Import Cutoff Tool Holder Improvement
© Frank Ford 2006; Photos by FF

Here's my Aloris cutoff tool holder:

A fine piece of equipment it is, to be sure. Strong and rigid, it's ready for a lifetime of service. 

But I wanted a couple more so I could have them all loaded with different thickness parting blades.  I looked around and the best price I could find for another new Aloris holder was $79.95, or for significantly less than that I could get two of these Chinese clones:

It's generally well built, but if you look closely, you'll see that the wedge is smaller, and the blade channel is wider, leaving a bit less support at the bottom. What's not obvious in the photo is that the Aloris holds the "T" style blade vertically because the back side of slot is milled at the appropriate angle, where the import version has a slot of uniform depth, making it nearly impossible to get the blade to stand up straight. It's critical to have a cutoff tool aligned properly!

My task was clear enough - correct the slot to accomodate the blades with a "T" cross section.

It seemed a likely enough job for my little Rusnok mill, so I set up my vise, indicating the bottom of the milled slot parallel to the table travel:


I milled a .030" deep slot with a 3/16 end mill right at the upper edge of the blade slot in the holder:

The result was a nice bit of relief for the upper section of the blade:

Now, my new holders have no problem standing the blade up straight:

On the left, we have one of my modified imports with its upper relief channel and on the right, the original Aloris with its angled slot.

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