate I made for John Saunders of NYC CNC fame. Its almost indestructible nature has made it a popular choice for Tormach users over the years.

4142 Steel –   Brinell Hardness = 300             Tensile Strength = 125,000 psi

 

2″thick high carbon Steel, finish ground with AA headed bushings in every dowel hole and CMM certified is full CNC Professional. These plates generally cost upwards of $20,000, I know, I used to buy them for our CNC machines in the mid 90’s. Nice to have, but silly expensive.

Our pricing is based on cost of materials and machining time. The TT1634C is made of 4140PH steel. This is a VERY tough steel. It is expensive, it is difficult to grind, and it is difficult to machine. The end result is a plate that wont strip threads, and the bores wont bell out. Awesome plates.

The TT1634CH on the other hand has all the features of the TT1634C but it is the Hobbyist version. My Hobbyist versions are made from a very strong (almost 3 times 6061 Aluminum) higher carbon steel, but its not 4140ph. The TT1100H, theTT770H and the TT440H are also made from this same steel. They also are thicker and have over .800″ of thread in every threaded hole. That is real Clamping power.

Most businesses opt for the heavy duty “never fail” 4140 plates, they can take the daily beating and stay in tolerance. Most Hobbyists appreciate the Awesome designs with a more moderate price tag, and they are going to go much easier on the hardware as well.

If you want to go really light duty because you are just machining Wood and Plastics, go for a Aluminum plate!

Here at Tosa Tool we have been making Modular Fixturing for Small Businesses and Hobbyists for almost 10 years now. In that time we have made a adapter plate or a modular “dohicky” for just about everything. We have hundreds of cad designs on our servers. We cannot stock all of these items. On several of our pages we have some pull-downs that list some of the more popular items. These are available to purchase as design ready at a standard price. If you think up something you need JUST ASK! We probably have a file for it already!

One way or another if you are machining parts on the CNC you will spend money on fixturing, the trick is spending it smart,

Accuracy: Tight tolerances insure confidence

Flexibility: One set of Modular Tooling, unlimited fixtures

Cost Savings: 1 Modular System replaces a lifetime of fixtures

Time Savings: Typical Modular Fixture can be designed in an hour

Organized Storage: 1 set of Modular Fixturing, easily organized, always ready

Highly Innovative: Experienced Engineers available, solving your fixturing problems

Yes! We have 2 3d printers in house and a 3rd on the way (we are building it, 2’x3’x2′!) and we print in all types of media. We love 3d printing, it is a excellent match for our Solid Modeling and machining back round. It is very often a great way to make prototypes and increasingly usable parts. We continue to invest in 3D printing technologies and offer our customers speedy service on their 3D printing and solid modeling needs. See our 3D printing pages under PROTOTYPES

The first Aluminum modular plate was for a customer with a Tormach 1100 who machined wood. He didn’t need steel and preferred Mic-6 Aluminum cast plate.

Since then we have sold many Mic-6 versions of the Modular plates. I believe many hobby machinists machine mainly Aluminum and this is fine for their needs. I recently decided to upgrade the line by changing the material to ground 6061-t6 (not porous and much stronger) and have them hard clear anodized, which makes them almost as good as the steel plates. All I can say is AWESOME, the TT1224AL and the TT1236 are both designed to fit all mills and they are a great product, the are very versatile and they mount easily and come off just as quick. an excellent addition to your fixturing hardware, and less expensive than the steel plates for hobbyists. Our plates are 1″ thick and they have over .800″ of thread in every hole. If you are machining anything tough be sure to use as much thread as possible with an AL Modular Plate.

Actually yes, I am starting a You Tube series on efficient part setup utilizing the modular components. It will be interactive and I will accept customer requests and examples. I will do several videos a month until I believe we have covered everything. I will also offer one on one instruction at my hourly rate via Skype. Anyone can add me on Skype as tosatool.

Actually we do offer financing for our modular kits through PayPal, check out with PayPal and choose PayPal Credit. They offer small business options as well. Pay it off slower as it pays for itself.

The answer is not much. Quality costs money. The steel alone for one of the larger plates is around $500 Blanchard ground, after that the plate will spend almost 20 hours on a high quality CNC mill, most shops are billing $75/hr or more an hour these days. Then there is the cost of tooling. I use more than 17 tools on every plate, the lowest priced tool is $25. After that I now drill the edge holes and finish grind them. I am trying to offer the best possible value to my customers. It will pay for itself over time and you will enjoy the versatility immensely. I know I do.

I am offering the Chinese versions, the cost is down but some people expect higher quality.

YES! Tosa Tool is a one stop solution for small businesses. Start with our NDA / Non Compete form located in the side bar of almost every page and rest assured you designs and ideas are safe with us. All of our customers have a digital vault on our site that is 100% secure, and all of our work together is secure.

The BEST idea today is to keep your designs to yourself, at least until you can secure a patent. We will help your company with Blueprints, Prototyping, solid models, 3D Printing, and Manufacturing once designs are settled upon. Its what we do best. We are your “in house” manufacturing expert!

In short the answer is yes. We make the TT1634c and the TT1226c plates exclusively for the PCNC 1100 and the PCNC 770, the rest of our designs will fit almost all small mills out there. If you own a mill that you don’t believe we have a size for let us know, we will quote you a custom size. Custom plates are generally 3-5 weeks lead time.

Shipping is calculated using flat rates for the lower 48 states from the US postal service and FedEx. If you are out of the country or in Alaska or Hawaii you may be contacted to pay additional charges.