Milling vise choice

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1949DC
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Milling vise choice

Post by 1949DC » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:08 am

Hello I'm new to forum. I recently purchased a Millrite Mill and looking to add a vise. I am aware of Kurt and knock offs. I am more interested in what size should I have. My table is 8"x36". Is it better to have a 6" over say 4" wide vise. Also I would think the larger the opening the better. What size do most of you like for most projects.

DavidR8
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by DavidR8 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:15 am

I have a mill/drill with a 9x24 table.
I went with a Glacern 4” vise because a larger vise extended over the rear of the table reducing Y-axis travel. I’m very happy with the size and quality.


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1949DC
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by 1949DC » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:24 am

Ok Should I be getting a vise with deep jaws. I would assume the larger the better but as you say it may interfere.

earlgo
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by earlgo » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:37 am

Don't forget to check KURT's scratch and dent sales that they post on their website. My friend got a really good deal on a vise that just had a couple small paint chips but wasn't perfect for retail sales.
FWIW my mill table is 6 x 26 and I have a 4" wide vise and have never wished for a larger one, smaller, yes, occasionally. Remember, the bigger, the heavier.
--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

DavidR8
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by DavidR8 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:43 am

A larger vise is definitely heavier but the bigger consideration is size. Bigger means it's also taller which takes up valuable Z-axis travel. I have 18" of Z-axis travel from the table to spindle nose. Subtract from that vise height and the height of whatever tooling and you might find you have don't have very much room for your work piece.

1949DC
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by 1949DC » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:38 am

Ok Thanks, good info. I'll keep watching for Kurt. I have 17.5" Z travel. Question, With that much travel why would that be a concern? I woud'nt think one would do any milling using a vise to hold down a tall piece of work with so much distance between cutter and area clamped. Not very much rigidity. Also is weight a problem, how does that effect machine performance. Shes is a good old USA made milling machine built very well.

DavidR8
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by DavidR8 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:42 am

1949DC wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:38 am
Ok Thanks, good info. I'll keep watching for Kurt. I have 17.5" Z travel. Question, With that much travel why would that be a concern? I woud'nt think one would do any milling using a vise to hold down a tall piece of work with so much distance between cutter and area clamped. Not very much rigidity. Also is weight a problem, how does that effect machine performance. Shes is a good old USA made milling machine built very well.
No idea what kind of work you'll be doing but if you start using rotary table or angle plates the z-height gets used up more quickly than you might imagine.

whateg0
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by whateg0 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:20 pm

1949DC wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:38 am
Ok Thanks, good info. I'll keep watching for Kurt. I have 17.5" Z travel. Question, With that much travel why would that be a concern? I woud'nt think one would do any milling using a vise to hold down a tall piece of work with so much distance between cutter and area clamped. Not very much rigidity. Also is weight a problem, how does that effect machine performance. Shes is a good old USA made milling machine built very well.
It's amazing how quickly one loses Z height. If the 6" vise is a couple inches taller, you are down to maybe 12" of Z? Then, if your 2-1/2" tubing sticks up from the vise 2", you are down to 10" of Z. Lets say you have a boring head and a 3" long boring bar to get through both sides of the 2-1/2" tubing that is on parallels so you don't run into the bed. There's another 6-7" gone. Now you are down to 3-4" of travel. You'll get tired of having to move the table to the side to change tools. To change an R8 shank boring head, you'll need another 4" of height. There you go, out of Z.

And it's not uncommon to work on stuff that sticks up way above the vise. The tallest work I've had on my table was about 12" tall and that required moving the head almost to the top to do the work. Is it rigid? Well, you'll want to make it as rigid as you can, but no, it's not like being clamped flat on the table. But that's sometimes necessary. Sometimes, it's just a matter of getting holes drilled right. Sometimes, you are removing material and you'll have to take super-light cuts. And maybe you are one of those guys who doesn't do any of that work, where everything fits nicely flat in the vise. I think once you have the ability to do more stuff, though, you'll find things that you start to push the envelope of the machine.

Dave

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Rich_Carlstedt
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by Rich_Carlstedt » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:35 pm

I have a small Bridgeport (1943) with a 9x 36 table
I have a 5 inch Kurt and would never want anything larger .
I had a 6 inch Bridgeport vise and got rid of it.
Don't forget that you can use tall jaws on a Kurt and they can be mounted at the rear of the stationary jaw and/or the front of the moving jaw
giving you a LARGE opening for work

Rich

1949DC
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by 1949DC » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:34 pm

Kurt vise is the gold standard. I have looked at used import vises to get my feet wet. should I save my $ for a better vise. How bad are those imports? I would imagine they clamp tight but have tolerance issues. Good info. Sounds like a 5" vise is just about right. Swivels don't appeal to me. Thought on buying one with a swivel?

DavidR8
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by DavidR8 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:45 pm

I would not buy one with a swivel. It takes away valuable vertical height.
The vise is a fundamental connection, it doesn't make sense to scrimp. Kurt is the gold standard but I am very happy with my Glacern vise.

pete
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Re: Milling vise choice

Post by pete » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:53 pm

Any decent milling machine would have ratings for the suggested maximum weight loaded onto the table. From the manufacturers point it's a combination of overall machine design type, table rigidity, way surface area and feed screw size. That rating assumes that any load is directly over those way surfaces. A vise that's far too large will obviously have an non balanced effect due to the vises extra length hanging out in thin air. Vise size is still directly related to the average or maximum size of parts your hoping to hold in it so sometimes we might have to go past what would be correct. A 4" opening Kurt type vise will run 30-35 lbs. Move to a 6" capacity and that weight jumps to around 70-75 lbs. without factoring in the extra length and unsupported weight problem.

A 4" Kurt if you can even find one today since there no longer made come at highly inflated prices unless you get really lucky. Probably a small step down in overall quality would be one of these. https://www.glacern.com/gsv_440 I've got a match pair of there 6" vises and think there well worth the price. Yes there's much cheaper out there, I even started out with a cheap pair, on the surface they looked ok and even had accurate surface grinding. Under the surface the vise bodies were very weak, porous and blow hole filled bondoed over castings. That affects the vises stability while holding parts and can't be fixed. A second option would be a what's known as a tool makers or grinding vise. https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/00352195 I'm not recommending that brand since I don't own one. Mine was made by Accu Pro and I'm more than happy with it. But the link is an example of what you want. Many of these types of vises don't have the side slots in the vise bed used for clamping the vise down so the fixed jaw is parallel to your X axis travel. Without those slots I wouldn't buy it. These types of vises are really meant for lighter work holding on a surface grinder, but can be used on a mill. Stefan Gotteswinter on Youtube has shown using one on his mill many times and he's not shy about depths of cut. As the cutting tool diameter increases then yes it would be prudent to slightly reduce your cut depth and feed rate a bit. Few with a home shop push there mills that hard I'd guess so they can work for us. Normal specifications on these grinding vises is under .0002" on every dimension so there more accurate than even a Kurt.

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