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Rookie need help with vise

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:36 pm
by nrmol
I am new to you site and new to machining.
I just bought a Shopmaster 2000. It came with a lot of tooling, some that would work with the machine, some not. It did not come with a vise, so that is first on my needs list. After doing some research, I not sure what I need,or what size.The distance from the bottom of the end mill (7/16" end mill, 1 1/2"down from the collet) to the milling table with the quill all the way up is 7 ", quill fully extended about 3 5/8", so I think I need a taller vise. The milling table is 6"x roughly 17". I like the Kurt-style vise,but I'm on a very tight budget.
Any help would be great, so help the rookie.
Thanks Bruce

Re: Rookie need help with vise

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:54 pm
by SteveM
You should be able to fit a 6" Kurt on that table. A Kurt 688 is about 17" long. The table on my large mill is only 9-1/2" wide, so it would hang off quite a bit.

6" was the most popular size and the easiest to find on the used market. I've seen them for as little as $150, but you can find them for $200-$225 if you look. Use to search craigslist.

It will be cheaper to buy a used Kurt than to spend $200 on something else, sell it and buy a Kurt later.

That said, there are some good imports out there, but you'd have to find someone else that has bought one to see how they are (and that may not be enough, because they can be inconsistent).


Re: Rookie need help with vise

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:22 am
by ken fox
I have a similar setup with a 4" "Kurt Type" vise. This works fine although there is quite bit of overhang on one side or the other depending on which T slot you use. The Kurt is usefull for some fairly large size work but it is overkill for smaller things so I also have a smaller 2" vise. Another useful, almost necessary attachement is an elevating block. This is a cast iron block about 5" high which is bolted to the cross-slide so you can bolt on a small vise or on which you can directly clamp the work piece so it is accessable to an end mill.
Don't forget that the bigger the vise the heavier it is. Mine is all I want to lift (I'm 80 years old) and I think a 6" Kurt would lose usefulnes simply because of the problem lifting it into place.


Re: Rookie need help with vise

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:58 am
by TomB
I have a Shopmaster TriPower which probably has the same table as yours. I use a 6" Paratec vise and really like it. To use a 6" vise without modification you have to put the vise on parallel to the lathe ways but it sticks out so far that you have to remove the tail stock. It is not hard to remove the tailstock but I found it to be a nuisance. After some hesitancy and over thinking I picked a spots on the vise ways where there was good support and drilled and counter bored two holes with the same center-to-center distance as the outer two tee slots on the table. With that I can put two tee nuts, clamp studs and hex nuts through the hole then slide the vise onto the table. A socket wrench can tighten the nuts and I’m good to go with the vise handle sticking out toward the front. The counter bore is deep enough that the hex nuts are fully pocketed and the moving jaw of the vise slides right over them.

I did find that putting the vise on the table was much harder. I had to set the front of the vise on the table and hold the back end with my left arm while I used my right hand to align the tee nuts with the slot. I solved that with a Harbor Freight lift table and add-on on frame that allowed me to slide the vise from the lift table to the machine table with a stop in the slide to allow for tee nut alignment. Since I’ve had the lift table in my shop I can’t imagine what I did without it, so I consider it a very worthwhile addition. I made a parking spot for it under another work table so it's top is never gets cluttered when I need it.

I’d show a picture but right now my machine is disassembled so I can work on an unrelated problem. If you are still interested in a week I will be able to take some pictures.