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Powerchute50
01-25-2008, 10:50 AM
Hi group

I got my new mill drill home and attempted to mount the vise. It occured to me as I noticed all the slop in the T-nuts that if your vise jaws aren't absolutely dead parallel to the table direction of travel, you won't make dead straight cuts in reference to the jaws. If you mount a workpiece in the vise and the vise is offset to the table a bit, your workpiece will have an angle to the cut.

So, how to mount a milling vise? I put an endmill in the mill collet upside down and used the shank of the endmill to touch the inside of the far vise jaw at each end. I tried to get the settings on the dial the same at each end of the vise, but moving one end always changed the other end, and tightening changed the reading as well. I gave up in frustration after half an hour. What is the trick to this? I will want to take the vise on and off the mill many times for different workpieces, and to use a rotary table.

Don

BobWarfield
01-25-2008, 11:02 AM
Powerchute, you have to tram the vise. Don't try to indicate off the end mill. Instead, attach the indicator to your spindle (with the spindle stopped!!!) and indicate on the vise jaws.

I like to tighten one of the T-nuts "almost tight enough" and leave the other "just past hand tight". Now you're going to take a soft hammer (brass, led, plastic covered, whatever) and tap (not pound) the vise until you can traverse that vise left and right and the indicator doesn't move.

Here is a typical photo of how it looks:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/img/DiscSander/P1010136.JPG

In that photo I'm using an Indicol indicator holder, and I'm tramming a workpiece known to be flat rather than the jaws. You should tram the jaws, but that was the best pic I had to show.

As far as attaching the indicator, if you don't have an Indicol (cheap knock offs are available), you may need to get creative.

More on this procedure and other mill tips on my web page:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillTipsTechniques.htm

Best,

BW

Willy
01-25-2008, 11:09 AM
Welcome to the circus Don.

Setting up a mill vise will go rather quickly after you get the hang of it, no real secrets just a couple of common sense steps and you'll have it down pat in no time.

Bob Warfield has an excellent page for setting up your mill that I think you'll find very helpful, have a look at his well written explanation of the procedure.

http://www.thewarfields.com/cnccookbook/CCMillTipsTechniques.htm

Willy
01-25-2008, 11:10 AM
Dang, Bob's too quick on the draw for me!:D

Bill Pace
01-25-2008, 12:16 PM
Go ahead and get you an indicator & holder .... you'll need it for other things anyhow, and with the flood of pretty decent import indicators and holders, and the resultant low prices theres really no reason NOT to....

Heres an example, --- these people have a good reputation and sure nuf good prices, look under measuring tools.......

http://www.cdcotools.com/

SGW
01-25-2008, 01:04 PM
There should be key slots in the bottom of the vise, for key blocks that will drop into the table slot and (in theory) align the vise with the table travel. Assuming the slots exist, add a couple of key blocks and see (with an indicator, as described) how the vise alignment is.

Ideally, the key slots will be the same width as the table T-slot, so you'll get a snug fit all around. On my vise, the key slots are slightly narrower than the table T-slot, so I just make it a practice to push the vise forward firmly as I'm tightening it down. More fanatical people might want to make stepped keys, to fit both the key slot in the vise base and the table T-slot.

And yes,you will want a dial indicator and holder.

Stepside
01-25-2008, 01:12 PM
If you have a swivel base vise it is real easy.
1) bolt vise to table 2) using either the jaws or the plate as in one of the previous entrys, move the table over so the indicator is about centered on the jaw/plate. 3)move the plate/jaw unil it moves the indicator needle. I always "zero" the needle at this point. You could just remember the number if you wish. 4) withthe "Y" axis locked traverse to the end of the jaw and read the number. 5) carefully rotate the vise until it matches the number from step 3. 6)tighten the vise carefull so the numbers don't change. 7) move back to the center. If the number on the indicator remain constant you are done.

This sounds like a bit of work but when you have this mastered it is but a 2 minute task.

interiorpainter
01-25-2008, 01:26 PM
For quick and dirty only.

Mesure with a dial if the T-slots are travelling parallel with the movement of the table.
Put a ground bar the length of the table in a vise parallel to T-slots and eyeball if it is.
Your done. Over the width of the jaws of the vise the difference is very small.

larry_g
01-25-2008, 01:57 PM
Powerchute, you have to tram the vise. Don't try to indicate off the end mill. Instead, attach the indicator to your spindle (with the spindle stopped!!!) and indicate on the vise jaws.

I like to tighten one of the T-nuts "almost tight enough" and leave the other "just past hand tight". Now you're going to take a soft hammer (brass, led, plastic covered, whatever) and tap (not pound) the vise until you can traverse that vise left and right and the indicator doesn't move.





In that photo I'm using an Indicol indicator holder, and I'm tramming a workpiece known to be flat rather than the jaws. You should tram the jaws, but that was the best pic I had to show.

As far as attaching the indicator, if you don't have an Indicol (cheap knock offs are available), you may need to get creative.

More on this procedure and other mill tips on my web page:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillTipsTechniques.htm

Best,

BW

As Bob said but this is not all you should check. In addition to checking the jaw you should check the bed of the vise also. With the same indicator setup check the "ways" on the vise that they are also parallel to the table top. This assumes that you have checked the tram on the head to confirm that the spindle is perpendicular to the table top. tou basically tram the vise bed in the same way as you tram the table. Its all about flat and square and right angles.
lg
no neat sig line

BobWarfield
01-25-2008, 06:34 PM
This is why boards shouldn't discourage newcomers: I got two great bits from here:

1) Stepside just sold me a swivel base for my vise. I had thought it would work out that way, but he made it real and I like the idea.

2) Larry just got me interested in another way to increase accuracy.

Regarding tramming the vise ways, do you see doing that every time, or just to verify the vise is running true?

There are a couple more thoughts I will pass along:

- Vise keys are a cool idea. I haven't set my vises up yet with keys, but it's on the list. Someone who has gone through the process might write up the process to set up a keyed vise. I had read you put the key in the jaws, flip the vise, machine the slot with the vise upside down, and then install the key. Sounds right, but maybe there is a better way?

- Soft jaws are awesome. You put aluminum blocks of the right size into the vise. It's set up for soft jaws. You then machine a step into the jaws. That step is now trammed to your machine and you don't need parallels. It's a neat trick. I wouldn't ignore tramming the vise over it, but it's a neat trick.

- There are folks who've made special gizmos that go on the table that you align your vise to. "PerpEdge" from the Token Tool room is one such:

http://www.thewarfields.com/cnccookbook/img/OthersProjects/PerpEdge.jpg

I'm pretty sure I've seen others here.

- You can push the vise pretty close into alignment. Make a spud to go in the spindle that engages the vise jaws. Start it all the way left and flush against the rear jaw. Make sure the tram is such that the jaw is out of tram counterclockwise. That means that the right side of the rear jaw is too far forward. Turn on your power feed so the spud moves left to right. It will push that vise into very rough tram. Do this with the spindle off, of course!

- The Machine Shop Trade Secrets guy says you can get close another way. Put a long steel straightedge of known accuracy (doesn't have to be a camelback for scraping!) into the jaws. Site the edge against the machine table rear or slots. Given the length of the sighting, he claims you can get to about 0.001" by sight alone. That, of course, assumes your table edge or t-slots are actually in line with the X-axis. That may or may not be true on a Home Shop Machine!

Cheers,

BW

sch
01-25-2008, 11:45 PM
If you want to get picky you need to first tram the milling
head to the table, so using one of the test indicators in
a collet, though a drill chuck is "OK" sort of you put the
test indicator in a big enough arc R to L on the table and
see if the head is perpendicular to the table. If it is you are
good to go with the above. IF it is off then you get to loosen
the bolts holding the head to the casting and put a thousandth
or 5 shim under one side or the other to change the head angle
a bit and tighten the bolts down. This is just done once and
should be good for the next 20yrs or so. Swinging a test
indicator through an arc across the T slots must be done
carefully.

wierdscience
01-26-2008, 12:14 AM
A blast from the past-


"Make keys to fit the vise slots tight and install on the vise.Bolt a piece of 1-1/2-2" sqaure bar to the mills table parrallel to the tee slots,use an endmill to true the faces of the stock parallel to the mills travel and to each other.Flip the vise over and clamp onto the milled stock.Measure the exact width of the tee-slots on the mill and mill the vise keys in one setting to that width +.0005".

Unclamp the vise,flip it back over and remove the block.Clean off the table and install the vise.Place your indicator back in it's drawer and forget it exists.

If the mill is old or a import indicate the sides of the tee-slots first to make sure they run parallel to the table travel.If not mill them true before making and fitting your keys.

This works on one vise,two vises or a table full of vises.You need simply make the clamp bar longer and mill all the keys in one setting.

I'm sure there are a hundred people who insist on indicators,but I don't have the time.My vise may come off the table three or four times a day."

It really isn't that hard and it really saves time and aggrevation and there is no chance of the vise slipping.

darryl
01-26-2008, 01:42 AM
At one point, I lightly milled the vertical edges of the center t-slot on my mill. With the ways cleaned and the gibs adjusted, and the locking screws snugged, of course. And taking into consideration the movement of the table against the leadscrews with cutting forces applied. (backlash) Now I know my center slot is parallel to the ways, and that the width is even along the length. Now I can use keys and know that they are going to work the way I expect them to.

As far as a vise, you might want to make sure the base is flat, and that the upper pinnings are properly fitted. Once that is the case, then you can add the keys, and be reasonably certain that it will be repeatable when mounted, re-mounted, etc.

On my mill I have a slot on the side of the table where stops can be bolted, etc. I took some heavy angle iron, faced it on the lathe to true it up, then arranged to bolt it using this slot. One surface of the angle is now parallel to the table top. Then I took a piece of channel and trued up the wide side, laid that side flat on the table, then bolted it to the angle using a single bolt, with the channel spanning the width of the table. Careful adjusting had it parallel to the y travel , then I drilled four holes surrounding the central bolt and pressed in spring pins. After checking to see that I could mount and remount it and have it read the same, I drilled holes in it to match the t-slots. With these holes I can secure it to the table. Then a truing cut was made, and there's my 'universal' milling table square.

At this point I took another piece of angle, clamped it to this square, then took a truing cut along the horizontal edge. This edge is now parallel to the y axis, and can be used to indicate something held in the vise jaws to help in aligning the vise. Obviously, the clamped angle has to be at the right height , just a little higher than the vise jaws, and be wide enough to reach past the vise feet and to a flat piece held in the vise jaws. You could also just mount a piece of flat bar that's wide enough using standoffs to get it to proper height, then mill one edge to get the reference edge.

Once the vise jaws are angled parallel, clamp the vise down and set about fastening the keys. If the vise has a channel for the keys to fit into, then use this method to check to see if the jaws come parallel. If they do, that's nice. If they don't, you have some work to do.

If you want to use a swivel vixe, you probably won't be using keys, but you'll want to indicate the jaws each time you mount the vise, so something like the square I made would be able to give you the reference edge whenever you needed it.

Because my square is capable of being bolted securely to the table, I often will bolt stuff directly to it for machining. It's nice to be able to keep the workpiece close to the table when you can.

tattoomike68
01-26-2008, 04:02 AM
Vice Keys are nice but I have never once used them.

I use the "long bar" eyeball method to get it within .005" then use an indicator. It takes 2 to 5 minutes once you got it down.

Remember to tighten one side of the vice before you use the hammer so then all you have to do it tap it with a plastic dead shot hammer a few times then tighten the last bolt down.

Thank goodness im a lathe man, I would hire a mexican to run a mill. It sucks.

Powerchute50
01-27-2008, 06:36 PM
Wow, great ideas, thanks for all who responded. I have some studying to do on this. The tool flyers have the spindle tool holder on sale, I will grab one. I might as well buy a knee style indicator. I have a good Mits push style for the lathe. I will have to get busy and tram out the whole mill, since it is brand new. Some kind of key plate for the table sounds like a good plan. I will have to look into this. My vise is not keyed.

Don

bobw53
01-28-2008, 05:51 AM
[QUOTE=tattoomike68]Vice Keys are nice but I have never once used them.

I use the "long bar" eyeball method to get it within .005" then use an indicator. It takes 2 to 5 minutes once you got it down.

Remember to tighten one side of the vice before you use the hammer so then all you have to do it tap it with a plastic dead shot hammer a few times then tighten the last bolt down.

/QUOTE]

It shouldn't even take you that long. On a T-slot table, just push her back so that the studs are pushing on the back of the t-slots, after you've snugged her down slightly of course. This may not work where there is very little slop between the t-nuts/studs and the table.

On a T-slot table, I've used the long straight edge and also long soft jaws, you can get amazingly close by eye. Even with just the vise, and eyeballing, you can usually get close, on a subplate that only has a few holes spread about, its tougher.


As for the snugging only one bolt, I don't agree, snug 'em both good, who cares where its pivoting, but with both bolts snugged you can smack it good and only move it a few thou, and be repeatable. If its out .011, smack it once, it moved .002, smack it 4 more times and then a firm tap, you'll probably be pretty close.

I also use a regular hammer a lot of times and whack the side of the vice, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I can never ever ever find the deadblow when I need it. I've found that the tighter(snugged) the bolts/studs are the more predictable you can be in your whacking, and sometimes a deadblow(If I can find it) just doesn't move it enough.

The biggest mistake I've seen with newbies, (some of my previous employees) is that they leave the bolts/studs loose and its squirming everywhere. I've seen somebody take 3 hours to square a vice(Of course I would smack it with a 2lb sledge hammer when they called me over, do it again!, time/money well spent, they learned).

2-5 minutes to square a vice? tighten the bolts/studs a little more, no more than a minute, guaranteed.

bobw53
01-28-2008, 06:13 AM
If you want to get picky you need to first tram the milling
head to the table, so using one of the test indicators in
a collet, though a drill chuck is "OK" sort of you put the
test indicator in a big enough arc R to L on the table and
see if the head is perpendicular to the table.
carefully.

To add to my previous rant, I'm going to disagree with a bit of this here too, you don't need to tram your head to the table, you need to tram to the travel. This is why I suggest tramming to a test block fly cut or facemilled in the vice. Compare 9o'clock to 3'oclock and then when checking tilt, 12o'clock to 6o'clock.

Also, you don't need a big arc, just enough to cover where you are working. No point in trying to sweep 20 inches, when the whole thing is swaying like a saddle and all you need is 6".

This is coming from experience, we had some old Wells-Index's that had some sway, and even some twist(the X would actually twist, as in rotating about the x like a 4th axis) over .0012 over 6", I've never done the trig, 2" test block in Y). Its not all just linear, old iron can do some wierd stuff, I'm sure chinese stuff can do even wierder stuff.

GKman
01-28-2008, 11:40 AM
I've been fighting with a couple of Harbor Freight mill vices and both needed work before keying etc. The workpiece at the fixed jaw always raised off the parallel when tightening - A LOT. The 3/8 16 SHCS's that held the fixed jaw to the bed were stretched half a thread in 16. Got SAE screws from McMasters, jaw screws while I was at it. Yeah, you have to order more than you need but what's a few bucks if you are trying to get a cheap vice to work sorta like a good one? Second the holes were not counterbored just counter drilled so only a thin ring under the screw heads was in bearing. The holes were plenty big too. I counterbored and made some hard washers to get good bearing under the heads. Hardened fixed jaw was bowed and twisted. needs to be milled with the vice keyed in place. Third, there is a ramp arangement in the movable jaw that pulls the jaw down as it is pushed foreward. Both surfaces of the ramp are rough cast and need to be smoothed. One is in a pocket and can't be milled but a Dremmel and some Prussan Blue can at least get it rubbing on something smooth. Hope this helps.

mochinist
01-28-2008, 11:56 AM
[quote=tattoomike68]Vice Keys are nice but I have never once used them.

I use the "long bar" eyeball method to get it within .005" then use an indicator. It takes 2 to 5 minutes once you got it down.

Remember to tighten one side of the vice before you use the hammer so then all you have to do it tap it with a plastic dead shot hammer a few times then tighten the last bolt down.

/QUOTE]

It shouldn't even take you that long. On a T-slot table, just push her back so that the studs are pushing on the back of the t-slots, after you've snugged her down slightly of course. This may not work where there is very little slop between the t-nuts/studs and the table.

On a T-slot table, I've used the long straight edge and also long soft jaws, you can get amazingly close by eye. Even with just the vise, and eyeballing, you can usually get close, on a subplate that only has a few holes spread about, its tougher.


As for the snugging only one bolt, I don't agree, snug 'em both good, who cares where its pivoting, but with both bolts snugged you can smack it good and only move it a few thou, and be repeatable. If its out .011, smack it once, it moved .002, smack it 4 more times and then a firm tap, you'll probably be pretty close.

I also use a regular hammer a lot of times and whack the side of the vice, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I can never ever ever find the deadblow when I need it. I've found that the tighter(snugged) the bolts/studs are the more predictable you can be in your whacking, and sometimes a deadblow(If I can find it) just doesn't move it enough.

The biggest mistake I've seen with newbies, (some of my previous employees) is that they leave the bolts/studs loose and its squirming everywhere. I've seen somebody take 3 hours to square a vice(Of course I would smack it with a 2lb sledge hammer when they called me over, do it again!, time/money well spent, they learned).

2-5 minutes to square a vice? tighten the bolts/studs a little more, no more than a minute, guaranteed.If anyone needs to use a 2lb sledge hammer to square a vice in my shop, they can take their toolbox and kindly gtfo as for the nuts I tighten one an snug the other, 2 minutes tops on a bad day, 1 minute or less average most other times

bobw53
01-28-2008, 01:45 PM
The 2lb hammer wasn't to square it, it was to knock the vice back out of square, so the new employee could do it again, and again to get it down into the 1-2minute range. Old cheap chinese vice on an old clapped out manual mill.

I'm sure not smacking around my good stuff like that.

I had one kid, the first time it took him an honest 3 hours to square in a vice(I gave him no advice, let 'em figure it out, sinks in better that way). He ended up being one of my favorites. Give him a fixture and tool list, squared, indicated and all tools set in no time, then he would run the parts out quick, inspected, perfectly deburred, and he cleaned up after himself(and me). Great kid, but boy was he mad at me for smacking that vice out of square on him, he was so proud.

mochinist
01-28-2008, 02:01 PM
The 2lb hammer wasn't to square it, it was to knock the vice back out of square, so the new employee could do it again, and again to get it down into the 1-2minute range. Old cheap chinese vice on an old clapped out manual mill.

I'm sure not smacking around my good stuff like that.

I had one kid, the first time it took him an honest 3 hours to square in a vice(I gave him no advice, let 'em figure it out, sinks in better that way). He ended up being one of my favorites. Give him a fixture and tool list, squared, indicated and all tools set in no time, then he would run the parts out quick, inspected, perfectly deburred, and he cleaned up after himself(and me). Great kid, but boy was he mad at me for smacking that vice out of square on him, he was so proud.lol ok my bad, read it wrong. I picked up squaring a vice pretty easy, but the first time I ever trammed a head it must have taken 2 or 3 hours, I don't remember exactly, but I was prety frustrated:)

lwbates
01-28-2008, 09:18 PM
I would add just one thing to the information above. When you tram the vise, make sure you're on the fixed jaw.
lwbates

BobWarfield
01-28-2008, 10:16 PM
It's getting a touch off-topic, but the discussion of eyeballing reminded me I had a lucky setup the other day:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/img/LuckySetup.jpg

I set that 2-4-6 block down by eye, stuck the Indicol on, made a pass, and it was perfect. The needle didn't budge. I even swapped indicators thinking the one I had was bad somehow.

Now for the annoying part: not enough Y-travel so I never cut a chip with that setup before I tore it down.

Still, it's good to be lucky, LOL.

I'm about half tempted to be on the lookout for a nice long straight piece to start sticking in the vise as phase 1 of tramming.

Here's another trick: I prefer to use the Y-axis handwheel to zero the indicator rather than touching it when tramming. Of course the old hands usually could care less--they know where the needle started and where it has to wind up.

Cheers,

BW