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Thread: Mill Vise Accuracy

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    I don't quite understand. Do you tram the head to match the jaws each time you move the vise, or is that each time you swap out the replaceable jaw faces?

    I adjust the vise position so the jaws are parallel with either the X or Y axis. The Mill's head is always trammed to the table. Well, except when I want to set it to a specific angle.

    Dan
    I tram the vice jaws every time the vice get's moved. Normal vise position is in line with the long axis of the table (parallel to the slots) The indicator used to tram the jaws is held magnetically to the mill column. The table is translated to move the vise jaw past the indicator stylus.

    The two vises were repositioned today. The tramming operation took all of ten minutes.
    I took the keys off the bottom years ago. They get in the way, and slow down tramming.

  2. #42
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    That's irrelevant to the straight and parallel-ness of the vice, its bed, and top surface to the table. That's the significant aspect. Indicating the vice parallel to the moving axis is a trivial part of the installation, not part of the vice.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    That's irrelevant to the straight and parallel-ness of the vice, its bed, and top surface to the table. That's the significant aspect. Indicating the vice parallel to the moving axis is a trivial part of the installation, not part of the vice.
    Exactly!

    It is the vise jaws that need to be square to the table movement. The vise base can be anything, and any where. And if the vise jaw it's self is not square, it is a single effort to make it so. Not something that needs to be repeated every time the vise is used.

  4. #44
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    Hello everyone, thank you for all of the great responses, I did not expect to get so many comments on this topic. I will address a few of the suggestions that have been given:

    1) I have been keeping an eye on any local auctions for months, I am located is Massachusetts USA and as far as I can tell almost all of the auctions here on the east coast are geared toward business owners, they all operate during 9-4 work hours. I did acquire my milling machine through an auction and of course I had to take a day off of work to go pick it up but I could justify that since it was a very good deal. But with only so many vacation days a year I have a hard time taking a day off to go take the chance on a sight-unseen Kurt that might be in worse shape than a new Chinese knock off.

    2) I have only been looking at the 6" models, I could likely afford one of the higher spec vises if I went with a 4". I always considered the 6" as the standard size but reading some of your comments it sounds like a 4" might be just as good for my hobby needs?

    3) The comments about milling soft jaws and fly cutting the vise base are very interesting and this is something I never really considered as an option. I always assumed that to improve on a vise I would need a surface grinder, it sounds like my assumption was wrong.

    Also- are the swivel bases actually useful? I see many comments about how they are scrap and while watching YouTube videos I do not see anyone using one.
    Last edited by FKreider; 08-09-2018 at 09:06 PM.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKreider View Post
    Hello everyone, thank you for all of the great responses, I did not expect to get so many comments on this topic. I will address a few of the suggestions that have been given:

    1) I have been keeping an eye on any local auctions for months, I am located is Massachusetts USA and as far as I can tell almost all of the auctions here on the east coast are geared toward business owners, they all operate during 9-4 work hours. I did acquire my milling machine through an auction and of course I had to take a day off of work to go pick it up but I could justify that since it was a very good deal. But with only so many vacation days a year I have a hard time taking a day off to go take the chance on a sight-unseen Kurt that might be in worse shape than a new Chinese knock off.

    2) I have only been looking at the 6" models, I could likely afford one of the higher spec vises if I went with a 4". I always considered the 6" as the standard size but reading some of your comments it sounds like a 4" might be just as good for my hobby needs?

    3) The comments about milling soft jaws and fly cutting the vise base are very interesting and this is something I never really considered as an option. I always assumed that to improve on a vise I would need a surface grinder, it sounds like my assumption was wrong.

    Also- are the swivel bases actually useful? I see many comments about how they are scrap and while watching YouTube videos I do not see anyone using one.
    Lots of good auctions in MA and NH. Yes, you can't snooze or you'll loose Schedule work around auctions.
    Work hard play hard

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKreider View Post

    Also- are the swivel bases actually useful? I see many comments about how they are scrap and while watching YouTube videos I do not see anyone using one.
    They might be, but I don't recall ever using the swivel function in the 10 years that it was on my knee mill. When I changed to a more modern vise I removed the swivel.
    Measure twice. Cut once. Weld. Repeat.
    ( Welding solves many problems.)

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    They might be, but I don't recall ever using the swivel function in the 10 years that it was on my knee mill. When I changed to a more modern vise I removed the swivel.
    No swivel bases in my shop. Just one more bolted connection to wiggle.

    When an angled work hold is required, It's a simple matter to reposition the vise. Sometimes the vice is clamped to the table with strap clamps, but that works too. Heck, I've been known to hold the work down ON TOP of the vise movable jaw body with strap clamps.

    Good, fast or cheap, pick two! ;-)

  8. #48
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    A few Hints
    In 50 years of machining, I have never had to, nor used a swivel vise . The higher off the table you go, the less reliable the cut due to deflection.
    Gave a swivel base on my Bridgeport away and never regretted it. I have aluminum subplates which mount to the table for clamping angled work, or use the mill table itself. Also have a 1-1/2 " aluminum plate that clamps in the jaws of the 6 inch vice and is on top of the Kurt jaws and that will do small clamped down work. I use a 4" 5"Kurt and 6" Kurt . I do not like vises without Keys . Especially if you want accuracy . Stuff moves...and if you say it doesn't, you probably have the table keyways all buggered up from over tightening . Also if you want your vise jaws to accurately match the table slots, do this . Realise that the keyways are generally milled at the same time as the Ways, BUT NOT the outside edges of the table. So carefully measure the keyslot width and mount a long flat plate in the keyway, longer than the jaws so you can clamp it on the ends . Perfect if the plate is so thick, it takes a slight tapping to get it down, If not, be sure to shim it tight on one side only. Now Stone your jaws and flip the vise over and clamp it on the plate, WITH THE handle END towards the Column !!! Now mill the new keys on the vise bottom to the width of the keyway and keep it snug . What you have done is compensated the keys (do not switch them !) for any angular error between the ways of travel and the keyways.
    My vise does not" fall" into the keyway. it fits with a light tapping of the mallet,(on top of a oil coat ) and the jaws are always right on.
    Rich
    Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 08-10-2018 at 12:52 AM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKreider View Post
    .....
    Also- are the swivel bases actually useful? I see many comments about how they are scrap and while watching YouTube videos I do not see anyone using one.
    Obviously I must be an outlier on this issue. I made, and use, a swivel base, which I put on a Miller's Falls drill press vise that I have. I use it on the Lewis mill. And I DO use the swivel feature, I find it quite handy.

    Mine might be a bit different from some, but whatever the differences, it works fine, and I like it. I made it to use, and I use it.

    It is possible that other swivels are not as good. Or that they are much better. This one is two thick slabs of metal that grip the swivel base all around the periphery when the screws are tightened.

    Here is a pic of the vise in use for you-all to sneer at.

    Last edited by J Tiers; 08-10-2018 at 02:11 AM.
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    Hashim Khan

  10. #50
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    I was inexperienced when I bought a new First turret mill,and 16 x 67 lathe.
    I picked up a brand new Eron, milling drilling vise. And used it for a time a few years , but the harder it got clamped, the more the jaw would tilt.
    Very hard to make square work.
    Eventually I got into a bit of minor die maintainence and more precision work, including fixtures for a truck manufacturer.
    Then one day I got offered a good heavy English 6 inch vise. I forget the maker, but it is two names.
    Man what a difference, almost everything you clamped and milled was useable without any fidfling.
    Totally worth it.

    Now as a hobbyist, you may think you do not need a good vise, but I am here to tell you...
    You are much further ahead, producing useable parts, than futzing about to make up for work holding inefficiencies.

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