I am planning to make my own screwless toolmaker's vise for my mini mill (really nice because it won't stick out) based on Ishamura's design at http://homepage3.nifty.com/amigos/index-e.html.
How ever, I have some issues.
First, it would be nice to be able to grind it, but with my limited budget and lack of a grinder that is just not possible.
Second, I would like to harden it but since it is a block of steel or cast iron about 3x1x5 inches and my equipment is a small bernzomatic torch, that does not seem feasable. I am not allowed to and cannot afford a furnace, and the idea is to have the cost end up being less than 50 dollars for a commercial vise. I am thinking of heating it in a pile of charcoal in bricks with a pair of bellows.
Third, I still do not know what material to use. Speedymetals apparently has ductile iron if you call and ask for it, but it seems expensive. THey plain-old have cast gray iron, and of course steel. Or then there is alloy steel, and tool steel, both very expensive. What is a good material that is not too hard to machine with my lack of carbide milling cutters?