Machine Shop : Jigs and Fixtures

The primary purpose of jigs and fixtures in the machine shop is to align the tool and hold the workpiece properly during machining .

A fixture is a device which holds the work while cutting tools are in operation. It differs from a jig in that it has no guides or special arrangements for guiding tools. A jig is also a fixture for locating or holding the work and guiding the cutting tool in operations such as drilling, reaming, counter boring, and countersinking.

Jigs and fixtures can greatly reduce the cost of manufacturing large quantities of parts. Their use is also an advantage when the interchangeability and accuracy of the finished products are important. They also can be used in low or limited production jobs if extreme accuracy must be maintained. One of their greatest advantages is that relatively unskilled labor can accomplish the job using these special tools.