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Vise Advise??

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  • Vise Advise??

    I am in the market for a vise for my Wells-Index 745 mill. I have looked longingly at the Kurt vises in the cataloges, and hesitate because the price is nearly what I paid for the mill.

    I should state here that I live in Canada, so shipping ANYTHING from the US is a big consideration. Buying used off Ebay usually ends up with the purchase price doubled from fees, taxes, shipping and duty.

    So... I would like to ask:

    Has anyone tried the Kurt clone made by Bison? It's on sale at KBC tools for $375 cdn

    How about other clones?

    How usefull is the swivel base?

    Any other suggestions??


  • #2
    Pretty much any vise that will hold material will do for you, if you can tram it in and make sure that it holds the material flat and square. After you make a little money then look into the Kurt vises.


    • #3
      Try to stay away from alcohol, and don't take anything synthetic, but if it grows naturally..consider it.
      Never use needles, and avoid those who do.
      Don't borrow money to gamble with and never play with more than you can afford to lose.
      Don't pay too much for a date...unless she's really incredible and you have made a great winfall.
      (All more or less in jest!)

      Just a little vise advice.


      • #4
        I don't know what king of work you do, but that should have a big influence on the vise you choose. Size is a big factor. I do a lot of work with electronic panels and that is the primary reason that I used to justify the purchase of a mill to the company. I purchased three identical Palmgrem drill press style vises for this use. About $200 for all three. I can mount a 19" wide panel up to about 4" wide in the three vises arranged side by side on the mill table and have good support for cutting the various holes needed for mounting electronic components. A large Kurt would not work and if I used one, I would have to move the work several times in the vise for each piece.

        Most of the other work I do is small parts, under 4" or 5" in the largest dimension and not too heavy. I have a screwless style vise for this work. Also called a toolmaker's vise. It has the great advantage of not allowing the work to rise up as it is tightened. I find that this is adequete for most other jobs that I use a vise for. I got mine on sale for under $75.

        I also have a couple of inexpensive angle and drill press style vises. Iuse them with their limitations in mind.

        Larger parts I try to mount directly on the table.

        IOf you really feel that you need the larger, heaver Kurt style vise, then I would look for a used one that is already in Canada. I watched E-Bat for over a year for a SB lathe within driving distance.

        I will say this: my screwless vise is an Enco brand. An import. I had a lot of concern in this purchase. I do know that they, Enco, will refund your purchase price for any tool that you are not satisfied with. They even paid shipping on the drill set I returned. So I took a chance and was delighted with the quality. This says nothing about the quality of another product from them. Or even about the quality of the same item purchased at an earlier or later time. Frankly, I don't think they have an extensive QC program: they just buy and sell them. But if you deal with a company with a good return policy, then you can return any disappointing items.

        I recently purchase a Bison three jaw chuck and am completely delighted with it. I do think Bison has good QC. Just my opinion.

        All the usual disclaimers.

        Paul A.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

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


        • #5
          Along with what Paul A said, did you know you can get ebay to send you an email everytime a specific item you seek is listed? They will even let you set locale and price parameters. It's been pretty conveinant for me. If they list as a " buy it now" you have a jump on everyone else.

          If you want to do this let me know and I'll research it (been awhile since I've used the feature) and post the instructions if you have trouble with it.

          SJorgenson, you forgot....."You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
          Know when to walk away and know when to run.
          You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
          There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

          Now ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
          Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
          ’cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
          And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."

          Just a little more vice advise.

          good luck.

          [This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 09-11-2005).]
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


          • #6
            I have a 6inch Kurt clone for several years, that was sold by Wilton and made in Taewon and am quite happy with it. Larry


            • #7
              i have a 4" and 5" enco both with swivel base. never had any problems with either of them. i do tool work with them. and the shop where i learned tool work had 2 6" enco vises. after 11 years of hard use one finaly wore out. now that was with no oil on the bearings.


              • #8
                I have tried lots of different vises, through the years... My advice is to get a Kurt... I have several 6 inch ones, one is the one that opens to 8.8 inches, they ran a special on them , when they first were introduced... The little 4 inch one is my favorite, for small work... All in all, get the real thing, & you will have a vise that lasts a lifetime...


                • #9
                  As for swivel bases, I have one and don't recall if I've ever used it. No-one uses them where I work. We'll just unbolt the vise, set it over to the required angle, perhaps indicating against a sine bar if it's critical, and secure it with hold-down clamps on the base flange. You can easily do without one, but I suppose that if you have a lot of angle work to do it would be a convenience.


                  • #10
                    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Davis In SC:
                    I have tried lots of different vises, through the years... </font>
                    i also tried lots of vices through the years, but my wife put a stop to that.

                    right now i have an OLD Bridgeport vise. it wasn't worn to heck and has no play that i find in the moveable jaw. i'd say watch ebay and local ads for a while and see if anything close enough to go look at comes up for sale. if you don't find anything before you get tired of looking, then buy a new one. beware, the day the new one arrives you will find a Kurt clone for sale locally for $100.

                    andy b.
                    The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


                    • #11
                      When I started I thought vice holding was the only way to do it. Since then I've been using various hold down clamps and jacks ect. I've made my mistakes and things have slipped with disasterous results. In the end, I've learned a lot about how tight things have to be secured. I've also learned more about indexing and locating and even how much hold down pressure can effect locating. Vices are great and you have to have one that is designed for milling and which is designed to snug down the jaw against the base as it tightens. One thing that happens to milling vices and vices in general is the closing jaw loosens up and then it isn't parallel to the fixed jaw. This can be avoided by always closing the vice in a balanced way. If you have something that you need to clamp on the left side of the vice, make sure you have some spacer or stock or jack that is the same width on the right side so that the load on the closing jaw is balanced. If you don't do this you are abusing the tool.

                      Oh, and If you go to a wedding and get drunk, don't tell the bride about your sexual prowess and how hot she is....unless of course it is your own wedding. Otherwise it will be considered in bad taste.

                      Just a little vise advice.