Cutting T-slots in a workpiece holding device is a typical milling operation. The size of the T-slots depends upon the size of the T-slot bolts which will be used. Dimensions of T-slots and T-slot bolts are standardized for specific bolt diameters. The dimensions for bolt diameters commonly used are given in Table 8-6 (Appendix A).
Selection of Milling Cutters
Two milling cutters are required for milling T-slots, a T-slot milling cutter and either a side milling cutter or an end milling cutter. The side milling cutter (preferably of the staggered tooth type) or the end milling cutter is used to cut a slot in the workpiece equal in width to the throat width of the T-slot and equal in depth to slightly less than the head space depth plus the throat depth). The T-slot milling cutter is then used to cut the head space to the prescribed dimensions.
Milling the T-Slot
The position of the T-slot is laid out on the workpiece. The throat depth is determined by considering the thickness of the workpiece and the maximum and minimum dimensions allowable (Table 8-6. Appendix A).
A side milling cutter or an end milling cutter is then selected. The cutter should be of proper size to mill a slot equal in width to the throat width prescribed for the T-slot size desired. Cut a plain groove equal to about 1/16 inch less than the combined throat depth and head space depth.
Select a T-slot milling cutter for the size T-slot to be cut. T-slot milling cutters are identified by the T-Slot bolt diameter and remanufactured with the proper diameter and width to cut the head space to the dimensions given in Table 8-6 in Appendix A. Position the T-slot milling cutter over the edge of the workpiece and align it with the previously cut groove. Feed the table longitudinally to make the cut. Flood the cutter and workpiece with cutting oil during this operation. Figure 8-38 shows a T-slot milling cutter and dimension locations for T-slots.