Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Manufacturing & Product Development

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: David Hunt

Dial Indicating Mill Vise

Part of Unit: Basic Mill Operations

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

David Hunt

This lesson is designed as a very basic first assignment for introducing students to the milling machine. It will allow students to be able to check the alignment of a mill vise and adjust as necessary before beginning a project on the milling machine.

Lesson Time

One Class Period
1 Hour

Objectives and Goals

  • Students wiil select and use appropriate inspection devices, such as the dial indicator to manufacture parts or products, understanding that quality control is a planned process to ensure that a product meets established criteria.
  • Students will demonstrate the use of the dial indicator to manipulate the mill vise to accurately produce products.
  • Students will organize and structure work individually and in teams for effective performance and attainment of the goal of accurate mill vise alignment.
  • Students will use and maintain precision tools and equipment common to the school manufacturing facility.
  • Students know policies, procedures, and regulations regarding health and safety in the workplace by demonstrating the safe and appropriate use of tools and equipment in the school manufacturing facility.

Activities in this Lesson

  • As students enter the classroom and take a seat, I have several examples on the tables of the milling machine project that they will be producing. This nameplate project, in which the student calculates and mills their name on aluminum stock, has been intentionally milled on a vise out of alignment with the table. I ask them to comment on their next project without bringing their attention to the name being not parallel with the edges. Once students start commenting on the irregularity, I ask them to explain to me how this happened. We discuss several possibilities, then I pass out several dial indicators and we move into the lecture.

  • Students get into teams with a dial indicator. The number of students will depend on the amount of dial indicators available.  We discuss how they work, the graduation measurement and different types that are available. I monitor each group and check for understanding. The operation and reading of the instrument itself is pretty simple, so I won't spend much time on this.

    Resources and Materials

  • Alignment of the Vise Demo / Modeling

    We move to the milling machines and I have each machine with a vise that has been set to different angles. Some vises are way out of parallel with the table and some are close, but not exact. I ask students which milling machine has a vise that is parallel with the table. Once the closest vise has been located, I demonstrate how to attach the dial indicator to the machine. Then, I go through the process of indication, reminding them to always indicate the solid jaw and not the adjustable jaw. Throughout the demonstration, I reinforce the machine part names and key vocabulary words as I move throughout the demonstration..

    Resources and Materials

  • Guided practice Lab / Shop

    Students break into teams of numbers that depend on how many milling machines are available. Each student dial indicates a vise while other team members observe. I check it for accuracy when complete, reminding students to gently snug the nuts or bolts, indicate, fully tighten, then indicate a final time. When I have checked for accuracy, The student loosens the vise, angles it , removes the dial indicator and the next student team member proceeds to align the vise, while the first student helps.  While students work on their own, I quietly replace my out of parallel name plate with one that has been properly aligned. At the end of the period I thank students for "fixing" my name plate for me.

  • With 10 minutes left in the period, "Clean up" is called. Students put their projects and plans in their lockers. They also put away the tools that they were using. Students will then take part in a team clean up process that that utilizes a list of specific jobs that students are assigned to complete every day, with a student foreman that supervises each task. These clean up jobs change each week where students move down the list and the person at the bottom moves up to the top and becomes foreman. Students are not allowed to leave the classroom until the clean up procedures are completed and approved by the foreman.

    Resources and Materials


Assessment Types:
Demonstrations, Observations, Performance

Each student will demostrate competency in mill vise alignment by showing me that they have dial indicated their solid vise jaw within .002" Total Indicator Reading (TIR). They will continue to demostrate this skill throughout the course when manufacturing milled products.