PDA

View Full Version : Vise for mini mill



50BMGBOB
02-25-2011, 09:07 AM
I plan on buying a mini mill, the Grizzly G0619 Mill/Drill, and was wondering what would be a good general purpose vise for it? Is it big enough for a 6" vise or should I stick with a smaller one? I an learning machining and doing this as a hobby with limited space so a larger mill just wouldn't fit. I have an Atlas 10" lathe and I am building a 22 Gatling gun. Money is an issue but I don't want to waste it on something that won't work or is to big for the small mill. Any suggestions?

Seastar
02-25-2011, 10:15 AM
I think you will be happier with a 4" vise.
Buy a good one with a rotary base>
Are you building the gun from a kit?
Bill

tmc_31
02-25-2011, 11:14 AM
50MBGBOB,

I have a RF31 mill (clone). It appears to be a little larger than the Grizzly you have. I first bought a cheap 4" milling vise from Enco with a swivel base. It was ok but I was experiencing the "jaw lift" that is common with these vises. I found a good deal from Enco on a Kurt D675 last year and bought it (just the vise, no swivel base). Using it is a world of difference from using the clone. The 6" Kurt is a little large for my machine, a 4" would be better for me in most cases but the Kurt 4" vises are crazy expensive. I really like my 6" Kurt (used it yesterday) and would like to have a matched set of 4" Kurt vises but I cannot justify the cost. From what I have read, a good alternative is the Glacern 4" vise. Take a look at those, they are much less expensive that a Kurt and appear to be of very high quality. When I do get around to buying a matched set of 4" vises, I will buy the Glacerns. Also (and this will probably draw some fire) I will buy at least one swivel base for the 4" Glacerns. I still occasionally use my cheapo enco vise because it has the swivel base.

Vises are one of the basic toolings required for working with a mill. Don't scrimp here, get the best you can afford. If, at a later date, you decide to get a larger mill, a good vise will follow you to the new mill while a cheapy vise is just junk you can pass on to the next owner.

Best of luck,

Tim

50BMGBOB
02-25-2011, 07:14 PM
Is there a good vendor for Glacern or is ordering direct from them best? I would rather buy it once witch is why I asked for recommendations. Sounds like 4" is a better fit than 6". I can watch for sales because by the time the mill gets here I will have to wait a few weeks to afford the vise. I am getting it as I can afford it.

I am building from the RG&G plans, no kit, so it will definitely be a learn as I go long term thing.

Rosco-P
02-25-2011, 07:22 PM
I think you will be happier with a 4" vise.
Buy a good one with a rotary base>
Are you building the gun from a kit?
Bill

No, buy a vise without the rotary base. It reduces the rigidity of the setup and is like having a "killer" audio system in a hearse.

4" Glacern would be a better choice than the 4" Enco.

tmc_31
02-25-2011, 08:05 PM
No, buy the vise with a rotary base, you can take the base off and use the vise directly on the mill table as most do. However, this way you'll have the rotary base when you need it, and you probably will at some point.

I think Glacern only sells direct.

Tim

Toolguy
02-25-2011, 08:45 PM
I agree with tmc 31. Get the rotary base. Most times you won't need it, but there are times when it really comes in handy. I have never had a problem with it being less rigid with the base on. A 4" vise will be just the right size for your machine.

50BMGBOB
02-26-2011, 06:27 PM
No, buy the vise with a rotary base, you can take the base off and use the vise directly on the mill table as most do. However, this way you'll have the rotary base when you need it, and you probably will at some point.

I think Glacern only sells direct.

Tim

It looks like the rotary base can be added later. On their site, it states that the base is an option on the 4" but where they list the bases, they only have 5" & 6" listed. I guess once I save a little more, I will have to call them and see.

Are there any other brands besides Kurt, that would be worth looking at?

Black_Moons
02-26-2011, 06:53 PM
Are there any other brands besides Kurt, that would be worth looking at?

AFAIK its kurt if you have the cash, Glacern otherwise.

There are some others, But I don't really think they are as good as kurt or as cheap as glacern.

Boucher
02-26-2011, 08:30 PM
Mill vices like shoes need to fit the one using them. I have a Glacern 4" with the swivel base and like it. The four inch vice works better for 90% of what I do. In my opinion Glacern is just as good as Kurt. I probably will catch hell for that statement. I have a good Yuasa 8" vice that is really to big for my Bridgeport. I can tell you first hand that working with a vice that is too big is a pain in the *ss. I have never used a 5" vice but that might be the best fit for many situations.

DougC_582
02-27-2011, 04:30 PM
I plan on buying a mini mill, the Grizzly G0619 Mill/Drill, and was wondering what would be a good general purpose vise for it? ...

I've got the same mill.

A 6" vise (from anybody) will be way too big. Yea, Kurt made 3" and 4" vises once. While you're out looking for them, grab me a unicorn while you're at it.

The "usual" vise I've used has been this-
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Premium-Milling-Vise-4-/G7156
It's a wedge-type that's not supposed to lift--and it doesn't that I can tell, unless it's over-tightened.

Lately I have been using some 4" screwless vises, which work well too.

I also bought this 5" turning/tilting vise-
http://www.grizzly.com/products/5-Tilting-Swiveling-Milling-Vise/G7066
I wanted a tilting vise and I thought the 2" would be too small. The 5" fits but is pretty big. Note that the swivel base cannot be removed.

The 2" version is this-
http://www.grizzly.com/products/2-Two-Way-Precision-Angle-Vise/T10058

I have seen the tilt/turning vise below IRL, it looks great and the size is nearly perfect,,,, but it's not built that beefy. Many places sell it as a mill vise but it may really be intended more as a grinding fixture (I would prefer it with a screwless vise on top). -Also it ain't cheap, it's at least $450 anywhere I've found it-
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Precision-Universal-Vise/G9630

I am putting the Grizzly links just because it's easiest to get them the same place as the mill, but this is all China-made stuff, almost always available elsewhere too. Grizzly prices are usually pretty good, but not always the best around.

If you want a cheaper way to hit any angle you need, then look into getting one of these "universal grinding fixtures"-
http://www.shars.com/products/view/414/Univise_Universal_Vise_Mill_Grinder_Fixture
[ the Shars website says $125 but look around especially on eBay, it goes for less there ;) ]
I bought one of these for another idea that didn't work out. You'd need to find a way to attach a small toolmakers vise on there somehow. I haven't used mine for this yet, but it is about the right size for this mill and I think it would be stiff enough to work for taking light milling cuts on small pieces.

DougC_582
02-27-2011, 05:23 PM
Well I am bored, so I took pics.

First image below-
http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dcimper/assorted/inanities/metalwork/vises/mvises_605.jpg
Here is the 4" regular vise (without swivel base) and the 5" tilting side-by side. The 4" vise's swivel base lifts it up maybe another 1.5 inches.

There is a 12-inch ruler leaned against the drill chuck, and this is to show a common problem. The mill's head is raised as high as it will go. The drill chuck has a 5/16" screw-machine drill bit in it (partially hidden, the arrow points to the tip) and there's only about 3 inches of space between the tilting vise jaws and the drill bit when the vise is level. Because of how the jaws are offset, when you tilt the vise the jaws move downward tho'. If you tilt it 30-45 you get another inch or two. The more you tilt it, the more space there is, as long as the part you're cutting on is pretty small.

When I mill I just put the bits right into R-8 collets which is more compact, but the drill chuck itself eats up about four inches of vertical space.

The second image is below-
http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dcimper/assorted/inanities/metalwork/vises/mvises_608.jpg
The screwless vise is one that opens 4" (I think) but the jaws themselves are only about 3" wide.... Also you can see the universal fixture I mentioned.

50BMGBOB
03-01-2011, 07:06 AM
Well I wrote the check this weekend so I am just waiting for a delivery date now. I am still making up my wish list of tooling and setting my priority's on what to get first. I also still need to clear a spot for it in my little shop and build a stand. I want something heavier than my work bench. I was thinking of two pieces of steel plate, one on the floor and one for the mill with some 2" x 6" heavy wall box tubing for legs between them (from the scrap pile where I work). I can bolt it to the floor and shim to level the mill. Any suggestions of how high would be a good height?

daved20319
03-01-2011, 12:39 PM
Like you, I'm new to all this, and I didn't want to (can't!) spend as much on tooling as I did on the machines :-). When I convinced the wife I needed a lathe, I ordered a Value Pack from LittleMachineShop.com, and now that I'm getting a mill, I just did the same thing. This is the one I ordered for my mill: http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=3526&category= It came yesterday, seems like decent stuff. I think the biggest surprise was the vice, for a guy with a wood working background, this thing is a monster! Considering the size of this one, I'm not sure I could even lift a 6" :-)! Very smooth operation, and well finished to my eye. The jaws look like one piece of steel when closed.

The only other thing I know I need right away is some ball end mills, that's for a specific project I'm working on. I'll pick up a set when I pick up my mill. After that will probably be a rotab, but that won't happen until I actually have a project that requires it. That's the way I've been buying tooling for my lathe, and I see no reason to do it any differently with the mill. Plus, and it's a big plus, $50 here and $100 there gets a lot less notice from the wife than $1500 at a pop :rolleyes: Later.

Dave

50BMGBOB
03-02-2011, 02:59 AM
$50 here and $100 there gets a lot less notice from the wife than $1500 at a pop :rolleyes:

That's why I went ahead and bought the mill now.

I already have some endmills and clamping kit and accessories. The big things I still need are a good vise and a rotary table with accessories.

I am leaning toward the Glacern vise. It is two to three times what a Grizzy, Enco or Little Machine Shop cost. As a mechanic, I know that some tools you can go cheap on and get good results and some you can't. I don't know if a better vise would do better on this mill. I am learning machining. I know a Kurt is not only out of my budget but probably over kill for this mill. I am not brand oriented, more interested in how it works. But I am still saving so I haven't decided for sure yet.

Arthur.Marks
03-02-2011, 11:49 AM
:o $50 here and $100 there can often add up to much, much more than $1500 at a pop! The tooling is my "money pit". Choose carefully and unoften lest you be broke :D

daved20319
03-02-2011, 12:11 PM
Forums like this come into play. I do my homework first, so that I can be reasonably sure I'm getting the right tool for the job. Sometimes, good enough is good enough, and sometimes, you need to pop for the top drawer stuff. There's nothing quite as expensive as a cheap tool in my experience, I don't usually buy the best, but I do try to make sure I'm getting the best bang for my bucks. And like you said, I try not to do it too often :) . Later.

Dave

50BMGBOB
03-02-2011, 07:40 PM
Forums like this come into play. I do my homework first, so that I can be reasonably sure I'm getting the right tool for the job. Sometimes, good enough is good enough, and sometimes, you need to pop for the top drawer stuff. There's nothing quite as expensive as a cheap tool in my experience, I don't usually buy the best, but I do try to make sure I'm getting the best bang for my bucks. And like you said, I try not to do it too often :) . Later.

Dave
Exactly why I posted!