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View Full Version : What type of steel for a vise jaw?



1-800miner
06-21-2011, 11:14 PM
I just picked up a Kurt six inch vise,missing the moviing jaw.
What type of steel should I order?

SGW
06-22-2011, 06:50 AM
You could just buy a set of replacement jaws and be done with it.

If you want to make just the one jaw, a piece of pre-hardened 4142 ought to work pretty well. It's machinable, but it ought to stand up to use as a vise jaw.

MotorradMike
06-22-2011, 07:05 AM
I got precision ground bar from Starrett for jaws and left it soft.

justanengineer
06-22-2011, 07:24 AM
Are you missing the entire jaw or the jaw insert?

Mcgyver
06-22-2011, 07:31 AM
if the insert......I'd be strongly inclined towards hardened and ground; even with careful work they'll look tatty quickly otherwise as chips and burrs will all leave their marks.....then the jaw marks up work there after. Its a pita hardening larger pieces so buying replacements would be a consideration if not stupidly expensive

Davo J
06-22-2011, 07:40 AM
There is a guy over on PM that makes jaws and either sells them through PM or on ebay. I think they are around $60 and are hardened and ground and he has different styles like V jaws.

Dave

1-800miner
06-22-2011, 08:46 AM
Just the insert.Sixty bucks,ready made? Sounds like a deal.
Actually I picked up two Kurts ,one yusa,and one unknown for forty each.
I am going to grind the Kurts for a matched pair.Use the Yusa for a single and peddle the last one.

rkepler
06-22-2011, 10:06 AM
Not too much to add except that the time I had a vise that didn't have ready made jaws I used A2 for mine, relatively easy to heat treat and low warping, I didn't have to take much off when finish grinding them square.

A pair of 6" Kurts for $80 (since the others will get $40 each no problem) is a good deal. You might some out with a zero expense even after buying new jaws.

lazlo
06-22-2011, 10:58 AM
the time I had a vise that didn't have ready made jaws I used A2 for mine, relatively easy to heat treat and low warping, I didn't have to take much off when finish grinding them square.

Another option is to simply drill and surface grind some mild steel jaws. I have hard and soft jaws for my Kurt, and find myself using the soft jaws a lot more.

RandyZ
06-22-2011, 07:03 PM
the vice for my 20 inch G&E shaper has had the jaw faces replaced by hard ones and I find that they don't grip all that well. I can put all my weight on the handle and if you take too big of a cut, it will push the work piece out. I'm going to make some softer ones, some year. I hope that the softer jaws should conform to the work piece better.

Mark Hockett
06-22-2011, 07:50 PM
I bought some replacement jaws for my Kurt from Glacern. They were about half the price of the Kurt jaws. I would give Sol a call.

Ray C
06-22-2011, 08:31 PM
This may not suit your purposes but, I made a few sets of AL (6061) jaws for a cheapo swivel vise that came with my mill. Couldn't be happier. Yes, they will deform slightly from compressing burrs or swarf -but so what. They never deform the workpiece and have never had a problem gripping/holding. They were made a tiny bit oversized from the originals by about 25 thou and if I were so inspired, could clean them up in jiffy. Mind you, I'm not doing ultra-precision, repetitive work so, this was a good solution for me... Material cost was nothing (scrap) and it's a simple milling job.

As a side note, as an exercise, I spent several hours truing and tightening-up that cheap vise and I get very good results from it. -Still would like to get a matched set of nice 4" vises but, the one I have is serving me well for now.