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Swivel Vise Pivot for Mill

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  • Swivel Vise Pivot for Mill

    While I was browsing some old issues of Machinist's Workshop I came across an article titled "A Quick Swivel Base" by Steve Marshall in the April/May 2008 Issue that interested me. I have read that swivel bases on mill vises make them less rigid and they certainly take up "head room" which can be particularly limited on small mills. Since my Ellis vise didn't come with a swivel base anyway I decided to make a swivel similar to the one in the article with a minor change.

    Rather than have a set screw that holds the swivel to the bottom of the "T" slot I made a matching "T" nut to clamp the swivel to the table. The vise is placed over the closely fitted "swivel pin" using the hole supplied in the vise after the swivel is firmly attached to the table. The vise is rotated to the desired angle and clamped with ordinary step clamps. Simple, easy to make, no loss of head room or rigidity.

    This vise is my small Atlas vise for the Atlas MF Horizontal mill. The pivot hole in the base is the same as that of the Ellis and I plan to make a similar pivot for the Atlas where head room is extremely limited.

  • #2

    That is an excellent idea. I'm going to keep that one in mind.

    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.


    • #3
      That idea has, as they say, Possibilities. Thanks for posting it. My mill has a maximum Z of 12 3/4", which isn't much when you are adding up a swivel base plus a vise plus some kind of tool (drill, endmlii, reamer, whatever) plus maybe a drill chuck.
      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
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        I made a post like that, I think it is in shop made tools. I made it to make a pivot point to tram the vice in the Y axis. You should leave the post in and you will see how easy the vice is to tram when the center rotates about the axis.


        • #5
          Good idea about the tramming. I removed the swivel base from my vise some time ago to gain working height on my 6x26 mill.