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View Full Version : 3" Vise from Little machine shop - first opinions & a story



rockrat
05-21-2006, 12:22 AM
I had been looking at a 3" vise for my Atlas mill that The Little Machine Shop had available for purchase. Another here on the board bought one just a few months back. And I was in a situation where I would be out in LA for a week so I thought that I would purchase one and pick it up. It would save me a 25lb shippng fee if I could carry it back on the plane.

-Caution filler-
We arrived out in the City of the Angles and quickly found that the hotel we had booked didnt hold our room along with 5 other individuals in the lobby. The hotel was Marina International Hotels and Bungalows and what was worse they lied to us telling us thay had no record of our reservation and told us it was our fault for using Travelocity.

What a supprise they had when I showed them a confirmation showing that I booked directly through them! Then it we were told that it was too bad because they still didnt have any rooms. They even ended up giving me a printout of my confimration from thier own computer system (Didnt they tell me that they had no record of my reservation?). Hummmm... And what was worse, there was a convention in town so most of the rooms were gone.

I had worked out in LA on and off for the past few years and new of a hotel that normally had rooms available. There we found a place to stay. Thankfully, I was exausted and it was 11:00 La time.

-Filler and rant off, back to the vise story-


The next day was better, we headed down to the Little Machine Shop store and picked up my will call order. Just a little place, with one or two people working there. The show room was as big as an office but they had a lot on display. Within about 5 min, I had my vise and was on my way. But not without a shot of the store front.

Click for larger photo.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y128/katiecat222/th_DSCN0258.jpg (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y128/katiecat222/DSCN0258.jpg)

The vise didnt come out of the box until I got home. Most likely for the best. I didnt want to check it at the airport. I had a feeling that I would never see it again and all I would have to remember it with was a claim tag to nowhere.

The TSA was fairly cool about the whole thing. I asked the girl at the check in desk if she thought it would be an issue to have it as a carry on. Se said that as long as it was under 50 lbs that it should be fine but she didnt know if the TSA would let it on. I decided to take my chances. Worst case was I would be back at the ticket counter asking for a claim check.

I headed over for my interigation and search by the x-ray and metal detector crew and found them very nice. The x-ray tech wanted to know what it was. Since I had not opened it, the sticker on the side with a photo of the item was still in tact. I noted that a photo of it was on the side. Also, I told them that I didnt want to check it for fear of loosing it. They looked at it again and paused.

At this point I'm fearing the rubber glove treatment. So I added that I would be perfectly happy with them if they needed to open the box and go through it. They both shrugged thier shoulders and passed it on. The one gal said that she had a father that was a machinist and she knew what it was. She said it would be no problem.

It made it under the seat in front of me on the plane and then on to my house.

Here is a photo with the nasty grease scraped off.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y128/katiecat222/th_IMG_1707.jpg (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y128/katiecat222/IMG_1707.jpg)

The grease stained the areas that didnt get hardnend (I assume) and it stunk to high heaven. I have been knocking all of the sharp edges off with a stone. But to my supprise, there weren't many. The vise came with a rotary base and handle as well.

I will be making the normal checks with and indicator to see how parallel and flat the surface is. Will report back when I have that info.

Lastly, if you ever find yourself in LA with a rental car there must be hundreds of things to do. There is a scale railroad in Griffith park along with some full sized trains. The Griffith Observatory is there as well but is currently under "upgrade" construction. You can't realy get near it but you can drive up to the parking lot. Should be done in a few more months.

Mt Wilson is a nice trip. And an observatory at the top makes for a good stretch of the legs. Be sure to get your permit to go up at the gas station near the bottom of the road and keep your headlights on. You will get a fine otherwise.

A Russian sub is next to the Qween Marry and LaBrea tar pits down town make for a nice stop as well.

Heck, the Winchester house even had an old lathe in the barn. Better than nothing. :D

Cheers
rock-

Schutzhund
05-21-2006, 03:41 AM
Nice post rockrat. Thanks for sharing.

What model # is that vice? 1699?

I have had pretty good luck removing stains like that with a product called "NEVR-DUll" from Eagle One. Most stores with an Automotive section should carry it if you are interested.

http://www.tunershop.ch/shop/assets/big/Nevr-Dull-300.JPG

rockrat
05-24-2006, 09:39 PM
Yes, 1699. I need to grind the t-slot keys to fit my little mill. So far I like it. I think that I have some Brasso that I might try before I buy something new. But I'll keep your suggestion in mind. Thanks

rock-

TGTool
05-24-2006, 11:28 PM
This may have no relation to the vise you bought, but I did get one on sale from one of the major suppliers with a small problem. The swivel base isn't quite flat. Most of the time I use the vise mounted directly to the table, but I noticed once using the base mounted under it I couldn't mill anything parallel without shimming under one end - not a lot, but maybe a thou and a half in seven inches. You might just sweep it with an indicator to keep it honest.

Jan

BobWarfield
05-25-2006, 10:39 AM
How did the indicator checks go? Can we have some numbers? Machinists like numbers!

Best,

BW

railfancwb
05-25-2006, 10:52 AM
You said...

"We arrived out in the City of the Angles and quickly found that the hotel we had booked didnt hold our room along with 5 other individuals in the lobby."

Many years ago, when the two children were small and we took lots of road trips, this happened to me in Steamboat Springs, CO. We arrived near midnight, after a long day of sightseeing and driving. Even though the room was guaranteed, it wasn't available because "they thought we were not coming and so they rented it to someone else." (Wonder if they billed my credit card for the "no show"...)

It was a nice, big lobby, with lots of long couches, so I told the children to pick their couches and we would settle in.... Surprise! They remembered that they also had condos, one of which they would rent to me for the same amount as the room.

All worked out, but amusing then and even more so with the passage of time.

Charles

Evan
05-25-2006, 11:19 AM
I'm interested in the vise also. Let us know how it is.

I went to Vancouver for a meeting once on company business. I had a guaranteed room at the Pan Pacific Hotel, a 5 star hotel. I told them I would be arriving late because the flight didn't get in until about 10:00 pm. When I checked in they said they were full. I shrugged my shoulders and reminded them that I was there on corporate business and I was sure that the corporation could find another supplier in the nearby area.

They discovered that the Jade Suite on the balcony penthouse level was still available, $1500 per night. I stayed there at no extra expense on the account. Nice rooms, great jacuzzi, TV in the bathroom and a giant screen theatre system with enough leather furniture to use up an entire herd of cattle.

pcarpenter
05-25-2006, 12:30 PM
I have had that vise for maybe 5 years on my mini-mill and it has served well. I bought it back when LMS was still a garage operation shortly after Chris started the business. I have not ordered recently as I quit buying tooling for the small tools, but their service was first rate back then. I have yet to use the swivel base as a vice is always more stable without them and it only reduces the available height on that little mill.

I made a pair of aluminum jaws that are on there most of the time with both a horizontal and vertical V groove for handling round items.

I have a genuine Kurt for my Bridgeport and while I cannot say that this vise is as well made as the Kurt it is a copy of, I would be hard pressed to point to anything that makes that obvious, though. With the high price of the smaller Kurts as discussed in another recent thread, it makes a good value in an import look even gooder :D

Paul

Buckshot
05-30-2006, 09:41 AM
...........I see the tag HHiP on the vise. They sell stuff on Da-Bey and have a warehouse in Chino, CA maybe 45 minutes east of LA. They also do will-calls on E-bay auctions. Their shipping quotes are a tad high. I'd bought some endmill holders via Buy it Now with a company back east and the holders were drop shipped from HHiP 30 minutes from my house. Nice items of Asian manufacture. Also bought some 200 series type tool holders and they were very well finished.

Rick

Evan
06-01-2006, 01:03 PM
This post is to work around the date stamp problem and will throw the post off the top of the list.