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Are the KURT vises as nice as they show in the pictures?

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  • Are the KURT vises as nice as they show in the pictures?

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXAUU7J...ing=UTF8&psc=1

    I've got this vise on my shopping list and just wondering if they look as shiny as they do in the pictures? Man, these things look like they should be on a dinning table not a milling table.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXAUU7J...ing=UTF8&psc=1

    I've got this vise on my shopping list and just wondering if they look as shiny as they do in the pictures? Man, these things look like they should be on a dinning table not a milling table.
    Yes they are. I used them at work for about 30 years and have several of them in my shop at home. I also have a Parlec which is a Kurt clone and don't like it nearly as well as my Kurts. The parlec is stiff to turn in and out whereas teh Kurts you can turn with your finger with no handle on them.

    Also, there are a lot of used Kurt D-60's for sale but they open to a little less than 6" with jaws in them so the ones like you linked to are real nice to use. I have a few D-688's and they open to a little over 8" if memory serves me right.

    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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    • #3
      Yes they are.
      Kurt's are nice and shiny, right out of the box.
      After that, it's up to the operator.

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      • #4
        What Brian said. You deserve one. I've bought them for home and work, no regrets. The 688 is the one to get.

        I recently picked up Kurt D30, which is, yup a 3" Kurt. I don't believe they are made anymore which is a shame as they'd be just the thing for a hobby sized mill. I had the idea to make a D20 and D10 for my really small mills.....but alas, it hasn't made it into the top 500 project list.
        .

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        • #5
          You need deep pockets to afford one of those fine pieces of equipment. You pay for industrial strength and longevity. Most of the rest of us can manage with a lesser quality vice and have more to spend on other toys.

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          • #6
            Yup. The Kurt vises are first rate workholding equipment and exactly as represented in their brochures.

            There are a few import clones that are pretty good in terms of accuracy etc BUT their metallurgy sucks. The Kurts are cast of very stout cast iron hard and wear resistant. The Imports I have experience with are cast from a fairly soft grade of cast iron.

            I was given a dozen import vises to inspect and match. Not a big job but before I got to the second pair of vises I got a call from the customer to stop work. The two vises he took from the batch to try were wearing on the base casting from mill scale. The import vises went back and he bought a batch of Kurts that needed no matching and whose working surfaces stood up to every day use with scaley parts.

            You got the money, buy the Kurt

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            • #7
              Don't give in an buy a clone, you will be disappointed.

              I bought a clone from MSC.

              First the bed surface is not parallel to the base. 0.003 inches out from left to right at the base of the fixed jaw.

              Second, it does not have the grooves and rubber o rings under the front edges of the moving jaw. This feature is part of the design that makes the angle lok system pull work pieces down onto parallels.

              Third there is a hemispherical pocket in the moving jaw for a half ball washer to fit. This pocket is cast not machined so the washer does not move smoothly. The angled surface of the nut is cast also.

              All these things add up to a chunk of iron that looks like a Kurt but is not accurate and does not move and function like a Kurt.

              I don't have a surface grinder and I don't know anyone with a surface grinder so fixing the major flaw is going to cost me money and time.

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              • #8
                Kurt Vises are very nicely finished. I was hoping for better performance, however. Often, the movable jaw still lifts somewhat when tightened. This often leaves a forward parallel loose, requiring a tap with a dead fall hammer. I've learned to work around this and after careful careful adjustment per the manual it's minimized. I'm not the only one that has had the problem from what I see on the Internet.

                I also have a Chi-com vise that I bought at H. F. many years ago. It's ugly and rough, but it works as well as the Kurt. Go figure.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by old mart View Post
                  You need deep pockets to afford one of those fine pieces of equipment. You pay for industrial strength and longevity. Most of the rest of us can manage with a lesser quality vice and have more to spend on other toys.
                  While at an auction I spotted a Kurt that was dirty, painted grey, but seemed mechanically sound. Looking real hard at the name plate I could barely make out the big capital K. Surprisingly it didn't have a ton of pecker tracks. I got it cheap(ish). After a bunch of paint stripper, new blue paint, a Kurt rebuild kit and careful reassembly, I have a nice vise.

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                  • #10
                    The problem with the clones is that you might or might not get one that works as well as the original.

                    You can't say "don't buy the MSC because it will have this problem and that problem" since there is no guarantee that the next batch that MSC gets will come from the same vendor or even that it will have the same general specs.

                    All you can do is say "I got a bad one from this source".

                    Dan
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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                    • #11
                      What do you guys think of the older Kurt vises if they've been well used and somewhat abused? I got an old one with my mill, but it was in such rough shape that I bought an Enco 6" vise to use at least while rebuilding the Kurt.

                      That Kurt has a little bit of grey paint left on it, with a tag that I can only read Kurt 6", no model number. Lots of pecker marks and dings, and the bearing was completely shot. I stoned all the surfaces to remove high spots and installed new jaws and a Kurt rebuild kit. Now I'm trying to decide whether to keep and use the Kurt, or just continue using the Enco which has frankly worked just fine. I'll need to sell whichever I don't keep.

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                      • #12
                        Agreed Dan.

                        I said don't buy a clone. From any source. Then I said where I got mine.

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                        • #13
                          On price. They are expensive (although there are more expensive), and I'm as frugal as they come. Wheeling and dealing and reconditioning, not money, is how I've built my shop. BUT, there is just no getting around the need for a quality vise and used ones were both scarce and not that much of a discount from new. At the time, it was probably the most I'd spent on any given item other than machines. Since I've bought a newall DRO that was more. After 25 years, those would still be some of very few items bought new and the two most expensive things purchased (other than machines)

                          In this market, perhaps everywhere, there are lots of little store front industrial supply places. They don't stock things like a Kurt but they bring them in on order. These are the guys to work for a good price, they are small enough the guy your talking to make a price decision. The big outlets have a large margin on these and i get the creeps paying more than I feel I should have to.
                          Last edited by Mcgyver; 08-29-2017, 01:39 PM.
                          .

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                          • #14
                            Retro-Gloat.

                            This thread reminded me of a bit of luck that I had a few years ago. I had bought a Kurt vise and mounted it on my Mill. I didn't have a swivel. I know that some folks don't like them, but I wanted one, well, just because.

                            One day I was at my favorite local steel company picking up some steel plate when I happened to look in their scrap bin out front of the office. I noticed that there were two vise swivels at the bottom of a bin. They were quite dirty but the number cast on one of them caught my eye. It was D60-4.

                            I picked it out of the bin and took it into the office and asked how much they wanted. The answer was $5.00. I immediately snapped it up.

                            Turned out that my perusing on the Internet had paid off. I recalled that D-60-4 was the Kurt part number for the swivel for their standard 6" vises.( I don't recall the number on mine - D675, I think but I'm not sure) With the current list price of the swivel now at $419, I guess I did OK.

                            A few minutes in the bead blaster and a quick coat of blue Krylon and looked like new. I did have to make some pins for it to align it with the table, but that was a fun job.

                            Here's what they sell for now. They were something like $375.00 a few years ago when I found mine.

                            https://www.kurtworkholding.com/swiv...embly-d60-4-sa

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                              https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXAUU7J...ing=UTF8&psc=1

                              I've got this vise on my shopping list and just wondering if they look as shiny as they do in the pictures? Man, these things look like they should be on a dinning table not a milling table.
                              Well, Kurt vises are wonderful. I don't own one but the vises at work are all Kurts. Even with the abuse they take at the hands of a bunch of scientists (eek!) they still work well. But you are right that the image in that Amazon listing is a 3D rendering, not an actual photograph.

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