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Vise for RF-45

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  • Vise for RF-45

    Fired up the RF-45 last night so far things
    look pretty good.Is a 6 in. vise going to be
    to big for this machine? Should I go with something smaller? Should I get a swivel base with the vise? I was thinking of getting a taiwan "kurt clone" type of vise being that a genuine Kurt with a swivel base is over $500.Are they that good in camparison to a taiwan clone? One other question, are Lyndex collets any good ,enco has them for $12.95 each.Where are these made? Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    A 6" vise is probably going to be pretty large for that machine, 4" will probably handle most items. It depends to a large degree on what your intended use is.
    Swivel base, in my mind is a waste of time. It adds to weight, and takes up valuable space between table and cutter. On those few occasions I need to mill at an angle, I use protractor head on combination square to set up. A lot of the milling I do is done with angle plate or other fixture, so I am constantly removing and replacing vise, hence weight consideration. I have a swivel base, but have never used it in three years.
    Kurt style vises are a good accessory, clamp well, etc., doubt that Kurt is worth the extra $$ for home use. Look on eBay for vises, buy close to home, or find shipping cost before bidding too high, you may find bargain is not so good after you pay shipping.
    Lyndex is made in Japan, good quality and accuracy. Price between premium & import. Might try eBay here too.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      I use a 4" on an RF-31 - about the same table size. Taiwan clone - exceeds my home requirements. Took the swivel base off. You will lose some "Y" travel with a 6" vise, but eBay is full of Kurt 6" models at reasonable auction prices - comment about shipping is very good - 6" vise is too heavy for UPS shipment - may require special handleing and high cost. 4" vise ships easily by UPS.

      Watch out for clones made in mainland China and India - poor quality and cheezie steel.

      Lyndex collets (Japan) and Bison collets (Poland) are about same quality, better than China/India imports. I personally like the Bison brand products - have some R8 end mill holders and a couple of collets by Bison and they are very nice and priced mid-range for a home user.


      • #4
        I've got a 4" Kurt. It's a nice vise, but amazingly expensive, especially when you consider you can get a 6" Kurt for several hundred dollars less. I complained about this state of affairs to a Kurt rep at a machine tool show, and he said it's a function of quantity production; they sell many more 6" than they do the 4". It still seems somewhat bogus to me, but anyway....

        I'd agree that a 6" vise may be a bit large for your mill. Besides, a 6" vise is starting to get pretty heavy. I think a 4" is probably more in line with your needs.

        Also agree that you can probably do without the rotary base. I've got one, I use it maybe once a year, if that often. If you get a decent-size rotary table, you can always mount the vise (assuming it's not too big) on the rotary table, for those once-a-year occasions.
        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


        • #5
          Skip the swivel base, got one and took it off, takes up to much room. I did get a 5" Kurt clone from ENCO, Made in China but ok for what I do. It was $89.00 on sale with the swivel base and the shipping was $12.95 because it was under $100, , and I'm sure they closed that loophole now!

          I'm using it on my Harbor Freight RF-31. B.G.
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician


          • #6
            Go with a 4" or 6" "anglock" type. A hydraulic vise is nice. Bison makes mill vises too - see if they handle them as they are high quality.

            Lydex has 2 grades of collets, regular and precision. The former is half the price of the later - both made in Japan. Bison are very good and lower in price than Lyndex regular. Top of the dog pile is Hardinge and Royal. They make the big pot chuck collets, internal collets, and assorted wierd ones. Hardinge has two grades I know of. Hardinge is slightly cheaper than Royal and sometimes they show up on eBay.

            Bison is the best buy, then Lyndex regular, Lyndex Precision, Hardinge, Royal - at least as far as "normal" 5C collets go. In the wierd stuff, (internal, pot chucks, etc.) if you need it, you just pay 'da man (dig deep).


            • #7
              Got a 6" Kurt clone for my RF-45. 8.8 inch jaw opening is nice. Yes the thing is large and heavy but I am loving it so far. Got a set set of Bison end mill holders last month. Nice set. I am about to attach my cheap DRO scales to the mill.