After some brainstorming with Matt Berggren (@technolomaniac) I decided to try developing a set of attachments for Stickvise that would allow it to be used for PCB milling. Some of the new features are:
1. Magnetic feet - to attach to the steel base plates used by some light duty milling machines such as the Othermill. Also turns Stickvise into an expensive refrigerator magnet!
2. Special support jaws - By default, Stickvise does not support a PCB in the middle - it was designed for soldering. For milling, I designed a set of jaws that span the length of the vise to support flat stock all the way across. This prevents flexing even on very long and narrow PCBs as shown below.
Here is the prototype:
As you can see I milled a jolly wrencher without much problem. Here is a closeup:
The biggest challenge is going to be routing a board outline, the fine trace milling works great, but I did not get a chance to test full through board milling. It will be interesting to see if the magnets slip against the steel plate, or if the board slips in the vise jaws. I think it will greatly depend on how aggressive I am with the cutter, will definitely test this soon and post an update.
So far the results are promising though!
-Milled using a Tormach PCNC770, using a 1/8" carbide 60 degree v-groove cutter at .005" depth, 10,000 RPM and 10 IPM feed rate.
-Held in place using only the magnetic feet against the work table