Harold Hall

Workshop Processes


It is particularly useful on the faceplate as it is much more compact than using a V block whilst the set up also ensured that the bore being made was central across the diameter of the part, Photograph 8. If the reader is curious as to the purpose of the part, this is for a mini boring head which is detailed elsewhere on the site. Reference to its pages will give greater insight into using the faceplate as it is a mini article on the subject of using the faceplate in its own right.



Fixing the workpiece is without doubt the most critical aspect of using the faceplate with Size, Shape, Safety and Security having a major impact on the problem.


Size is probably the least of the problems with this only surfacing with larger components. However, a large size component is not always a problem as Photograph 9 shows.


Shape can though be a major problem especially if also large, but unfortunately I have disposed of my 2000 plus workshop photographs due to it being almost impossible to index them and  have no examples to illustrate this.


Safety is perhaps the least considered aspect of using a faceplate and this is a major oversight. The most important consideration is the very irregular shape of the final assembly which when run at speed is a considerable safety hazard. Whilst an irregular shape cannot be avoided some simple measures can minimise the dangers, for example, fixing studs and screws which if too long will project out from the assembly unnecessarily should be avoided. Do try to use appropriate lengths, even cutting them down in length to limit the danger. Also, always to rotate the assembly by hand before running the lathe on power.


Having stated that stud lengths should be reduced to the minimum, also oversize clamps will increase the hazard. There will be a temptation to use the same clamps as used on a smaller milling machine and of course in some cases this will be perfectly satisfactory. However, the limited size of the lathes faceplate can leave very little room for adding the required clamps, and making some smaller clamps specifically for use in this situation is all but essential.


In most cases, a clamp assembly will also include a piece of packing under the non workpiece end to ensure that the clamp contacts the workpiece in a satisfactory manner. This being with the packing just higher than the workpiece ensuring it is gripped by the tip of the clamp.

Faceplate Using
Faceplate Using