Whilst table stops on the milling machine are not essential they are very beneficial,
this especially where a number of identical parts are being made.
Even in the case of a one off they can be very helpful, typically, if many passes
have to be made to make a closed end slot, as in Photo 1. In this case though more
than one of the part were being made. The table stops can be seen in the bottom of
Photo 2 shows a workpiece being thinned locally, the stops being used to set the
length of this area.
Unfortunately, most milling machines are only supplied with X axis stops (left
right). Photo 3 though shows the Y axis (back front) stops that I have added to my
The task in the photograph is to cut a recess into the side of a piece of steel.
As one side is open, only the left hand X axis stop needed setting but both Y axis
stops were set to fix the width. Whilst only a one off, using stops made the process
much easier as the cutout could only be made using multiple passes.
A largish number of tool holders for a quick change tool holder system needed a 7mm
wide slot but I only had a 6mm end mill. To overcome the situation the part was positioned
using a centre placed into the hole into which the slot is to be made and a fence
positioned on the right hand end so that subsequent parts could be positioned similarly.
The X axis table stops were then set 0.5mm either side of this using suitable packing
strips, Photo 4.
The table was then move to one stop and the slot machined to the required length.
Then, moved to the other stop and the width increased to 7mm as the cutter was wound
Not seen in the photographs, but one Y axis stop was also used to set the length
of the slot. Photo 5 shows the result of the process. LINK