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View Full Version : cutting a notch in milling machine vise jaws?



mikem
08-13-2011, 01:56 AM
Instead of using parallels to hold flatwork in my milling machine vise, why wouldn't it work to cut a notch along the inside edges of the vise jaws to hold flat material? The same effect but without tipping and/or holding them til the jaw tightens?

Peter.
08-13-2011, 02:17 AM
Course you can. I know a guy who keeps a pile of scrap aluminium extrusions near his mill. He fits them as vice jaws and doesn't bother to dial in the vice - he just fits it kinda square then mills the jaws to hold the work. Doesn't care if he drills or mills into the jaws either he just swaps them out for another pair.

JoeFin
08-13-2011, 02:17 AM
Why not just make additional vise jaws with a notch

Forrest Addy
08-13-2011, 02:21 AM
Milling vise jaws are not positively located in the vertical plane. They are neither doweled or keyed to the vise. The step is handy but you still have to check everytime you use the step for thin work to ensure that the step seats are in plane and parallel.

Why not make several sets of soft jaws and key them to the vise?

Tait
08-13-2011, 02:52 AM
I can't find it right now, but there was a suggestion on somebody's vise jaws project page:

When cutting the notch at 90 degrees with an endmill, it's likely that the endmill didn't cut a perfect 90 degree notch with zero readius. The suggestion was to consider using a fly cutter to undercut the edge by a few thousandths to so rectangular pieces would seat correctly against the bottom and the side without a radius wanting to lift them up or push them in.

Arcane
08-13-2011, 03:22 AM
I notched the soft steel jaws on a cheap little vice I have for just that reason. It's very useful for the stuff that doesn't need to be anymore than just "close".

DATo
08-13-2011, 06:58 AM
Milling vise jaws are not positively located in the vertical plane. They are neither doweled or keyed to the vise. The step is handy but you still have to check everytime you use the step for thin work to ensure that the step seats are in plane and parallel.

Why not make several sets of soft jaws and key them to the vise?


That is a good point. We have various aluminum jaws set up for our big Kurt. When we need to use them we just put them in and then take a light truing cut to make them parallel to each other and to the X axis movement.

Your Old Dog
08-13-2011, 07:15 AM
Course you can. I know a guy who keeps a pile of scrap aluminium extrusions near his mill. He fits them as vice jaws and doesn't bother to dial in the vice - he just fits it kinda square then mills the jaws to hold the work. Doesn't care if he drills or mills into the jaws either he just swaps them out for another pair.

Damn slick idea. Would certainly be more accurate then any other way IMHO.

bborr01
08-13-2011, 09:38 AM
You can grind a step in the top of the jaws.

We had dozens of Kurt vises when I was working and the first thing that we did was grind a step in the jaws.

No need to re-indicate anything as the step is parallel to the jaws.

Brian

Dr Stan
08-13-2011, 10:36 AM
When machining soft jaws for a milling machine vice I use a dovetail cutter to finish the bottom of the step and relieve the corner eliminating any issues from a corner radius.

davidwdyer
08-13-2011, 11:51 AM
The little machining instruction I had (about two weeks worth) was given to be by a retired machinist man who was quite good.

He milled a small step in his expensive mill vise and never looked back. I have never had the courage to do it myself.

noah katz
08-16-2011, 05:46 PM
Milling vise jaws are not positively located in the vertical plane.

Makes me wonder why the mfgr's don't make the jaws tall enough to rest on the presumably square bed of the vise so they would be usable as a reference surface.

MasterMaker
08-17-2011, 03:23 PM
When machining soft jaws for a milling machine vice I use a dovetail cutter to finish the bottom of the step and relieve the corner eliminating any issues from a corner radius.

Me too:D :D

macona
08-17-2011, 04:32 PM
My kurt (Used) came with a set of step jaws. Very handy. They are relieved in the corner too.

noah katz
08-17-2011, 04:53 PM
Makes me wonder why the mfgr's don't make the jaws tall enough to rest on the presumably square bed of the vise so they would be usable as a reference surface.

I guess I could put some thin parallels under the jaws to align them while tightening.

Toolguy
08-17-2011, 08:47 PM
Step jaws are often the way to go. The correct ones are parallel top and bottom and sit on the vise bed. I have made several sets for different things out of steel and aluminum, but the ones I use daily are Duv Lok ones. They are 2 part jaws that slide together with a dovetail in the middle. They are hardened and ground steel and have different height steps in pairs. You can change them in seconds just by picking up one set and dropping on another set. I would hate to be without them now.