You can run diagnostic and safety checks on your waterjet all day long, but if you don’t know how to properly clamp your material, your cut quality may end up looking sloppy and unprofessional. The support system you choose is also important. For slat -based systems, the individual pieces of metal strips can vibrate independently, causing poor cut quality and tolerances on the cut piece. With grate systems, this risk is eliminated. The singular grid structure makes it easy to install or remove in one motion. This creates a level cutting surface, so you can cut your material securely and with more precision. For a detailed overview of how these systems work, read How Waterjet Supports Systems Affect Cut Quality.
Clamping is easier with a grate support system, as the structure allows you to clamp anywhere on the surface. With slats, the loose metal strips only allow for clamping on the sides of your tank. Even so, there are certain techniques you can learn that will ensure a higher cut quality when using clamps on grates.
Here’s our list of 4 tips on how to clamp properly when holding down material.
- Rotate or flip your grates to double their lifespan. Depending on how often you’re cutting, examine your grates regularly to see when they start to wear down. Then flip or rotate the grates so you can get two uses out of them, increasing your costs savings.
- Keep you clamps “level” for the most holding power. For instance, if you’re clamping a ¼” piece of material, add a ¼” shim under the opposite side of the clamp to even it out.
- Always clamp directly over one of the “ribs” of the grate. This will pinch your material, making it more secure.
- The more clamps the better!– Use at least two clamps on your material, 3-4 if possible.
Watch this short clip on how easy it is to use clamps on Job Shop Grates™, WARDJet’s solution to the pitfalls of slat support systems.
WE SELL RETROFIT GRATES!
We can measure and manufacture custom sizes for most waterjet tables, regardless of brand.
There are certain applications where slats still have their place, which is why WARDJet offers both types of systems. If you’ve got questions about grates or clamps, call us at (844) WARDJET.