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  • Choosing Mill Vice

    Decided on a mini-mill (not the "mini-est" with the 350 watt motor but the 600 watt or 3/4 hp). Looking at several vises. Does this machine require a true milling vise - Kurt type that I would need a shop crane to place on the table - or would one of the screwless (toolmakers ?) vises (for example http://littlemachineshop.com/product...1591&category=) be adequate. The actual vice is of this pattern but larger.

    Not looking to do heavy cuts at the edge of the envelope - this is a hobby, not a business.

  • #2
    i have a busy bee ct129 mill its a 7x20 and its a great machine any how i had a small vice on it and it is limited if you really want some functionality then id go for a swivel kurt styl vice there great yes big and heavey but well built and you have the swivel part to it so it give you more access with less set up hassles as well and its made to take some pressure i have had mine for about a month on my mill and yes its big but i would never want to be with out it again it also can hold some pretty big stuff in it as well works great wiht v blocks and i have a smaller vice that i can camp in it so if i need to do and angle change i can with out messing up wiht my present set up as well so its good all around you can really lose in it, now i also am of the opnion that you also need more then 2 or 3 kinds and styls of vices as well ...

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    • #3
      I would look at the 3" phase 2 on the swivel base and then add a small tilt table and then a screwless vise later. You can grab little parts in a big vise but not big parts in a tiny one.

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      • #4
        as much as hearing about an other's vices might hold ghoulish interest, i doubt anyone here can really help....

        but regarding your vises you've come to the right place this particular topic was flogged to death in a recent thread, do a search, lots of good content there. Me? I'd go with a quality milling vise without rotating base (you will not require a crane) for many reasons. a vise is not a place to forego quality imo
        .

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        • #5
          Imo you may wish you had whatever you do not have. The 3 inch Kurt-style Chinese is supposed to be good, and is not really heavy, (if you are oldthat may not be the case, Im 15 and pretty skinny but they are so large as to make turning the handwheel a trick.

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          • #6
            Choosing one's vices

            There is no such thing as one vise/vice.
            I agree with McG over a rotary one but really the further one goes, the more different ones are wanted.

            I might have all the vices but nowhere near enough vises.
            Get one- make more.

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            • #7
              airsmith...how exactly is he going to get a big swivel base Kurt on a micro mill?
              Do you know that a Kurt vise alone (no swivle)weighs as much as a similar off shore vise WITH the swivel?
              Kurts are massive.
              Should be thinking small (ISH) Kurt type with no swivel..
              I have tools I don't even know I own...

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              • #8
                My 5 inch jet weighs pretty close to the kurt 5 I would skip the swivel base since it reduces rigidity and reduces the spindle to vice distance, kinda a premeium on small machines. or just get it and take it off until needed

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by chrsbrbnk
                  My 5 inch jet weighs pretty close to the kurt 5 I would skip the swivel base since it reduces rigidity and reduces the spindle to vice distance, kinda a premeium on small machines. or just get it and take it off until needed
                  A Jet must be a step up from the "regular" off shore Kurt clone then. My Kurt 5" weighs exactly what my old China 5" weighed WITH the swivel base.
                  Gee...do we get to have yet another debate on swivels???? YAYYYYYYY!!!
                  BTW.. I like them
                  Russ
                  I have tools I don't even know I own...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by torker
                    airsmith...how exactly is he going to get a big swivel base Kurt on a micro mill?
                    Do you know that a Kurt vise alone (no swivle)weighs as much as a similar off shore vise WITH the swivel?
                    Kurts are massive.
                    Should be thinking small (ISH) Kurt type with no swivel..

                    he did say he gota mini mill not a mico mill and yes there big i got one and its a monster but the smaller vices just didnt cut it for the stuff i need and i snapped one apart so i needed to get a bigger and better vice and the swivel base on it is a bonus if one wants to or needs to do some anlge slotting etc..i can always remove the swivel base if i need to as well which will take a pile of weight off as well....

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                    • #11
                      I already had one similar to that so bought this: http://littlemachineshop.com/product...699&category=3

                      It's been excellent so far, and I can drop the other vise in it for angled setups. I also use it without the swivel as head space is at a premium on a small mill. You may find any vise you buy will need some machining to true it once it's on your table.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dp
                        I already had one similar to that so bought this: http://littlemachineshop.com/product...699&category=3

                        It's been excellent so far, and I can drop the other vise in it for angled setups. I also use it without the swivel as head space is at a premium on a small mill. You may find any vise you buy will need some machining to true it once it's on your table.
                        I would have to go along with DP here as this is a milling vise, replaceable jaws. and movable for extra range of gripping. You have the option of changing to soft jaws, or custom made jaws for the job at hand. Secondly this vise is made to bolt directly to the table of your mill as the one you selected has to use hold downs and may be a bit more fidddley to square up and keep square. Go with the true milling vise, thousands in use vs very few grinding vises on milling machines.
                        lg
                        no neat sig line

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                        • #13
                          Its used here too

                          Originally posted by Dunc
                          Decided on a mini-mill (not the "mini-est" with the 350 watt motor but the 600 watt or 3/4 hp). Looking at several vises. Does this machine require a true milling vise - Kurt type that I would need a shop crane to place on the table - or would one of the screwless (toolmakers ?) vises (for example http://littlemachineshop.com/product...1591&category=) be adequate. The actual vice is of this pattern but larger.

                          Not looking to do heavy cuts at the edge of the envelope - this is a hobby, not a business.
                          Dunc.

                          The accuracy of those vises in incredible as is their "squareness".

                          They are in fact a "Tool-makers" vise. One thing they do very well is draw the job hard down onto the base of the vise and hard up against the face of the back/"fixed" jaw which are functions that many of the so-called "better" vises don't do well at all.

                          As you have a mini-mill, this should do very well.

                          Put that vice onto a 6" rotary table and you will beat the beat of the "rotatable base" vises hands-down. Put it onto a 7" x 5" tilting table (which can be "angled" on the mill table) and you will have a very nice set-up indeed and still have enough "real estate" (usable space under/below anything in the mill-head quill).

                          If this thread keeps going for a day or so, and if I have time, I will set up (simulated) one of those vices on my mill table on my Sieg X3 mill for you.

                          Here is a range of small mill-drills in OZ - which one is closest to yours?

                          https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Mill-Drill-Machines

                          Here is my Sieg X3:
                          https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pr...stockCode=M153

                          I also have a HF-45 - which is a bit bigger - and that vice gets used on that mill - which is pretty solid:
                          https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pr...stockCode=M143

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                          • #14
                            Vise on sale

                            wandering around the Little Machine Shop site they have the 3" vise on sale with parrallels and others stuff bundled for the beginner. Mighe be worth your time to check it out.
                            lg
                            no neat sig line

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                            • #15
                              Tiffie's spot on - a good tool maker's vise is never a bad choice. But it's never going to the be only vise you buy, either. And that would be true of any first vise. As your projects develop so too will your work holding requirements. And time may become important. (Using the generic "you" here). Stay at this long enough and let your tools grow with your needs and before long you have quite a legacy to leave

                              I'm shopping now for a tilting vise with sine bar. I'm pretty glad at this point I have a small mill so my costs are fairly reasonable. I don't think I could afford to feed a Bridgy.

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