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H/F 4" Cross-slide vise, worth $29.99?

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  • kendall
    replied
    Looks good!
    Should have it shining soon!

    Ken.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Nothing better to do so I'll throw in a couple pics of where I'm at on the cross-slide re-do.

    I made a bearing mount bracket from some scrap 1/2" alum. plate and bored it to fit the .375" x .875" bearing with a freshly sharpened brazed carbide b/bar. The finish is slick as button so fitting the CDCO diamond wheel on a H/F grinder works great!

    I'm finally learning to measure twice, double check the math and go real slow using the boring bar. The bearing pressed in really nice, no Loctite needed for a change.

    I used the original steel plate to retain the bearing but it was cupped .025". so had to surface it flat on the disc sander and a sheet of wet/dry paper on a glass plate.



    After milling the bearing mount end of the casting square to the top surface, it fit together well and spins very smoothly now. With the leadscrew friction dramatically reduced, the gib adjustments could then be snugged down and it operates with no binding at all. One axis down, one to go.



    It ain't fully polished yet, but the t*rd is at least semi-glossy now.

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  • dp
    replied
    We have a new HF here in Bellevue, WA where I live so I dropped in Saturday to see what a new store looked like. The look like all the rest as it turns out

    Anyway I looked at the vise and see that it is the same model I bought at Sears many years ago - or so close I cannot tell the difference. It has worked for me as a welding alignment tool, drill press vise, glue down weight, and sometimes it's put on my power hacksaw. It's an ok old clunker that is not useful for precision work but it sure takes abuse well.

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  • franco
    replied
    I've had a 5" one on the drill press for years. It is fine for this purpose provided you remember to lock the slides before starting to drill. HOWEVER, on mine the two slides are not exactly at right angles to each other, which might cause difficulties with precision work, so it might be worth checking this.

    franco

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  • andy_b
    replied
    Originally posted by kendall
    Learning experience is the best way to look at it.

    I buy a LOT of HF stuff for project parts, or for the express purpose of modifying for another use. And, some things are ready to use as-is.
    i love when i buy stuff there and they ask me if i want the extended warranty. i tell them that what i'm going to do with it as soon as i get it home will void the warranty anyway.

    andy b.

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  • kendall
    replied
    Learning experience is the best way to look at it.

    I buy a LOT of HF stuff for project parts, or for the express purpose of modifying for another use. And, some things are ready to use as-is.

    I've looked at them in the store, and the only real drawback I've seen in that vise is that it needs more gib screws, and a tighter slide fit for the moveable jaw

    People will happily pay twice that, or more, for casting kits for milling vises, and still need to come up with the rest of the parts, this is a complete kit that's ready for final fitting.

    Ken.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Originally posted by Your Old Dog
    Take it back if you haven't really used it and tell'em it sucks.
    Naah, I just turned the leadscrews down to .375" on the end so I'm now past the point of no return. .375" is the ID of a pair of model airplane crankshaft bearings I had on hand. They're from the front (thrust) end of a middle 80's .40 cu. in. 17,000 rpm high quality Japanese engine so they should hold up OK.

    As long as I'm using stuff I have in stock and don't spend any cash, I'm happy. Besides, *EVERY* thing I do is a learning experience....this might be a valuable lesson.

    ps: When I chucked up the 1st leadscrew, the handle end ran out .060"! Turns out it was bent on the end and the threaded portion is reasonably straight. A little D.I. and pry bar work had it down to .001" before I turned it down to fit the bearing.

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  • Your Old Dog
    replied
    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
    Thanks all,

    Hmmm, sounds pretty depressing. I haven't had a chance to even take it out of the box yet.
    Take it back if you haven't really used it and tell'em it sucks.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadDog
    replied
    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
    The 2 biggest problems I saw are the lack of leadscrew thrust bearings and the gibs look like they were beat flat on a tired old anvil. I filed and sanded them flat, filed the burrs & boogers off the dovetails and lubed everything with some fresh moly grease. I adjusted the gibs using new hardware and it worked much more smoothly.
    That's pretty much exactly what I did to mine. About an hour or so with emery and file makes a BIG difference.

    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
    It'll be much better after I cobble up some bearings for the handle end of the leadscrews. Looks like a simple job. I have a box of old roller-blade bearings...I may try a couple.
    I wouldn't bother with the skate bearings. Machine the surfaces true and add a roller thrust bearing with some way to eliminate the float would probably be much more useful.

    Leave a comment:


  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Thanks Andy,

    I looked closer at it tonight and it is pretty cheaply made but like you said, what the hay...it's 30 bucks!

    The 2 biggest problems I saw are the lack of leadscrew thrust bearings and the gibs look like they were beat flat on a tired old anvil. I filed and sanded them flat, filed the burrs & boogers off the dovetails and lubed everything with some fresh moly grease. I adjusted the gibs using new hardware and it worked much more smoothly.

    It'll be much better after I cobble up some bearings for the handle end of the leadscrews. Looks like a simple job. I have a box of old roller-blade bearings...I may try a couple.

    I think it'll work OK for what I'm wanting to do. It'll only be positioning a toolholder once in a while. No heavy back & forth use at all. I'm going to give it a try & see what happens.

    Leave a comment:


  • andy_b
    replied
    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
    I had a little time to kill this morning in town and ended up in H/F. They had this http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...Itemnumber=538 on sale from $39.99 down to $29.99.
    i have that one on my drill press. i've probably had it for at least two years. if you keep the gibs tight, it seems okay. i figure if i wear the gibs/dovetails out sooner because i keep them too tight, so what. it only cost $30. sometimes i miscalculate where i'm drilling, and put some holes in the vise. again, so what, it was cheap. i also find that if i have some odd-shaped thing to drill, i don't feel the least bit bad clamping something on to the vise. again, if i break it, it was only $30. the key with it is to keep the gibs tight, and if you're not using one of the axis, then lock the gib on that axis.

    andy b.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Thanks all,

    Hmmm, sounds pretty depressing. I haven't had a chance to even take it out of the box yet.

    I use my X-3 for drilling when I need accuracy and don't plan to use the little thing very often. I'll give it a closer look tomorrow when I have some more time and decide whether to take it back or give it a try.

    Leave a comment:


  • kendall
    replied
    I have a yuasa table similar to that last one, pretty sturdy and smooth acting table, only issue is that the screws are backwards, so switching from mill or lathe I have to remind myself which way to turn the thing. Other thing that may or may not cause issues is that it uses a single stud for the mount.


    Ken.

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  • matador
    replied
    I bought a similar vise several years ago,and only use it on the drill press.The only thing that really annoys me is that the main screw is a reversed thread,e.g.turn left for forward.Agreed it is a sloppy fit,there was an article in an english magazine about improving it.But i totted up the cost,and it just didn't seem worthwhile.One day I'll probably make new gib strips for it,but it works,so there's no rush.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadDog
    replied
    I've had one for years that I used on my import drill press. Perfectly adequate for most any use on a drill press. Aligning to layouts and punches is fine. But don't expect to do any accurate coordinate locating...

    Now that I have the big 20" Wilton VSG, that was no longer adequate by a long shot, though I still use it for small stuff. So I got one of these. This one is VERY nice (for the price) and will actually allow you to do trigged out bolt circles, plus I have a variety of vises (3 axis 4" Wilton, various "screwless grinder", a sine-plate vise, etc.) to use on it. I'm looking for one of those lever "quick vises" for general use. Anyway, this is a bit big I think for a grinder table, but with some skirting to keep the grit out of the ways, it would work I think...

    Then there is this one. Not as nice, but smaller and MUCH better than the HF vise. Coordinate travel dials are small and fit/finish is not as good as the previous, but much cheaper (in sale catalog now?).

    For a grinder, I think this might make a good one, but the most pricey of this lot.

    I've got a recently acquired 10" Pamgren Rotary Cross Feed that would also work rather well, but they are VERY pricey (several hundred used) unless you get lucky (I did).

    Leave a comment:

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