What Are Fixture Clamps

Categories: Modular Fixturing

Machining applications require the right tools and equipment for the best possible outcome. If you lack the right equipment, you’ll find your work processes become much harder than they need to be. You’ll also be faced with mounting customer dissatisfaction, which can cost you money. 

Fixture clamps are just one essential component that can be used across many industries and applications, from auto manufacturing to industrial plants. This guide goes over some basics of these clamps, so you can make an informed decision when in search of accessories. 

Uses of Fixture Clamps

Clamps are used to hold different pieces in place, which is an important component of the machining process. Along with holding the piece sturdy, the clamp must also facilitate proper movement and flexibility around the component as its being worked. Custom solutions may also be necessary for specific uses that fall outside the norms of the machining process. 

Common Types of Fixture Clamps

There are many clamp designs to choose from, which can make the selection process challenging. Here are a few common clamps and how they work:

Chucks and Collets

These clamps are standard when it comes to milling rounded parts. This often makes for a faster, more efficient process as opposed to machining, which can take longer than milling when you lack the proper clamps. 

Vacuum Clamps

Vacuum clamps apply uniform pressure all around the piece for tight, consistent hold when machining. Vacuum clamps are ideal for oddly shaped pieces, may prove difficult when physically clamping a certain section of the part.

Toe Clamps

Toe clamps provide versatility, as they can be clamped to the side of the piece as opposed to the top. This is quite useful in the event the top of the piece must be machined, which is challenging when a clamp is unable to grip from other sides.

Magnetic Clamps

Magnetic clamps use magnetism to hold pieces in place. They’re quite efficient, as they can hold metal components from a variety of angles. 

Step Clamps

Step clamps get their name from their unique design, which resembles a little flight of stairs. They can be bolted into a tooling plate or used with a t-slot. 

Thread size is another essential factor to consider. Common thread sizes include 1/4-20, M4, M6 and M8, just to name a few. When you have access to a dynamic range of thread sizes, you can easily use clamps with a variety of accessories, such as spring and vises. 

Clamp kits provide a range of solutions in case your machining needs are particularly diverse. Clamp kits can also be custom-designed to meet your specific application. 

Clamping Fixture Applications

If you’re designing a prototype, clamping is a crucial part of the process. With prototype designs, continuous refining and fine-tuning is a must to get the end result right where it needs to be. Clamps hold pieces in place, so they can be worked on conveniently. This is known as modular fixturing, which is useful for many diverse industries. 

Why Choose Rayco Fixtures

With more than 43 years of experience under our belts, Rayco Fixture is proud to provide our customers with the highest quality products and services. We have the manpower and ability to tackle even immense jobs, and you can rest easy knowing we will complete work by the deadline you specify. We also design our products to enhance repeatability, which is crucial for consistent performance. 

Additionally, you can look forward to excellent customer service, including a 30-day return policy on all standard designs. Feel free to contact us today to discuss fixture clamps or any of our other fine products.