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Thread: Newbie installing mill vise

  1. #1

    Default Newbie installing mill vise

    Hi group

    I got my new mill drill home and attempted to mount the vise. It occured to me as I noticed all the slop in the T-nuts that if your vise jaws aren't absolutely dead parallel to the table direction of travel, you won't make dead straight cuts in reference to the jaws. If you mount a workpiece in the vise and the vise is offset to the table a bit, your workpiece will have an angle to the cut.

    So, how to mount a milling vise? I put an endmill in the mill collet upside down and used the shank of the endmill to touch the inside of the far vise jaw at each end. I tried to get the settings on the dial the same at each end of the vise, but moving one end always changed the other end, and tightening changed the reading as well. I gave up in frustration after half an hour. What is the trick to this? I will want to take the vise on and off the mill many times for different workpieces, and to use a rotary table.

    Don

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    Powerchute, you have to tram the vise. Don't try to indicate off the end mill. Instead, attach the indicator to your spindle (with the spindle stopped!!!) and indicate on the vise jaws.

    I like to tighten one of the T-nuts "almost tight enough" and leave the other "just past hand tight". Now you're going to take a soft hammer (brass, led, plastic covered, whatever) and tap (not pound) the vise until you can traverse that vise left and right and the indicator doesn't move.

    Here is a typical photo of how it looks:



    In that photo I'm using an Indicol indicator holder, and I'm tramming a workpiece known to be flat rather than the jaws. You should tram the jaws, but that was the best pic I had to show.

    As far as attaching the indicator, if you don't have an Indicol (cheap knock offs are available), you may need to get creative.

    More on this procedure and other mill tips on my web page:

    http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillTipsTechniques.htm

    Best,

    BW

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the circus Don.

    Setting up a mill vise will go rather quickly after you get the hang of it, no real secrets just a couple of common sense steps and you'll have it down pat in no time.

    Bob Warfield has an excellent page for setting up your mill that I think you'll find very helpful, have a look at his well written explanation of the procedure.

    http://www.thewarfields.com/cnccookb...Techniques.htm

  4. #4
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    Dang, Bob's too quick on the draw for me!

  5. #5
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    Go ahead and get you an indicator & holder .... you'll need it for other things anyhow, and with the flood of pretty decent import indicators and holders, and the resultant low prices theres really no reason NOT to....

    Heres an example, --- these people have a good reputation and sure nuf good prices, look under measuring tools.......

    http://www.cdcotools.com/
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

  6. #6
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    Maine
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    There should be key slots in the bottom of the vise, for key blocks that will drop into the table slot and (in theory) align the vise with the table travel. Assuming the slots exist, add a couple of key blocks and see (with an indicator, as described) how the vise alignment is.

    Ideally, the key slots will be the same width as the table T-slot, so you'll get a snug fit all around. On my vise, the key slots are slightly narrower than the table T-slot, so I just make it a practice to push the vise forward firmly as I'm tightening it down. More fanatical people might want to make stepped keys, to fit both the key slot in the vise base and the table T-slot.

    And yes,you will want a dial indicator and holder.
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  7. #7
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    If you have a swivel base vise it is real easy.
    1) bolt vise to table 2) using either the jaws or the plate as in one of the previous entrys, move the table over so the indicator is about centered on the jaw/plate. 3)move the plate/jaw unil it moves the indicator needle. I always "zero" the needle at this point. You could just remember the number if you wish. 4) withthe "Y" axis locked traverse to the end of the jaw and read the number. 5) carefully rotate the vise until it matches the number from step 3. 6)tighten the vise carefull so the numbers don't change. 7) move back to the center. If the number on the indicator remain constant you are done.

    This sounds like a bit of work but when you have this mastered it is but a 2 minute task.

  8. #8

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    For quick and dirty only.

    Mesure with a dial if the T-slots are travelling parallel with the movement of the table.
    Put a ground bar the length of the table in a vise parallel to T-slots and eyeball if it is.
    Your done. Over the width of the jaws of the vise the difference is very small.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobWarfield
    Powerchute, you have to tram the vise. Don't try to indicate off the end mill. Instead, attach the indicator to your spindle (with the spindle stopped!!!) and indicate on the vise jaws.

    I like to tighten one of the T-nuts "almost tight enough" and leave the other "just past hand tight". Now you're going to take a soft hammer (brass, led, plastic covered, whatever) and tap (not pound) the vise until you can traverse that vise left and right and the indicator doesn't move.





    In that photo I'm using an Indicol indicator holder, and I'm tramming a workpiece known to be flat rather than the jaws. You should tram the jaws, but that was the best pic I had to show.

    As far as attaching the indicator, if you don't have an Indicol (cheap knock offs are available), you may need to get creative.

    More on this procedure and other mill tips on my web page:

    http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillTipsTechniques.htm

    Best,

    BW
    As Bob said but this is not all you should check. In addition to checking the jaw you should check the bed of the vise also. With the same indicator setup check the "ways" on the vise that they are also parallel to the table top. This assumes that you have checked the tram on the head to confirm that the spindle is perpendicular to the table top. tou basically tram the vise bed in the same way as you tram the table. Its all about flat and square and right angles.
    lg
    no neat sig line

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    This is why boards shouldn't discourage newcomers: I got two great bits from here:

    1) Stepside just sold me a swivel base for my vise. I had thought it would work out that way, but he made it real and I like the idea.

    2) Larry just got me interested in another way to increase accuracy.

    Regarding tramming the vise ways, do you see doing that every time, or just to verify the vise is running true?

    There are a couple more thoughts I will pass along:

    - Vise keys are a cool idea. I haven't set my vises up yet with keys, but it's on the list. Someone who has gone through the process might write up the process to set up a keyed vise. I had read you put the key in the jaws, flip the vise, machine the slot with the vise upside down, and then install the key. Sounds right, but maybe there is a better way?

    - Soft jaws are awesome. You put aluminum blocks of the right size into the vise. It's set up for soft jaws. You then machine a step into the jaws. That step is now trammed to your machine and you don't need parallels. It's a neat trick. I wouldn't ignore tramming the vise over it, but it's a neat trick.

    - There are folks who've made special gizmos that go on the table that you align your vise to. "PerpEdge" from the Token Tool room is one such:



    I'm pretty sure I've seen others here.

    - You can push the vise pretty close into alignment. Make a spud to go in the spindle that engages the vise jaws. Start it all the way left and flush against the rear jaw. Make sure the tram is such that the jaw is out of tram counterclockwise. That means that the right side of the rear jaw is too far forward. Turn on your power feed so the spud moves left to right. It will push that vise into very rough tram. Do this with the spindle off, of course!

    - The Machine Shop Trade Secrets guy says you can get close another way. Put a long steel straightedge of known accuracy (doesn't have to be a camelback for scraping!) into the jaws. Site the edge against the machine table rear or slots. Given the length of the sighting, he claims you can get to about 0.001" by sight alone. That, of course, assumes your table edge or t-slots are actually in line with the X-axis. That may or may not be true on a Home Shop Machine!

    Cheers,

    BW

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