View Full Version : Step jaws are done. Is step big enough?

03-15-2007, 09:45 PM
Finished the step jaws. I cut the step .100 I think that is enough what do you guys think?

03-15-2007, 11:00 PM
Sounds and looks good to me. .100 x.100 in each jaw is about what we cut our jaws to at work. It still lets you work a 1/8" plate with a little clearance.


03-15-2007, 11:07 PM
Nice job on those soft jaws....cybor

03-16-2007, 12:27 AM
Wow! Nice! Are we going to start seeing these on Ebay? :D

03-16-2007, 12:28 AM
I love soft jaws. Wouldn't want to use my vises without 'em!



Your Old Dog
03-16-2007, 06:45 AM
Is the entire jaw aluminum or is there a thin layer over the original and I'm just not seeing the hairline joint?

Besides not marring the work, is there another more important reason for soft jaws? I know they are popular.

03-16-2007, 08:28 AM
Besides not marring the work, is there another more important reason for soft jaws? I know they are popular.

Most important reason, you can use them up and throw them out. You can mill all kinds of profiles, stops, pockets, you name it you can do it. Make them as long as you want, as tall as you want, as thick as you want. I have some that are 3 feet long that span over 3 vices. Versatility, not everything works well with hard jaws and parallels. At work, we eat up about 40-50 sets a year on 2 cnc mills, both steel and aluminum.

03-16-2007, 08:43 AM
Great job cybor and thanks for posting the pics. The soft jaws have been on my agenda to build for awhile now. I want to built a set for the mill and a set for my bison chuck on the lathe. Right now the mill has the quill out of it and hopefully the spindle bearings will be in today so I can install them on Saturday. I have a guy comming over that rebuilds mills and lathes for a living and he is going to give me a hand putting the quill back together.

03-16-2007, 01:39 PM
Wow! Nice! Are we going to start seeing these on Ebay? :D

Ken... for what I paid for alum. and the time it took I think I could buy a dozen sets of imports for what this cost me to make.

The actual reason for these right now is that I want to use them to mill the blade tension gauge project that I have
up next thanks to Mike Green. If they work out and after some negiotations with Mike you may see them on ebay. I want one for me but I see the possibility for a few sales if the cost is right.

Y.O.D. yes the entire jaw is alum. 1 inch thick each jaw. made them large both thickness and height so they can get skimmed cut to clean up as they will marr and nick quite easliy. This allows many uses until they are too small and then ..well they will become something else.

Also with them large they can get trued up by flycutting them. I want to make some for my lathe chuck too just like deerex475guy. I used to use them a lot when I did R+D work in Avco. Bore them to whatever you need to hold a particlular job. When done bore em again for something else.

03-16-2007, 01:52 PM
Ha! I learn something new here everyday! Guess I'll have to build me a set of those....then I can quit holding my breath...hoping not to gouge the hard jaws on my good vise.

03-16-2007, 02:43 PM
What? No relief in the corners?

03-16-2007, 02:52 PM
Relief! I dont need no stinken relief.:o

Actually these are made for a job (hope to be a long run) of plate with finished ends. Wanted full flush fit.

Besides I no nutting bout radiusin nuttin. :rolleyes:

03-16-2007, 05:52 PM
Jay (iowolf) has a valid point....there is a good reason to relieve the inside corner that bolts up against the jaw to vise bottom junction as an awful lot of vises have a bit of a radius in the corner. You can even do this with a grinder as it is non-critical and mostly hidden. This lets you uninstall them and re-install them and they will go back to the same place without interfering with the corner of the vise. I know the Bridgeport vise I have is like this, but it may not be an issue with your Kurt clone. My Kurt doesn't seem to be an issue because both the fixed and movable jaw are a bolt on and form a very square intersection. The Bridgeport fixed face is milled in place and I would guess there is a bit of a radius in the corner to reduce stress pile-up.

The break on that corner also helps reduce chip interference upon re-installation if things are a bit dirty. This way things are still square after you remove them and put them back.


03-16-2007, 07:33 PM
The Defense job shop I worked at, they made all their own jaws - usually around .080, but we always had a coupla thicker sets, usually 120ish, and a coupla real thin sets, like .050. The .100 will work fine. :)


03-16-2007, 09:58 PM
Nice job I just made 2 dozen set at work Yesterday . 1 inch thick 2in tall for the cnc mill dept. took 6 hours. 12 out of coll roll 12 out of alum.

03-16-2007, 11:26 PM
Paul I thought iowolf was talking about the step. I did break all the corners with a stone. Pic does not show that but they are slightly rounded. My Kurt clone has a milled or ground bottom section between the jaws. The jaws bolt on and fit perfectly flush as the jaws are flycut on all surfaces. I checked them and they seem to fit up fine.

lane.. 2 dozen ok make me feel old and slow!:p