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drill press vises- how many types

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  • drill press vises- how many types

    Thinking of making myself a couple of dp vises. I have the usual ones, but I'd like one that's basically an extension handle so you can still lay the piece being drilled on the sacrificial mdf scrap. Right now, the one I'm using is a Jorgenson clamp. It does what I need it to, but the jaws are too high. I could copy it in metal of course, but I'm just wondering what different solutions are out there-

    Most of what I'd need it for is flat bar and plate- lay the piece being drilled onto the mdf scrap, then set the clamp over it and tighten. The clamp would ideally have a handle but usually it's large enough that you can get a good grip on it. If the part is large enough, it's its own handle. The whole thing floats on the table, no clamping it down. You get the idea- it's just a way to hold smaller parts so your fingers don't get strained and possibly cut up if you lose your grip and the piece starts spinning around.

    There must be darn near as many ways to hold something for drilling as there are HSMers. What have you all made up?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I've got 1/2 dozen, different shapes and sizes as well as table clamps, they of course do the job. If I was to make one, it wouldn't be like any of them - just not worth it to make one .....unless it is something unique.

    ideas to make it unique .... 1) step jaws with a narrow (1/16") step and that are fairly wide - very often you want it off the bottom to drill clear holes, parallels are a pita or to wide or move and it takes extra time always moving the workpiece around so the centre open section is under the hole location

    number 2) A 1/2 buttress thread like a bandsaw vise....very strong but very quick to move to any position

    they are likely out there somewhere commercially, but looking at my small collection there's nothing like that and it would improve the vise


    • #3
      Here's a few pix of my weekend project. In order, this is jaws open, jaws closed, and underside.

      The vise is made to be a smooth clear channel underneath so a piece of mdf can be slipped in to act as a sacrificial back-up piece. The vise rails have been cut from angle iron, and are sized to allow the mdf to carry the vise- the rails clear the dp table by about 1/32 inch. This lets the mdf take the full load of the drilling pressure. When it gets drilled up enough I'll toss it and cut a fresh piece.

      I've purposely made the jaw height less than 1/2 inch so I can use even a very short tool without the jaws being in the way- plus I can see pretty much all of the workpiece.

      Couple of things- I wanted to use 1/2 inch threaded rod for the screw, but somehow I automatically drilled and tapped for 3/8. No big deal- it's not made to clamp with a great deal of pressure anyway. The knob is all I need to get it as tight as I'd want. Also, I haven't used any glue yet- just the bolts. I have planned to epoxy the rails to the fixed jaw, just to keep that end as rigid as possible. The bolts will still be used of course. I might paint the parts, haven't decided yet. It would make it look better- still have to clean up some of the corners, etc.
      Last edited by darryl; 11-26-2012, 02:21 AM.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


      • #4
        Close up of the screw, and then showing the detail of the movable jaw.

        By the way, just for scale the total length including the knob is just under 8 inches.
        Last edited by darryl; 11-26-2012, 02:24 AM.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


        • #5
          I'm one also with a collection of vices. Forever using nuts and bolts and c-clamps to hold them down. One day some will standardize the slots and make suitable vises but I have learned not to hold my breath for something like that to happen. Frank


          • #6
            Originally posted by darryl View Post
            What have you all made up?
            I think many have made up excuses for not attaching workpieces to the machines table, at least that's the most usual I've seen done. Bad practices that will end up in ER or grave yard.

            Quick clamps and stop bolts on the table have been succesful for plates, anything thicker than 10 mm gets either a vise or separate screw clamps.
            Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.


            • #7
              Only problem I see is : Should have used a LEFT HAND screw. :-)


              • #8
                Great project, i like that!!

                Always great to see projects done in a homeshop, there are some very nice practical things produced there.


                • #9
                  'should have used a left hand screw'- I thought about that, but then it's basically a matter of how easily you can get used to which way to turn for open, or for close. I'm left handed, and I find that it's fairly intuitive to roll it forward to tighten, backward to loosen.

                  As far as attaching workpieces to the table before drilling, I'm not going to argue that. But if you want the workpiece to be free to self-align, that makes it more difficult and time-consuming. To be honest, most of the time I'm holding the workpiece by hand, and I'm ready to stall the motor if the bit catches. I know just how much 'power' I have to hang onto and I'm prepared for it. But I don't do deep drilling, or bits larger than about 3/16 without clamping the workpiece somehow. Usually I use a floating vise, but when warranted I will carefully align and clamp the workpiece to the table.

                  This vise I've just made will let me remain 'freehand' to a greater extent, and lessen my requirement to have sufficient grip strength. It is an improvement in safety in my shop.

                  A couple of things in general relating to the use of standard materials- I've used angle iron for most all the parts except for threaded rod and bolts. Angle iron is not something that's accurately made- there isn't a good flat side on it, and the angle is not a good 90. In addition, when you cut it lengthwise as I've done for some of these parts, there's some warpage. In this project, all the surfaces that have to mate with another have been sanded on a belt sander with a backing plate but no graphite sheet. This gives a way to get a pretty good flat on something, provided you hold the piece properly while sanding it. In any event, the flattened side becomes a reference so you can machine an opposing side or edge to get a true 90 out of it. The jaws in particular have been machined to be true so they close squarely with no gaps, and the rails have been sanded flat so the movable jaw can slide smoothly with little play. I also found that the thickness of the angle material isn't consistent- I had to compensate for that when making the pieces that ride under the rails. This is just a reminder to anyone who makes, or tries to make precision stuff using basic materials. I'm sure most of you will know this, but a newbie will do well to keep this in mind.

                  Anyway, I used some hardware to put this vise together, and I noticed that my stock of fasteners is getting a little sparse. After work today, I stopped in at the metal shop and threw together an assortment of the common fasteners I normally use- socket head cap screws, button heads, flat head socket screws- all gr 8 hardware, two pounds worth. Now I've got some sorting to do-
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                  • #10
                    That's a nice little vise Darryl! I esp. like the V-Ram design for feed screw. Think this post is going into my vises file ... right now.



                    • #11
                      Thanks for the kind words, uute, and Sasquatch. My first thought about actuating the movable jaw was that it shouldn't be pushed at the center, but at the ends instead. Although there's very little chance that the jaw would flex under the low clamping force, it would still be better to have the center of the jaw flex away from the workpiece, as the corners would then tend to remain under pressure and the workpiece would be gripped slightly more solidly. That was my theory anyway.

                      In order to accommodate the full length of the actuating screw without overlapping the movable jaw when it's fully open, the fixed V frame just ahead of the knob had to be far enough out. I could have made the rails longer and used a straight piece across the end, but this was more elegant, weighs less, and is a bit more ergonomic. The two Vs nest to some extent when the jaws are fully open, which in this case adds about 1/2 inch to the capacity without having to make it longer.

                      I'm thinking of adding a sheet metal cover over the screw, partly to keep swarf off it and partly to eliminate a potential snag point. If my hand is going to be right on top of this area, this could be important.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-