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Thread: More sensible vise selection advise please!

  1. #11
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    Screwless vises are really intended for grinding. They're not designed to clamp with enough force to handle milling, although I know some people use them that way.
    We run screwless vises on all of our vmcs at work, from small (3kW Spindle) to medium size (20kW) doing tool/die, mold and general machining work - Holding power is usualy never a problem, except when people try to clamp on sawn surfaces. That doesnt work

    Stefan

  2. #12
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    Your remark about the bigger the better only works up to a point. I recently went through the decision process for purchasing a milling vise. I have what I call a full size mill: it has table size of about 32" x 9". My debate was between a 5" and a 6" vise.

    Now you may quickly say that the 6" vise would hold larger parts and that is correct, as far as it goes. But, and it is a big but, just holding a part is not the real goal on a mill. CUTTING (milling) that part is the actual goal. And, when I made cardboard cutouts of the two sizes of vise, it became obvious that the 6" would either have to be mounted too far to the rear to allow the cutter to reach to it's rear, fixed jaw or too far to the front to use as much space between that rear jaw and the reach of the spindle to use as much area as the 5" vise would allow. These mounting positions are determined by the location of the mounting holes in the vise and the location of the slots in the table. I purchased the 5" and it is perfect on my mill. It actually allows me to have a larger work envelope than the 6" would have.

    Of course, I could have purchased the 6" and figured that I could always move it to reach all areas of a large work piece. But who wants to do that? All the alignments and zeroing would have to be made again when it is in a new position. Thanks, but NO!

    PS: I also have a nice, screwless style vise and have used it for milling. It does not have a pin that needs to be re-positioned for different work sizes. It has a Tee shaped nut on the screw which sits in a set of grooves in the bottom of the vise. It can be easily moved from one position to the next with the Allen wrench in the head of that screw. This can be done while it is mounted on the table. It also has the slots on the sides for mounting clamps so it can be easily positioned almost anywhere on the table. I have milled a number of parts with it and never had any problems with it's grip. But then, I do not do a lot of really large parts (which that vise would be useless for anyway) or make really aggressive cuts because a foreman is looking over my shoulder for blue chips. But I didn't baby it either. In short, this type of vise can be used on a milling machine. But, I really love my new, 5" milling vise and I suspect most of my milling work from now on will be done with it.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  3. #13
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    Thanks Paul. I think you've hit the nail on the head there as that was exactly my problem. Went for the bigger vise and found that while it 'technically' did fit on my table, it didn't if you actually wanted it to be clamped down. The machinist equivalent of eyes bigger than stomach! Cardboard cutout sounds like an excellent idea which I shall do when I get back and have had some sleep. Then I'll place an order once I get a refund from the travel insurance. Otherwise it's going to be an expensive month with the "Oh, you want to get on the last seats on the last flight this week? Hmmm, let's see how much we can fleece you for!”

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestgnome View Post
    Screwless vises are really intended for grinding. They're not designed to clamp with enough force to handle milling, although I know some people use them that way.
    agreed its less than ideal for general work. As much as holding power's the issue, they're also such a pita to use with the limited distance before you are resetting something, which for most of the styles, means taking it off the table to get access to the bottom. Just call 'em what they are...grinding vises

    I've also never bothered with a swivel base. Of negligible use if any, and it eats up daylight.

    Thats my view, mostly matters in my shop....yours does in yours.
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-08-2019 at 10:29 AM.
    .

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestgnome View Post
    Screwless vises are really intended for grinding. They're not designed to clamp with enough force to handle milling, although I know some people use them that way.
    You're using "big machine" thinking here. Cenedd's has a small compact shop with small compact machines. A 75 or 90mm screwless will be right in tune with what he's got.

    I do tend to agree though that some care and consideration will be needed with bigger items where the pure leverage of working on the part some distance from the jaws will be a risky operation. Some additional care to arrange things do that the pressure of the cut is against the jaw surfaces and not trying to pivot the part might be wise. Or where the parts are that physically large that they are up away from the jaws that a different method of holding the part is needed.

    But that's where a vise of this sort shines too. With the all sides ground accurately we can flip the vise around so the jaws are vertical if the part is tall or use other such tricks.

    Cenedd, I do agree that within the scale of your mill that bigger is better. If you have room for the 90mm that would be better all around. I simply don't recall what size of mill you have. It may well be that the 70 or 75 will be right in scale.

    Some time back I got a vise similar but not quite the same as THIS SOBA 100mm vise. While billed as a "drill press" vise it turned out that it was finely made and the movable jaw had the proper sort of minimal play that made it more than suitable as a milling machine vise. Yet it had a nice low profile. So lots of jaw width and opening but not a lot of "altitude" used up. Provided this one is a tolerance match for the one I got I think you would be very happy. The down side if you're shopping online is that it is tough to personally check to see if this one would be useable where we can reasonably expect the tool maker's vises to be of a proper squareness and play tolerance sight unseen.

  6. #16
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    I went through that same issue of the big vs "just right" vise where the vise would overhang the table and need to be moved around a lot depending on the job. And like those above the overall smaller "just right" option turned out to be far better.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    YWith the all sides ground accurately we can flip the vise around so the jaws are vertical if the part is tall or use other such tricks.
    en.
    There are milling vises like that, but they're not common. I've one, think its made in Sweden. Mostly though I use a couple of 6" Kurt's on the full sized mills. If you have a smaller machine, their d40 vise is good. I've a D30 as well, don't think its made anymore, but if you see one snatch it up. I'm thinking about making a d20 and maybe d10 for the small machines. So far just talk which is cheap....another brick in the giant wall of contemplated projects
    .

  8. #18
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    You're right, such vises are fairly rare. But I brought one home a while back because of the flexibility of using it in the various mounting modes. There's a partial picture in THIS POST from the Shop Made Tools megathread showing the plain sides. So far it's been a really nice vise to use. And tipping it up on its side paid off once already.

  9. #19
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    Here is the thread where I was discussing my vise purchase. If you go to post #55 and #56 you can see where I did the tests with cardboard cutouts.

    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...t=milling+vise

    Those cutouts were not perfect because I could not get the complete dimensions of the two vises. I had to make some guesses based on the photos on the web and in the catalog. But I am sure that those guesses were in the ball park.

    I know that, as others have pointed out, you have a smaller mill, but the idea still applies. I also have a small machine where I occasionally do milling (Unimat). And the same idea would apply there as well as on your mill. I suspect that you are probably in the 3 to 4 inch range, but it does not hurt to check it out before buying. Unless you are one of those millionaire machinists. I certainly can not waste any of my shop purchase money.

    BTW, I hope your son recovers soon from whatever he is in the hospital for.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cenedd View Post
    Thanks Paul. I think you've hit the nail on the head there as that was exactly my problem. Went for the bigger vise and found that while it 'technically' did fit on my table, it didn't if you actually wanted it to be clamped down. The machinist equivalent of eyes bigger than stomach! Cardboard cutout sounds like an excellent idea which I shall do when I get back and have had some sleep. Then I'll place an order once I get a refund from the travel insurance. Otherwise it's going to be an expensive month with the "Oh, you want to get on the last seats on the last flight this week? Hmmm, let's see how much we can fleece you for!”
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  10. #20
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    BTW, I hope your son recovers soon from whatever he is in the hospital for
    A very hearty "ME TOO!" on that front....

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