Complex projects bring new challenges to the workholding industry, challenges that machinists are solving with dovetail holders.
Known as one of the strongest structural joints in terms of tensile strength, Dovetail holders grip parts via
corresponding 45° angles machined into the workpiece stock and the fixtures themselves.
This technology is favored in CNC milling applications that require outstanding accessibility to the workpiece without jeopardizing holding power or rigidity, most commonly 4 and 5 Axis machining operations.
They are also great for hard materials. Traditional clamping technology would require a large device that sacrificed access to the workpiece or a wear component, like tooth serrations, that offer poor process reliability in automated climates. 5th Axis dovetail holders are comprised of hardened steel, which ensures durability and guarantees excellent process reliability.
A dovetail joint is remarkably strong, allowing us to use more compact workholding to support larger raw material. This is great for accessibility but also helps keep the costs of the workholding itself to a minimum. They are offered in an array of sizes and can support materials as small as 0.5”.
Some dovetail holders (like those from 5th Axis) allow you to quickly exchange workpieces with excellent repeatability because they feature (removable) locating pins and one-screw actuation of the clamping mechanism.
Dovetail holders with a modular design allow for individual use or grant you the ability to stack them side by side to support even large workpieces. The geometry can also allow you to use similar clamping techniques on vises that feature multi-function jaws (tooth serrations, integrated dovetail, and smooth face).
Machinists can also purchase dovetail holders with standard zero-point interfaces (like RockLock from 5th Axis) that allow you to integrate them further into your modular workholding system and include them in your shop-wide fixture standardization.
For assistance in selecting the correct RockLock base for your machine tool make and model, please visit our 3D Compatibility Tool, See what fits your machine.