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Thread: Epoxy Surface Plates

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    Default Epoxy Surface Plates

    Out of curiosity, has anyone considered one of these?

    Surface Plate
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    I have, but I think here in Australia the product would be quite expensive. I should check on a price someday.
    __________________________________________

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by devlin View Post
    I have, but I think here in Australia the product would be quite expensive. I should check on a price someday.
    I called the guys. What they told me is that if you start out with a well supported steel or aluminum plate the epoxy will pour flat to a tolerance of 1-2 thousandths over a 3x4 plate and be about 3x harder than concrete. It can be drilled and resurfaced if need be. The cost for a 1/4" pour would be about $225 shipped to my door. It sounds like a great solution if you find a beat up cast iron surface plate or welding table.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    A number of years ago on one of the online forums about framebuilding a post was made referencing making a surface plate from an epoxy. IIRC the size shown in the photos was rather small, maybe 12"x12". But the idea stuck with me. Interresting that this process is done on the scale for auto fabricating. Andy.
    Andy Stewart
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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I called the guys. What they told me is that if you start out with a well supported steel or aluminum plate the epoxy will pour flat to a tolerance of 1-2 thousandths over a 3x4 plate and be about 3x harder than concrete. It can be drilled and resurfaced if need be. The cost for a 1/4" pour would be about $225 shipped to my door. It sounds like a great solution if you find a beat up cast iron surface plate or welding table.
    Hey jonothan i think i might have mentioned in another post somewhere regarding this

    its a preferred solution when we built jigs for building very fast automobiles and metrology equipment like cmm's but is slightly more expensive 3x4 would be ideal
    im sure as you can imagine building a race car sized table nearly a foot thick is very expensive

    there is a method of including threaded inserts etc in the pour on top of an already existing mould tool or flat plate and believe me its surface replication will hold microns
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Hey. This is a really cool idea. More accurate than a blanchard ground steel surface plate and lighter weight too!
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by compositepro View Post
    Hey jonothan i think i might have mentioned in another post somewhere regarding this

    its a preferred solution when we built jigs for building very fast automobiles and metrology equipment like cmm's but is slightly more expensive 3x4 would be ideal
    im sure as you can imagine building a race car sized table nearly a foot thick is very expensive

    there is a method of including threaded inserts etc in the pour on top of an already existing mould tool or flat plate and believe me its surface replication will hold microns
    yes, I got the hole rundown and I'm going to do it. I wanting for a bigger plate. The only downside is that it melts, so some cats who use their torch around the plate wouldn't want to.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
    Hey. This is a really cool idea. More accurate than a blanchard ground steel surface plate and lighter weight too!
    and regrinding is as easy as some sanding and another pour.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    I looked into this a couple years ago and talked in great deal to the manufacture. It seemed cool, and I was hoping to save some money. In the end I figured it would be cheaper to get an import granite table. to get it real flat it has to be done at a certain temp, process, and no air movement, etc. Flatness is also relative to thickness, as it has to be thick enough to be structural. At a 1/4 thickness, its base has to be structual enough to hold the tolerance and making or buying a base that was sound enough, brought the price up. so it might be a good plan for some, maybe not for others. There is a great deal of information about using it on practical machinist
    Sam Markovich

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Some years ago Scientific American published a method of making a reflecting telescope by curing a 300mm diameter epoxy pour while it was rotating on a standard turntable (at 33 1/3 RPM). As long as the lid was closed, the result was acceptable and we are talking optics here, where differences of the order of a wavelength (say 500 nm) matter. For a relatively crude application like a reference surface for mechanical work, this method would appear to be more than acceptable.

    Another idea is the synthetic stone used for kitchen benches. I have a contact who installs these things and next time he gets a botched job that needs replacing I've asked for the replaced one to try it out.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Cool idea, especially for larger tables. Their website is pretty painful though.
    steve cortez

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I called the guys. What they told me is that if you start out with a well supported steel or aluminum plate the epoxy will pour flat to a tolerance of 1-2 thousandths over a 3x4 plate and be about 3x harder than concrete. It can be drilled and resurfaced if need be. The cost for a 1/4" pour would be about $225 shipped to my door. It sounds like a great solution if you find a beat up cast iron surface plate or welding table.
    That's cheaper than I thought. I will have to check our local price. Hmmm... the thinking juices are now flowing.
    __________________________________________

    "Even my farts smell like steel!" - Diel

    "Make something with your hands. Not with your money." - Dario

    Sean Doyle

    www.devlincc.com

    https://www.instagram.com/devlincustomcycles/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/139142779@N05/

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by devlin View Post
    That's cheaper than I thought. I will have to check our local price. Hmmm... the thinking juices are now flowing.
    I'm going to make a table and source a the plate in the next few weeks. I'm just working out how big I want to go. I'll take pictures. If it doesn't work out that well I'll still have a pretty kick ass work bench.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    In even mildly industrial areas there are great plates available for a few hundred, and they will probably hold their value at that rate. They also won't dent if you tweak on them, or be affected by heat, as mentioned.

    Also epoxy is 50 dollars a gallon, really great stuff is a little more, cheaper stuff is out there, but you probably want hard for this, and hard costs a reasonable buck. The quotation is for 1.9 gallons. So I would probably beat a path to WEST for this, but the pricing isn't crazy high.

    The WEST guys have done a lot of complex fixturing work in their contracts for NASA, GE, and for stuff like helicopter flight simulators. Their delivered specs are probably in the range of where bikes would like to be. They make fixtures from plywood, rebar, and epoxy. If you don't need flame proof, or dent proof, and can work wood, this is probably the way to go.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I'm going to make a table and source a the plate in the next few weeks. I'm just working out how big I want to go. I'll take pictures. If it doesn't work out that well I'll still have a pretty kick ass work bench.
    Hey Jonathan, ever go forward with this? Would love to know how it turned out if you did.

    Andrew
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew View Post
    Hey Jonathan, ever go forward with this? Would love to know how it turned out if you did.

    Andrew
    I bought the steel plate and will building a table for it soon. Jonathan
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Hi Jonathan - curious if you ever tried this out?
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by prolix21 View Post
    Hi Jonathan - curious if you ever tried this out?
    I'm in process. I have the steel for the table and a steel plate, but every time I pick up the welder its to join tubes. I need to get back on it.
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    I'm giving it a shot too. Talked to the guy for a while, super helpful! He said that if I frame up some 3/4 plywood with 2x4's like I was making a floor, it should be rock solid. I'm a little paranoid about the wood warping over time and flexing the plate... but it'll be a half inch of epoxy on top and he didn't think it'd be an issue. I'm going to try to put my instinct to worry about everything aside and trust the expert ;-)
     

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    Default Re: Epoxy Surface Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by veryredbike View Post
    I'm giving it a shot too. Talked to the guy for a while, super helpful! He said that if I frame up some 3/4 plywood with 2x4's like I was making a floor, it should be rock solid. I'm a little paranoid about the wood warping over time and flexing the plate... but it'll be a half inch of epoxy on top and he didn't think it'd be an issue. I'm going to try to put my instinct to worry about everything aside and trust the expert ;-)
    If you cover the underside with ply you get a box. Stiffer then a plate or bowl (the box without it's 6th side inclosed.) You also might want to use dimensionally stable sides and webs, 2x4's are not to stable over time. Andy.
    Andy Stewart
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