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Tool Bodies (Jigs & Fixtures)

• The tool body provides a rigid base for

mounting the locators, supports, clamps,
and other details needed to reference,
locate, and hole the part while work is
performed. The basic size, shape,
material, and method used to construct the
tool body are determined by the part to be
• As a rule, the size and shape of the tool body
are determined by the size of the part and the
operation to be performed. The choice of
material and method depends on economy,
required rigidity, accuracy, and the projected tool
• Tool bodies are made in three general forms:
cast, welded, and built up. The materials used
for tool bodies are steel, cast iron, aluminum,
magnesium, epoxy resins, and wood.
Types of Tool Bodies
• Cast tool bodies are made of cast iron, cast
aluminum, or cast resins. The main advantages
of cast bodies include stability, savings in
machine time, and good distribution of material.
Cast tool bodies are also best for part nesting
and offer vibration dampening. The main
disadvantages of cast tool bodies is higher cost
due to the required pattern and longer lead-time.
Lead-time is the time spent between design and
fabrication of a part of assembly.
Welded Tool Bodies
• Welded tool bodies are usually made form
steel, aluminum, or magnesium. Their
main advantages include high strength
and rigidity, design versatility and ease of
modification, and short lead-time. Their
main disadvantage is the added cost of
the secondary machining.
Built Up Tool Bodies
• Built up tool bodies are the most common form of tool
body and can be made from almost any material, such
as steel, precast sections, aluminum, magnesium, and
wood. The main advantages of built up tool bodies are
adaptability, design versatility, ease of modification, and
short lead time. Another important advantage is the use
of standard parts – a built up tool body requires a slightly
longer lead time than that used by the welded tool body,
because of the added time needed to drill and tap the
mounting holes and check the fit of the before using the
Preformed Material
• Preformed materials can greatly reduce the cost
of any tool body. Since preformed materials are
available in a variety of sizes and shapes, the
time required to machine a tool body is also
greatly reduced. The most common preformed
materials used to construct tool bodies are
precision ground flat stocks, cast bracket
materials, precision ground drill rods, structural
steel sections, and precast tool bodies.
• Fasteners (Jig & Fixture )
• Many types of fasteners are used in
developing the jigs and fixtures. These
are screws, bolts, nuts, washers, circlips,
keys, dowel pins.
Types of Fastening Devices
Cap Screws
• The socket-head cap screw is the most
common type of screw used in jig and
fixture work. This screw provides superior
holding power with easy installation and
minimal space requirements.
• Variations of this screws are available.
These screws are available in plain or self-
locking styles.
Set Screws
• The setscrew is another type of screw
widely used in jig and fixture work.
Standard set screws are available in many
sizes and point styles
Thread Inserts
• Thread inserts provide renewable
threaded holes in materials that cannot
normally hole threads, such as epoxy
resins or soft aluminum. Thread inserts
also allow replacement of threaded holes
in other materials that could wear because
of heavy or prolonged use.
Nuts and Washers
• A variety of nuts and washers are also
commercially available to assist the tool
designer. The most common types are
shown in.
Special Purpose Bolts and Nuts
• Jigs and fixtures, while normally designed
around standard hardware items, do
occasionally require special T-bolts, slot
nuts, and studs, which are commercially
available. T-bolts, slot nuts, and studs are
used primarily to hold special tools to
machine tables. They are available in a
variety of sizes to fit most machine tables.
Retaining Rings
• Another type of fastener that can save
many hours of work is the retaining ring,
which is available in internal and external
styles. When properly installed, these
rings provide sufficient strength for most
tooling applications.