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View Full Version : Swivel mill vise or not?



pensacola8
04-10-2015, 11:59 PM
There seems to be camps when it comes to the Mill vise--swivel or no swivel. Before I lay out some big bucks I'd like to know what you guys think and why? Your advice is always greatly valued.

crrmeyer
04-11-2015, 12:19 AM
It depends....

A swivel can be useful in theory, but I do not end up using mine often.

If your mill has limited Z range, the swivel base uses some of that space up.

The swivel base can also limit stiffness, causing chatter.

But a lot depends on your setup. I had a Cincinnati swivel vise with 8" jaws. The vise + swivel base weighed about 225 lbs. Not problem with the stiffness of that configuration. But what a pain to handle....

TGTool
04-11-2015, 12:29 AM
In addition to those considerations I found my swivel base wasn't quite flat. It took a while to figure out why stuff that was well tapped down onto the vise bottom still wound up tapered. The swivel sits under the bench now for most of the time and comes out only occasionally for some fresh air.

PStechPaul
04-11-2015, 12:30 AM
I like having the swivel, but I also have only used it occasionally. It looks like the vise could be removed from the swivel plate and used normally to provide more Z-axis room. It may be more useful to mount a small vise on a rotary table to achieve the desired adjustment.

peekaboobus
04-11-2015, 12:38 AM
I assume its really a swivel and not a tiltting vice. Swivel is useful for quickly squaring up a vice. Put a flat stock in the vice jaws. Put an indicator on. When move X axis and lightly hammer to adjust until the reading is constant on the indicator, then tighten swivel. Its perfectly square. This is faster than normal vices without a swivel where you have to un-tighten clamps, hammer side of vice, tighten, etc. The swivel acts to fix a point of rotation of the whole vice, so the hammering of the vice is predictable when trying to knock it into square with the mill.

oldtiffie
04-11-2015, 02:52 AM
I prefer not to use a vise on the mill table (or anywhere else) either. I prefer to bolt/clamp directly to the machine table.

The biggest risk (PITA??) is that on many vises the moving jaw "moves" (lifts) up and lifts the part of the job it is supposed to clamp up with it. If that happens it is quite possible (frequently is??) that the moving jaw will only grip the job on the lower part of the moving jaw.

I don't bother with a swivel base - mostly - as I just set the angle I want on the vise using a protractor or one of these:

http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/M972

http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/M978

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_18.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_19.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_20.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_21.jpg

Easy.

plunger
04-11-2015, 03:24 AM
Cant you get one with both,then you have the best of both worlds. In six years I have yet to use the swivel on my vice.

metalmagpie
04-11-2015, 07:19 AM
There's a real good reason why so many Kurt vises sold used come without the swivel. It's because their original purchasers never used the swivel and eventually lost or scrapped it.

In the several years I owned a BP and Kurt vise, I owned the swivel plate but never used it. YMMV.

metalmagpie

PixMan
04-11-2015, 07:28 AM
When I had gotten one of those cheap import 6" "Kurt-like vises" (I wouldn't raise them to being a clone), mine came with the swivel base. Of course I put it on the machine at the time. Soon I found I was not getting flat parts, square parts nor parallel parts.

That swivel base kicked the vise up to the point that there was .004" of rise toward the rear, and nearly .002" out of parallel with table travel from left to right. It was all under .002" once I took that swivel base out, and never used it again. If I needed to have the vise at an angle, I used my 5" sine bar and gauge blocks to set the exact angle and clamped the vise down with straps....that one time.

Now I have a couple of genuine Kurt vises, and life is wonderful. Not a swivel base even on my radar. Nearly useless.

Silverback
04-11-2015, 07:34 AM
That's the way it works... I don't have one and I keep running across stuff that I need to cut at a funny angle. I'm sure if I got one I wouldn't use it for years.

It was the same way with my rotary table... I had constant projects for one before I had one, then when I got one I rarely used it for years... then suddenly last fall it ended up on my bridgeport table and it hasn't left since... I've been using it a lot.

Silverback
04-11-2015, 07:38 AM
When I had gotten one of those cheap import 6" "Kurt-like vises" (I wouldn't raise them to being a clone), mine came with the swivel base. Of course I put it on the machine at the time. Soon I found I was not getting flat parts, square parts nor parallel parts.

That swivel base kicked the vise up to the point that there was .004" of rise toward the rear, and nearly .002" out of parallel with table travel from left to right. It was all under .002" once I took that swivel base out, and never used it again.

This seems to be a recurring theme... i'm not sure I get it, you obviously have a mill, why can't you figure out what surface is out, bolt it to the table and mill it flat?

Seastar
04-11-2015, 09:07 AM
"This seems to be a recurring theme... i'm not sure I get it, you obviously have a mill, why can't you figure out what surface is out, bolt it to the table and mill it flat?"

That's exactly what I did with my cheap import Kurt copy.
It's within .002 all over now with the swivil on.
Bill

bob308
04-11-2015, 09:40 AM
I can not believe people would bolt a bolt a unknown vise on their mill and make parts with out checking the vise first to see if it was squire.

I use the swivel to indicate the vise in. it is faster that way.

oldtiffie
04-11-2015, 10:01 AM
This is one of mine - bought for a particular project.

It is interesting to set up.

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Vise/Vise9.jpg

MichaelP
04-11-2015, 12:57 PM
I second what crrmeyer (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/members/8293-crrmeyer) said. No swivel on my Kurt. By the way, I bought the Kurt used. It came in a perfect shape, but the base needed to be ground to square the vise.

I also have a separate tilting vise similar to the one shown above by Tiffie and find it to be very helpful in some situations.

J Tiers
04-11-2015, 07:50 PM
I use the swivel a lot, then not for a while, then a lot again. It's handy, but obviously adds some potential looseness.

PixMan
04-11-2015, 08:42 PM
This seems to be a recurring theme... i'm not sure I get it, you obviously have a mill, why can't you figure out what surface is out, bolt it to the table and mill it flat?

So you think I don't know how to figure that out and fix it after being a trained machinist, making a living at it for over 40 years?

How about I know, but it just isn't worth my time when I got two Kurt vises for free and though they look a little beat up they're perfectly flat.

oldtiffie
04-11-2015, 08:59 PM
Originally Posted by Silverback View Post

This seems to be a recurring theme... i'm not sure I get it, you obviously have a mill, why can't you figure out what surface is out, bolt it to the table and mill it flat?


So you think I don't know how to figure that out and fix it after being a trained machinist, making a living at it for over 40 years?

How about I know, but it just isn't worth my time when I got two Kurt vises for free and though they look a little beat up they're perfectly flat.

Speaking for myself, I use the top face of the vise base (that the moving jaw slides on) as a reference for all faces parallel to it as if the (under side of) base (that rests on the mill table) is "out" it will "show" here and the base under surface can be corrected as required which will preserve the integrity of the over and under surfaces that the moving jaw slides on and minimises moving jaw "up-lift".

In all of the many times I've seen similar discussions here on this forum I think I have yet to see any thing (or much) about checking for and carrying out any correction to both the fixed and moving jaw gripping faces for straightness/flatness and verticality.

Its almost as if people don't either consider it or do anything about it - or just consider it to be not worth doing anything about it even if it needs it.

kmilner65
04-12-2015, 09:27 PM
I purchased the deg. Wedge blocks for my mill but very rarely us them. I think once, maybe twice in the 5 years. For my s

kmilner65
04-12-2015, 09:28 PM
Setups it is easier to tilt the head.

PStechPaul
04-12-2015, 10:01 PM
My mill/drill does not have a tilting head, so the wedge type angle blocks would be useful for milling on an angle. I have a sine plate but it would need a vise or other means to attach the work, and I'd also need to get gauge blocks, or maybe just make some for the angles I might need.

But that is not the same as what a swivel base does.

BTW, you can edit your post rather than continue your text in a new one if you goof or send too soon. However, you may need to refresh the page or go back and re-open it, or the software may hang up.

oldtiffie
04-13-2015, 09:52 AM
If - as in my Sieg X3 mill (which does not have a tilting head) - use one of these tilting angle plates as they work very well;

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_15.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_16.jpg

Perhaps make or fit a "tooling plate" (similar but smaller than those at LittleMachineShop.com) and bolt it to the tilting plate.

http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2708

Range of tilting plates in OZ are here - they are in the USA as well:

http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Angle-Plates-Swivel

or a quite good "angle vise":

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Seig_X3_mill/SeigX3_21.jpg