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What type of steel for a vise jaw?

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  • What type of steel for a vise jaw?

    I just picked up a Kurt six inch vise,missing the moviing jaw.
    What type of steel should I order?

  • #2
    You could just buy a set of replacement jaws and be done with it.

    If you want to make just the one jaw, a piece of pre-hardened 4142 ought to work pretty well. It's machinable, but it ought to stand up to use as a vise jaw.
    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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    • #3
      I got precision ground bar from Starrett for jaws and left it soft.
      Mike

      My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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      • #4
        Are you missing the entire jaw or the jaw insert?
        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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        • #5
          if the insert......I'd be strongly inclined towards hardened and ground; even with careful work they'll look tatty quickly otherwise as chips and burrs will all leave their marks.....then the jaw marks up work there after. Its a pita hardening larger pieces so buying replacements would be a consideration if not stupidly expensive
          .

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          • #6
            There is a guy over on PM that makes jaws and either sells them through PM or on ebay. I think they are around $60 and are hardened and ground and he has different styles like V jaws.

            Dave

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            • #7
              Just the insert.Sixty bucks,ready made? Sounds like a deal.
              Actually I picked up two Kurts ,one yusa,and one unknown for forty each.
              I am going to grind the Kurts for a matched pair.Use the Yusa for a single and peddle the last one.

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              • #8
                Not too much to add except that the time I had a vise that didn't have ready made jaws I used A2 for mine, relatively easy to heat treat and low warping, I didn't have to take much off when finish grinding them square.

                A pair of 6" Kurts for $80 (since the others will get $40 each no problem) is a good deal. You might some out with a zero expense even after buying new jaws.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rkepler
                  the time I had a vise that didn't have ready made jaws I used A2 for mine, relatively easy to heat treat and low warping, I didn't have to take much off when finish grinding them square.
                  Another option is to simply drill and surface grind some mild steel jaws. I have hard and soft jaws for my Kurt, and find myself using the soft jaws a lot more.
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                  • #10
                    the vice for my 20 inch G&E shaper has had the jaw faces replaced by hard ones and I find that they don't grip all that well. I can put all my weight on the handle and if you take too big of a cut, it will push the work piece out. I'm going to make some softer ones, some year. I hope that the softer jaws should conform to the work piece better.

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                    • #11
                      I bought some replacement jaws for my Kurt from Glacern. They were about half the price of the Kurt jaws. I would give Sol a call.
                      Mark Hockett

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                      • #12
                        This may not suit your purposes but, I made a few sets of AL (6061) jaws for a cheapo swivel vise that came with my mill. Couldn't be happier. Yes, they will deform slightly from compressing burrs or swarf -but so what. They never deform the workpiece and have never had a problem gripping/holding. They were made a tiny bit oversized from the originals by about 25 thou and if I were so inspired, could clean them up in jiffy. Mind you, I'm not doing ultra-precision, repetitive work so, this was a good solution for me... Material cost was nothing (scrap) and it's a simple milling job.

                        As a side note, as an exercise, I spent several hours truing and tightening-up that cheap vise and I get very good results from it. -Still would like to get a matched set of nice 4" vises but, the one I have is serving me well for now.

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