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form_change
05-24-2010, 07:49 AM
On Sunday I was machining a new compound slide nut and needed to clamp it to my 6" rotary table. All of my vices were too big, in that one end would hang off the table and interfere with the column as it rotated (small mill). So far the best alternative looks to be something like a 1 1/2" to 2" toolmaker's vice. However, does anyone have any alternatives that they would suggest as an alternative?

Michael

oldtiffie
05-24-2010, 07:58 AM
Michael.

As you haven't mentioned any "tilt" it seems that the vise was holding stuff parallel to the top of the rotary table. If that is so why was a vise needed at all and why wasn't the job clamped to the rotary table?

I think I am missing something here.

A bit more information and a few pics will be a great help.

oldtiffie
05-24-2010, 08:09 AM
Michael.

More info here - any help?

3" Tool-makers vice on a 6" rotary table on a small-ish Sieg X3 mill:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_25.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Vise/Vise2.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Vise/Vise1.jpg

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_search.php?critFast=toolmakers+vise&B1=Product+Search

reggie_obe
05-24-2010, 10:14 AM
You're not saying why you need to use the rotary table, but two strap clamps would probably be sufficient to clamp the T nut directly to the table.

form_change
05-24-2010, 04:55 PM
As posted above, the item I was making was a nut for my lathe's compound slide. Typically as made by the original manufacturer, these are a small casting with a curved top, so are difficult to clamp directly to the table. I was machining mine from solid but the shape had to be similar else it would not fit in the space available. As the operation I was doing was milling the contact surface down to the correct height, strap clamps would have gotten in the way, particularly as the surface was around 25x32mm. The reason I was using a rotary table was that there was a spigot in the middle of this surface, and the part would not fit in a 4 jaw on the lathe as there was not sufficient area to grip it (low jaw height and the tapped hole was in a critical position). I could have clamped it to a face plate but the same problem exists - curved surface in contact with the faceplate and the opposite surface the one to be machined.
Eventually I made up a 3/8" acme thread, engaged that in the nut and supported the thread on small V blocks. I then had to square the sides of the nut up to be perpendicular with the table surface (think small angle plates and clamps). It worked (just) but would have been a lot easier to clamp the part in a small vice.
I have already considered a toolmaker's vice but I am interested in what equipment others may have that would be more suitable - Warco do a vice they call a DH-1 for example that seems compact but has a reasonable capacity, but would it be too big for my table? Would I be better off with an angle plates with tapped holes or T slots?

Michael

HAP
05-24-2010, 08:30 PM
Grizzly sells a fairly decent 4" centering vise that would work real nice on the rotary table. This allows you to keep your work centered, once you center the vise of-course. I have one that I keep mounted on the mill along with a 6" mill vise.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Precision-Self-Centering-Vise/H7576

HAP

metalmagpie
05-24-2010, 08:43 PM
As posted above, the item I was making was a nut for my lathe's compound slide. Typically as made by the original manufacturer, these are a small casting with a curved top, so are difficult to clamp directly to the table. I was machining mine from solid but the shape had to be similar else it would not fit in the space available. As the operation I was doing was milling the contact surface down to the correct height, strap clamps would have gotten in the way, particularly as the surface was around 25x32mm.

I would have cast the part in some Cerrobond and clamped it to the Cerrobond, then melted it off.

MM

nheng
05-24-2010, 09:21 PM
With great skepticism, I put my old Palmgren drillpress vise (tilting style with jaws around 2-3/4" or so) on a 12" rotary table for several parts I had to work on in a pinch.

The small vise held its own, delivering a beautiful finish on several stainless and mild steel parts.

It is made of 40 year old cast iron :)

Den

Ian B
05-25-2010, 03:14 AM
Instead of a vise, how about mounting a 4 jaw chuck on the RT? Nothing to foul the column, reversible jaws so lots of capacity, and you can centre the work on the axis of the RT.

And - you probably have a 4 jaw already...

Ian

form_change
05-26-2010, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the responses so far guys. The 4 jaw option is tempting, but the one that I have has short jaws - handy for thin pieces but wasn't able to grip the nut in them. My chucks are all D1-3 mount to further complicate things. I may have to look at getting another one. Perhaps that should be the first law of home shop machining -

"Tooling and equipment should be bought before it is required for a project. Buying afterwards because it was needed only benefits the seller"

Michael