View Full Version : Milling vises - round 2

01-15-2009, 06:53 PM
Had posted earlier about a 2 inch vise for this machine

Board members said too small.

Have decided to look at 4" capacity (jaws 4 inches wide and open to 4 inches capacity).

A few questions on general options:
1. is a swivel base essential, desirable or minimally useful ("e-d-m")?
2. is a self-centering vise e-d-m?
3. is a v-groove (to hold round stock horizontally and/or vertically) e-d-m

Comments appreciated about these vises (all are 4 inch jaws, 4 inch opening) and all are $220-240(Cdn)
1.Groz MMVSP100 swivel base (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=MMVSP100)

2. Soba 110012 swivel base (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=110012)

3. Soba SCVSP100 swivel base and centering (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=SCVSP100)

01-15-2009, 07:21 PM

Just my opinion based on how I like to work, I'm sure others will differ.

I have 2 vises and they both came with swivel bases but they are un-attached and I have the vises bolted directly to the tables. I'm sure that there will come a time that the swivel base will save the day, but it's not esential in my book.

I like having a fixed jaw to indicate off of for a fixed reference point to make it easier to move from one operation to another.

As far as having a vee groove in the vise, I use vee blocks for holding rounds. A vee groove in a vise jaw might not be the right size or in the right place.

Of the 3 vise options you posted, my chioce would be the first one.

01-15-2009, 07:22 PM
In my opinion,,the self centering vise, has two movable jaws and no solid jaw, which could be trouble as the vise wears. The second vise picture makes things look sort of not rigid enough. Vise picture #1 would be my choice. Just my opinion! JIM

01-15-2009, 07:39 PM
I bought the 4" swivel unit (your item 1) a few years ago but was so frustrated with it that I let it go in an auction. The main problem is that the jaws, when open, are not centered on the table of the mill (I have an 8" wide table on my mill). Therefore at max opening the back of the vise hits the column when trying to mill near the front jaws. I also had to redo the slides as one side was about 0.010" thicker than the other. Grrrr.

I then bought a KBC 4" griplock style (#8-251-004) that was made in Taiwan. It fits on the table with no interference with the column and is an order of magnitude better in fit and finish.


01-15-2009, 08:24 PM
I have 2 vises and they both came with swivel bases but they are un-attached and I have the vises bolted directly to the tables. I'm sure that there will come a time that the swivel base will save the day, but it's not esential in my book.

I've never had those kind of vises, but like Rmack, I have swivel bases for both my vises, and I've never used them. They take up extra daylight under the quill...

01-15-2009, 08:33 PM
I agree with some of the other comments.

Vise #3 - no fixed jaw to indicate off of, more moving parts to wear down
Vise #2 - looks less stable with it being so narrow below the jaws
Vise #1 - looks like the best bet, although ammcoman2 reported a problem with one.

I have a small 2" with swivel base, but rarely use it - it's very small :eek:
My most frequently used vise is a 3" screwless :D , but I haven't had a need for a swivel base yet either!


01-15-2009, 08:58 PM
My most frequently used vise is a 3" screwless :D , but I haven't had a need for a swivel base yet either!

I have one of those 3" toolmaker's vises too, and I like it. People here seem to either love them or hate them.

01-15-2009, 09:10 PM
I just bought a nice 3" screwless. I can't understand why I went all these years without having one. The finish is superb, very accurate and rigid. A little more of a PITA to use than my kurt style vise. For my little X3 it has plenty of holding force.


01-15-2009, 09:15 PM
This may not e what you want to hear, but my suggestion is to put another $100 to $130 with your price ceiling and just get yourself a Kurt vise.
No need to worry if a Kurt is going to be good enough, it will be.
Look at it this way........you're going to be making things on a milling machine. By definition, you want these things you make to be reasonably accurate. If you are using a less than ideal vise to hold the raw material in place, then that is a strike against you at the start, and you have not even turned on the mill yet...........pg

01-15-2009, 09:26 PM
I got one of these: http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO=952018&PMAKA=425-7041

It is similar to your #1 except no lug on the end to get in the way of things. Cheaper, too. I guess Enco doesn't ship to Canada but surely this configuration is available from other vendors. It's worked out very well here. The swivel base comes off and it is keyed to align with your table slots.

Spin Doctor
01-15-2009, 09:55 PM
First ask your self just how much angle work do you plan on doing where you have to swing the vise. Second how much daylight between the table and spindle are you willing to sacrifice. Third are you ever contemplating or do you have a DRO now. The thing I don't like about conventional milling vises is they almost always force you to work in the X plus,Y minus part of the Cartesian Co-ordinate system. IMO the solid jaw needs to be on the front, not the back. My old job we used a 6" version of this.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-New-CNC-4-inches-Quad-1-vise-0-001-accuracy_W0QQitemZ200291106575QQcmdZViewItemQQptZB I_Tool_Work_Holding?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

Now I am resonably confident that any reasonably skilled HSM could knock off a copy pretty easily. Maybe not ground as nice. Another thing about these is when the vise is opened all the way very little protrudes off the back side of the vise. They take up less room than a Kurt.

J Tiers
01-15-2009, 10:09 PM
No point asking how much angle work you will do....... you won't need it at all until you DO need it.

Get a swivel vise...... you don't HAVE to use it on the swivel, but ever since I made a swivel base for a small vise, I have had lots of jobs come up needing it.

Before that, I just either used wild setups, or avoided the problem somehow and didn't do the angles.

The one pain in the neck is if you have to, or try to, use it as a rotary table.... You will need to move the setup around to get things back correctly relative to the rotation center when you change angles. I don't have a rotary table, just a larger-than-convenient rotary positioning table (no crank), so I can vouch for that.

The vise on the swivel base (a Miller's Falls vise, the angle plate comes out of it)

Just the last item to be made using it

01-15-2009, 10:47 PM
PG...there is no way a Kurt is going to fit on that lil mill. Yup...he could buy a 4" Kurt...for $800 but it's still a pretty big vise.
Dunc...I'm sorta the odd man out here. My previous BB 6" clone...that snapped in half...it had a swivel base.
I really liked it.
I didn't use that feature a lot but it came in darn handy more than a few times. Once I had to mill some angled slots in some alu flatbars...so they looked like arrow fletching...try that with a regular vice...the swivel was way faster...no packing, shimming, etc. I often get weird angle jobs in here where I wished I had another swivel base.
No...I didn't have it on the table with the vise...just when i needed it.

01-16-2009, 09:50 AM
The vise DP showed will do the job and you will be pleased.

I have bought many items from Enco and I live in Canada. You just have to play with the shipping cost - UPS, 2nd day air: more expensive than ground but no "admin fees" ($29 - $39). I once called them as the shipping cost on the item I was going to buy seemed to be too high. I was given a verbal price that was much more reasonable.

Good luck.