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Thread: 4" or 5" milling vise?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Southeast Michigan
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    Default 4" or 5" milling vise?

    I'm considering upgrading my milling vise to either the 4" or 5" Glacern for my RF-31 mill drill.

    The 4" vice will mount on my table in both orientations, parallel and perpendicular to the long axis of my table. I'm assuming this is most versatile.

    The 5" vice will only mount perpendicular to the long axis of my table. Is this a particular disadvantage?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    77

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    One thing to consider is the additional weight of the 5" vise; its about 20 pounds heavier than the 4". If you add a swivel plate to the vise that will add another 5 pounds. At 55 pounds total that would not be a show stopper, but it does effect how and where you store the vise when not on the table.
    I really like my 4" GMT. Its relatively light weight at about 30 pounds, but it works for 95% of what I do. I also have 5" Wilton with a swivel plate and it is about as big as I would want to go on my 8x36 mill table.

    With the 4" GMT I can also mount my 8" rotary table at the other end and have them both available for use. The 5" Wilton uses up another couple of inches of space and makes the table a little cramped if I have both the rotary and the vise mounted at the same time. The weight combination of the 5" and the rotary table on my relatively small mill is noticeable when hand feeding the table also. I don't notice the increased friction as much with the 4" and the rotary.

    If you are working with lots of large items go with the 5", otherwise I'd go with the 4" since its easier to handle and will work in both orientations on your table.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Kansas City area
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    Default

    Get the 4" one it will allow you more versatility and it is a better fit for that size machine. If you have a situation that calls for 5 or 6 inch, simply make some wider jaws with the mill and the 4".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Also note that on the GMT you can reverse either/or both of the jaw plates and effectively have a very large capacity vise (~10"). When I mount my spin indexer for a quick job, I reverse the jaw plate on the movable jaw to hold it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    Looks like their 5" is $5 cheaper right now (Holiday savings). Wish my table was a just 1/2" wider!

    Is Glacern direct the only place to buy them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Albuquerque
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    2,219

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    The 6" Kurt only mounts perpendicular on the Bridgeport and I've never needed
    to have it the other way. So I don't see any advantage to that "feature".
    ...lew...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    south connecticut
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    10

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Lew Hartswick View Post
    The 6" Kurt only mounts perpendicular on the Bridgeport and I've never needed
    to have it the other way. So I don't see any advantage to that "feature".
    ...lew...
    I don't understand why you can only put the 6" vise that way on a bridgeport?
    I have a bunch of bridgeports in my shop that all have either 6" or 8" vises all mounted the other way. It is perfectly ok if the vise hangs off the table on it's ends.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
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    I can't speak for Bridgeports, but in my case on my RF-31 mill drill, the mounting "tangs" on the 5" vices, or larger, are spaced too widely to align with the outermost T-slots on my table, if the vice is oriented parallel to the table.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Luton,UK
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    1,804

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    The Glacern vices only have lugs on the sides. If they had lugs on the ends too, like my Vertex, they would mount along a smaller table fine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Burnet, TX
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    2,130

    Default

    Start with the 4. My mill came with an 8 which works well for most things. It is sometimes too big. I have never mounted a vice parallel to the long axis nor have I needed to. The Glacern 5 vice has a rim all the way around the base that could be clamped to make the vice attach in the long direction. Push comes to shove the Fixed jaw could be drilled in the appropriate place to attach it that way also. The swivel base could also be used to accomplish that. I am not a big fan of swivel bases but one sometimes is useful. Ninety-five % of the time they are either gathering dust on the shelf or are in the way.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

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