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I am always amazed at the clever solutions that you guys come up with. It gets the job done and in the end that is what counts. The part could also be machined on a milling machine if you have one. The holes could either be positioned with a rotary table or with some mathematics use the X,Y axis to position the cordinates.
Example: 360/8=45 degrees for each hole. Measure across the pins and subtract one pin diameter to obtain the bolt hole circle diameter. Then D/2=R. Once the radius and angles are established the cordinates can be obtained by X=R x Cos (angle) and Y=R x Sin (angle). This is simply another way to accomplish the same task with different equipment; not necessarily a better way.