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Thread: Steel selection advise

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    As it comes from the store it's only slightly harder to bend then mild steel. To be significantly stronger it would need to be hardened then tempered back to a blue spring temper. Not many of us have the sort of forge or other method to heat that long a piece all at the same time.

    All in all I'd have to agree that if you're bending the original mild steel handle that you're running the risk of damaging the vise. Think of the handle as your "torque fuse" where the handle bends but the vise remains within its structural limit.

    But if you're not havin' none 'o this and want your tougher handle then find a source for 1144 "stressproof" steel over your way. Tougher than nails and has some spring to it and the vise is sure to break before the new handle bends. Looking up "stressproof steel" it seems that it's 1144 that has been severely cold rolled to work harden it. Then slightly tempered to reduce distortion when machined. But it's hellishly tough and yet springy as it comes and would be superb for a handle of this sort.

    As an alternative to a cheater pipe you can also just thump the end of the handle with a dead blow hammer. But again the impact of this is easy to take up past any sensible limit on the vise. So don't do a full on over the shoulder or you'll have the pleasure of checking out your steel toe boots when the jaw snaps off and the work and jaw both fall on your feet.

    There is one other fear. If you're using spring tempered or some other heat treated stronger steel for a handle and by some chance it DOES break before the vise lets go then you also run the risk of the hardened handle shattering and sending high speed shards flying around. I don't often feel the need for wearing good safety glasses when using my vise but in this case I think I might start.
    1144 stressproof is not that easy to find in my experience here in europe.
    And EN24T(4340, 34crnimo6) should be considerably tougher in any way and easier to find.

  2. #22
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    Yeah, I've tried to find 1144 after I found somebody making vise handles from it for sale (in the US) but failed. All the sources were shipped from the US. You know how it goes: yes, you can have this for only $20....plus $200 shipping!

    As for the vise, it's a 100mm/4" one of these which I believe are a re-badged York vise and they seem to be made in Czech Republic....so I could well be doing them a disservice when I say "import" - it's certainly held up (apart from the handle and a need to clean and re-grease) to this abuse.
    The bender, for reference, is this. Given that the workpiece is 820mm long and 2mm thick stainless, I think it's doing pretty well...the fault is clearly mine for not realising it was far too thick before I ordered it....but you live, you learn and hopefully you don't make the same mistake a second time.

    754: yes, 4". Can't really tell when the mainscrew is made of - lack of clue here. Jaws are hardened apparently though.

    BCRider: are you saying that you think the original handle may be just mild steel and I'm just over-thinking the whole thing? *Shrug* it wouldn't be the first time...and I doubt it'll be the last!

  3. #23
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    Gareth/Cennedd have a look here for EN24T about page 23, I have used them and find them very helpful.
    Have not read the whole thread but guess you want to attach a ball end ? rather than threading and or lactate I would use an interface fit and shrink the ball onto the shaft. Make the hole in the ball about 0.001 smaller than the the reduced end of the shaft, heat the ball to blue and drop onto the shaft. I doubt it will ever move,

    http://preview.m-machine.co.uk/CATAL...0catalogue.pdf
    Knowledge withheld is knowledge lost

  4. #24
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    If you can't heat treat steel the size of a vice handle, then buying steel in the T temper, as above is a good idea. Once you've done that, look at making some more robust form of toggle press or other 'leverage enhanced mechanism' to propel the folding dies. Axminster's claims for 1/8" steel don't really apply to much more than an inch in width, as you've discovered

  5. #25
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    Jun 2013
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    This is what I did to improve my small bench vise handle.
    I heated an allen wrench to red hot and slow cooled it in sand, then machined it to round with carbide. Silver soldered 2 steel bearing balls on the ends that were also annealed and drilled.
    Good quality tool steel on the cheap. Very pleased with the result.

  6. #26
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    I don't currently have access to heat beyond the pencil flame from a butane soldering iron and I reckon I'd be wise to invest in a fire extinguisher before spending the money on anything with more oomph. I like the idea of ball bearings as the end caps though - might save me some time (and disappointment) trying to turn my own - and I just happen to have some soft ball bearings that I ordered as a replacement for the balls in a game that my son (predictably) lost. Obviously they're too small for this project - that'd be too easy, wouldn't it?! - but they'd be fine as a test for drilling and tapping.

    I've got issues with my lathe I need to overcome first - could just be tailstock alignment but I think there's some bed twist involved and possibly some error thrown up by cheap nasty steel bar stock having variable consistency. Once I've got that sorted, I'll be off down to the supplier of proper named steel and we'll get some progress.

  7. #27
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    Fit a needle roller thrust bearing to the vice screw and then use an Aluminium handle.

  8. #28
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cenedd View Post
    Yeah, I've tried to find 1144 after I found somebody making vise handles from it for sale (in the US) but failed. All the sources were shipped from the US. You know how it goes: yes, you can have this for only $20....plus $200 shipping!

    As for the vise, it's a 100mm/4" one of these which I believe are a re-badged York vise and they seem to be made in Czech Republic....so I could well be doing them a disservice when I say "import" - it's certainly held up (apart from the handle and a need to clean and re-grease) to this abuse.
    The bender, for reference, is this. Given that the workpiece is 820mm long and 2mm thick stainless, I think it's doing pretty well...the fault is clearly mine for not realising it was far too thick before I ordered it....but you live, you learn and hopefully you don't make the same mistake a second time.

    754: yes, 4". Can't really tell when the mainscrew is made of - lack of clue here. Jaws are hardened apparently though.

    BCRider: are you saying that you think the original handle may be just mild steel and I'm just over-thinking the whole thing? *Shrug* it wouldn't be the first time...and I doubt it'll be the last!
    European equivalent for 1144 stress proof = 226M44 or EN8M

  9. #29
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    OK, I've seen that bender and even done some similar bending with some bodged together things. I never had to use a cheater bar on the handle for anything up to 1/8 x 1 mild steel. But really that small bender is not even intended for 1/8. Let me guess.... you're bending wider pieces of 1/8 mild and pushing it right past any reasonable limit. Now that's not an issue. Hell we've all pushed our tools to the limit and a little more on more than one occasion. But if you're doing this often enough that you want to make a new handle for the vise that will let you go past what is reasonable for that size vise on a regular basis then I'd suggest that instead of a new handle you should be looking for a larger vise. Or buying or making up some manner of press brake.

  10. #30
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    BCRider: Not 1/8" mild but 2mm (about 5/64") 304 stainless and a sharp (-ish) 90 bend over 820mm (32") without scoring beyond a scribe line - wanted to but lacked the tooling (or arguably the imagination) to do it. Probably would have been able to do it with the angle grinder now that I've used it to cut it....but hindsight's a wonderful thing
    Not planning to do this regularly, mainly just get the vise back to working properly (handle sliding back out the way again) and safely (doesn't either bend or shatter). A sheet brake would be nice as would a hydraulic press - just don't have the room for either unfortunately

    EVGuru: I was going to whinge about my vise screw not being removable...but then I found a retaining pin that had been cunningly painted over. Now I've got it out, it'll make boring the hole clean easier - it's already 13mm in the middle and a smidge over at the edges so I'll even it up and shove an 13mm bar through it. Also, I now see the reason for adding the thrust bearing as the head of the vise screw has started grinding into the jaw. Might have to skim the shoulder of the vise screw back a little to give enough clearance for the bearing but that shouldn't be too hard now it's out. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Bob_s: Thanks for that. Unless anyone thinks it's dangerous, I think I'll go with the EN24T as I'm under the impression that it's both harder and tougher and I'd rather over-engineer than under. I suspect it'll be harder to machine but the worst I can do is fail and try another grade.

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