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Setting Up Something Square In The Mill Vise

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  • Setting Up Something Square In The Mill Vise

    This is the way I've been doing it for years. It would be easier if I had a third hand, but I don't. It's difficult to hold the square flat on the vise and the part firmly up against it while holding the vise crank handle against my chest and then backing away enough to let the handle drop to slightly snug the part up enough to remove the square.

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    I have some ideas on what I would like to make. Something on the order of an external vise / part stop. A heavy fixture that I could bolt to the table with an extendable and adjustable blade that would take the place of the square that would take a bit of force with out moving. Something where the blade could be moved in between the vise jaws. But before I get into another project I'm wondering what some of you guys do and if there is something commercially available.

    JL...............

  • #2
    When I had several pieces to square up that way I machined a soft fixed jaw with a step in it perpendicular
    to the bottom,Push the workpiece up against the step, tighten the vise and you're good to go...
    Keith
    __________________________
    Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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    • #3
      Like that, or on angle plate on the table. For shorter pieces of bar stock, a v block vertically in the vise works well. longer pieces, laid down in the vise and cut with an end mill all the Y axis. Face mill in the horizontal mill for very large stuff. Lots of ways to do it, depends on the parts shape/size
      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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      • #4
        I usually have one end sticking out the right side of the vise and square it up with the side of an end mill in Y axis. Then it's as square as the machine, assuming the vise is accurately dialed in to the X axis. Then put the cut side down on the vise bed or parallels and cut the edge sticking up in X axis. It's a lot simpler and faster than it sounds, and super accurate. Using the right side of the vise means the chips are going away from the operator.
        Kansas City area

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LKeithR View Post
          When I had several pieces to square up that way I machined a soft fixed jaw with a step in it perpendicular
          to the bottom,Push the workpiece up against the step, tighten the vise and you're good to go...
          I thought of doing that and may still go that route.

          JL..............

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
            I usually have one end sticking out the right side of the vise and square it up with the side of an end mill in Y axis. Then it's as square as the machine, assuming the vise is accurately dialed in to the X axis. Then put the cut side down on the vise bed or parallels and cut the edge sticking up in X axis. It's a lot simpler and faster than it sounds, and super accurate. Using the right side of the vise means the chips are going away from the operator.
            I usually do that and have had good results providing the vise is trammed in perfectly with the table travel and you don't have any play in the saddle.

            JL.............

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            • #7
              Use whatever method works, I always say.

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              • #8
                Tighten vise lightly, tap into position with soft hammer, tighten vise rest of way.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by deltap View Post
                  Tighten vise lightly, tap into position with soft hammer, tighten vise rest of way.
                  That is what I do. I use a dead blow hammer. I know you have to be careful because the part can bounce. Tapping and tightening requires a delicate feel.

                  JL............

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                  • #10
                    First watch this. It is pretty good.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T4IvUF8cYU&t=461s

                    BUT THEN, WATCH THIS:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZghLslZZ6sg

                    IMHO, Joe Pi aces it.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                    You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                      This is the way I've been doing it for years. It would be easier if I had a third hand, but I don't. It's difficult to hold the square flat on the vise and the part firmly up against it while holding the vise crank handle against my chest and then backing away enough to let the handle drop to slightly snug the part up enough to remove the square.
                      Joe,

                      Another idea when you have a thin workpiece is to use a combination square. You put the square head on the top of the vise jaws and the blade goes down into the vise plus upwards. This allows you to square up workpieces almost as thin as the blade. For thin workpieces this also makes it easier to hold the square head and workpiece while using gravity for the handle (as you mentioned).

                      This is only "fairly square", but sometimes that is all you need.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                        First watch this. It is pretty good.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T4IvUF8cYU&t=461s

                        BUT THEN, WATCH THIS:

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZghLslZZ6sg

                        IMHO, Joe Pi aces it.
                        Uncle Don always has some informative videos. I've watched about all of them on several subjects.

                        I have seen the Joe Pi video before. I think someone posted it in the past. I haven't tried his method yet but will just for test purposes. Going around the perimeter of a part and getting it perfectly square all depends on how well you vise is set. When I set my vise I run the dial form side to side and usually get about .0002 parallel with the table travel.

                        In my case for what I just tried to square up, several piece of 1/2" x 2 1/2" CF bar. Finished length 3.5" long. There was no need to mill the surfaces. So I milled each side to get the part parallel, then squared up the ends to the side. What I noticed was my two sides aren't perfectly parallel. About .0003 tenths from one end to the other in 3 1/2" of length. that's why I cant get it perfectly square. I indicated the surface of the vise from left to right and found that I have about a .0003 difference from one side to the other. I don't think it's the vise as I've checked it before on the surface plate. I believe there is some wear in the table ways.
                        I confirmed this last year when I milled the edge of a 6" long piece of aluminum plate. The center was slightly crowned or high by about .0003 which indicates the table ways or saddle to table ways have some wear. Typically this wear develops over years of use.

                        JL..................



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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Peter S View Post

                          Joe,

                          Another idea when you have a thin workpiece is to use a combination square. You put the square head on the top of the vise jaws and the blade goes down into the vise plus upwards. This allows you to square up workpieces almost as thin as the blade. For thin workpieces this also makes it easier to hold the square head and workpiece while using gravity for the handle (as you mentioned).

                          This is only "fairly square", but sometimes that is all you need.
                          I've never indicated along the top edge of the jaws to see if there is any height variation. I've ground them before and they were dead parallel in height but I don't know how they sit when mounted. Since they both sit on the vise surface the tops edges of the jaws should show the same as the vise surface.

                          JL................

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                          • #14
                            magnets.

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                            • #15
                              I indicated across the 4" width of the vise this morning. I get about .0001 from left to right. When I did this yesterday I got about .0004.
                              Last year I checked the vise on my surface plate and got the same, about .0001. ? possible cause ? A different position of the knee when I was milling.

                              JL...............

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