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View Full Version : A Vise for my Vice



lost_cause
02-08-2015, 10:31 PM
ok, so with the millrite i dragged home earlier this week comes the need for a new vise. i've got some different critera i need to decide on: brand, size, and condition / price:

brand: is kurt the only way to go? when i bought my rf-30 i went with an inexpensive import and the quality wasn't as bad as some, but i look at this millrite as a long term resident so i want to get the vise i plan on having for the long haul. i've looked at glacern and their stuff looks decent, but i just haven't heard any feedback to know for sure. also, with enco and free shipping and a 20% code the price of a kurt may be less than a glacern anyways.

size: i've heard some feedback from people saying that a 6" is ok on the millrite (mine is an 8x36 table with the 13" cross travel knee). i've got a 4" on the rf-30, and i do think i'd like a little more size for this one. a 5" looks like it may be ideal, but there is a limited number of companies that make them now - kurt not included. i can't find any information on the older kurt d60 vises - are they any shorter than the d675 & d688? if so, they would probably fit better and overhang less on my mill.

condition / price: i'd love to buy used and pay a little less, but is it worth it? most of the used ones i see on ebay are trying to get pretty close to new price. a d688 can be had for about $450 delivered from enco with a 20% code. if you wait till around christmas and get lucky on a 30% code they you are at $400 delivered for a new vise. because of these prices i would expect a fairly pristine used vise to only be in the $300 range, but quite often they want far more than that for a well used one with no jaws of handle. what do you think the price on a used one should be? am i in the ballpark at $300 for a really good used one and go down from there? as far as new goes, is enco the best way to go on new ones? i haven't seen anywhere cheaper, but maybe some of you know a better place.

stevet
02-08-2015, 10:37 PM
If you're in southern Maine, you might want to check out Brothers Machine in Lowell or Haverhill Ma. They have used Kurt vises for around $250 to $300.

Steve t

Rosco-P
02-08-2015, 10:58 PM
Never bought from them, but Orange Vise is supposed to be very good, same for Glacern.

http://orangevise.com/
http://www.glacern.com/

tmc_31
02-09-2015, 12:22 AM
Several years ago I acquired a RF-31 mill in a trade for services rendered. This mill had been in a college machine shop and seemed to be in pretty good shape. The first accessory that I bought for it was an Asian 4" machine vise on a swivel base purchased from Enco for $89.00 with free shipping. I used that vise for about a month before I went looking for something better.

As it has always been my intention to replace the RF-31 with a 9X42 Bridgeport Series 1 with a J head, I wanted something that was larger than the 4" vise. I also wanted something that would operate smoothly right out of the box and that would reduce the jaw lift inherent in the Asian mill vices. I went for the Kurt D675 (no swivel base) and haven't looked back. I can't remember exactly what I paid for it, but it seems to me that it was less than $400.00 delivered.

The Kurt is a little large for the RF-31 but it is workable in most cases. I still have the 4" Asian vise if I just need the real estate. One of these days I would like to have a matched set of 4" vises. If I were to purchase the set right now, they would be Glacern. My preference would be Kurts but the price is just too high. While I have not actually laid my hands on a Glacern vise, I have only heard good things about them.

I have also heard good things about Orange vises. I have also heard that they are a significantly higher on the pricing scale.

If you are looking for a 6" machine vise, I highly recommend a new Kurt. There are so many sold that the price for a new one is within reason even for a hobbyist.

Best of luck in your search,

Tim

sarge41
02-09-2015, 12:57 PM
Lost_ : Strange but true, 5" vises are scarcer and more expensive than 6", even used. Kurt did make 5" vises, maybe you will get lucky and find a nice used one. edit: there is a used, refurbished one on Bonanza for $475.00. Good luck.

Sarge

Mike Amick
02-09-2015, 01:25 PM
I think the other thing to consider is heft/weight. I agree that the 5" would be
a perfect fit, but I think the extra weight of the 6 aids in the quality of the cut.
whether its less vibration or more rigidity or what ever, It helps.

JohnMartin
02-09-2015, 02:08 PM
If you're in southern Maine, you might want to check out Brothers Machine in Lowell or Haverhill Ma. They have used Kurt vises for around $250 to $300.

Steve t


North Andover. Brothers was great, but they are gone. Sold everything to a company from the Midwest and closed the doors. Summer of 2014, maybe?

Not much like it anymore. Too bad.

Ben Alpren in Lewiston has some used stuff, but not as much as they used to. Risons in Plaistow, NH is closed. Brentwood Machine in Brentwood, NH is changing to a consignment shop.

John

Rich Carlstedt
02-09-2015, 02:24 PM
Lost_ : Strange but true, 5" vises are scarcer and more expensive than 6", even used. Kurt did make 5" vises, maybe you will get lucky and find a nice used one. edit: there is a used, refurbished one on Bonanza for $475.00. Good luck.

Sarge

Got a Kurt 5 inch on my old Bridgeport with a 9 x 32 table.
It is just the right size, especially if like me you are not allowed to lift heavy weights.
I got mine in 1977 and at that time, they cost more than a 6 inch vise because they were rare
and everyone was selling 6" units. I paid about 425 dollars when the six inch units went for 375

get a Kurt, and never look back

Rich

At an machinery auction here in Green Bay 2 months ago, 6 inch Kurts ( over 25 of them ) went for 200-250 each w/o Rotary.

Rosco-P
02-09-2015, 04:52 PM
If used is okay, might expand your search to include fine Japanese imports such as News and Yuasa.

lost_cause
02-09-2015, 08:13 PM
North Andover. Brothers was great, but they are gone. Sold everything to a company from the Midwest and closed the doors. Summer of 2014, maybe?

Not much like it anymore. Too bad.

Ben Alpren in Lewiston has some used stuff, but not as much as they used to. Risons in Plaistow, NH is closed. Brentwood Machine in Brentwood, NH is changing to a consignment shop.

John

i'm glad you confirmed brothers closing. one of the places i shop for used tools had a bunch of buckets and boxes of small stuff that was supposed to have come from brothers. i was assuming it was the same place, but this confirms it.

i actually went to ben alpren a couple weeks ago just to see what they had for used mills. it was good to see the place at least. i'd heard the name mentioned a few times but i had never been there myself. of course, a week later the add for the millrite that i bought showed up, so the search for the mill was over. i may give them a call just to see about a used vise, but i kind of doubt they have anything in the range of what i'm looking for.