Vise opinion

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

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Mr Ron
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Vise opinion

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:30 pm

I have a 4" milling machine vise that I bought new about 30 years ago. It is stamped made in Japan and has the flaking on the sliding surfaces. For the price I paid, I assume it is flaking and not hand scraping. I have no other information but wonder if you would consider this vise as pretty good. I would like to upgrade to a Kurt, but finances are not available. I do have to use a dead blow.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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SteveM
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Re: Vise opinion

Post by SteveM » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:46 pm

Can you post a picture?

Would be much easier to answer if we can see what design.

Steve

John Evans
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Re: Vise opinion

Post by John Evans » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:07 pm

Using a dead blow is good practice when using parallels as far as I'm concerned .
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Harold_V
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Re: Vise opinion

Post by Harold_V » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:55 am

The chief difference between Kurt vises and most others is that they have a different way of tightening the moveable jaw. Clamping pressure translates to a down pulling motion, so they tend to hold parts tight on parallels. A badly worn vise, or one that has been abused may not do that.

I rarely have to tap a part down with my Kurt vises, although there are circumstances where it's desirable.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

pete
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Re: Vise opinion

Post by pete » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:36 am

If the vise bed indicates true to the table travel, the parallels are ground accurately to match each other and the part when tight in the vise still holds those parallels down tight between the part and the vise bed even if a dead blow is needed, then the part is held as true as if it was bolted to the table. It's still worth checking with an indicator just how much the fixed jaw flexes under normal tightening pressures. That can be a lot more than you'd expect with some vises. If it's excessive then the part may still be held square to the vise bed, but it's not being held by it's full depth. Your then only holding by the bottom edge of the part. I know of one highly experienced professional machinist on Youtube who drilled and tapped his brand new Kurt for 2 more counter sunk Allen bolts in the fixed jaw to gain a bit more rigidity and less fixed jaw flex. Orange Vise carve there vise beds and fixed jaws out of one solid block of heat treated Durabar for a good reason. Some but not all milling vises have the fixed jaw biased in at the top to compensate for the tightening pressures. As stiff as a vise bed looks the bed can also bend upwards a bit under those tightening pressures. That might be worth checking as well.

Mr Ron
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Re: Vise opinion

Post by Mr Ron » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:05 pm

SteveM wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:46 pm
Can you post a picture?

Would be much easier to answer if we can see what design.

Steve
I would if I could. My "smart" phone won't let me transfer and my Kodak camera quit working. I'm in a battle with technology and the latter is winning. My XP computer doesn't have blue tooth, so I bought a blue tooth adapter, put it on the computer, but so far no go.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Mr Ron
Posts: 1631
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Vise opinion

Post by Mr Ron » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:47 pm

SteveM wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:46 pm
Can you post a picture?

Would be much easier to answer if we can see what design.

Steve
Here is a picture of the vise in question on the machine. That's about the best I can find. The fixed jaw is cast one piece with the base. I would describe it as similar to a drill press vise in design, but bigger.
100_0043.JPG
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

pete
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Re: Vise opinion

Post by pete » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:28 pm

The integral rear fixed jaw is a good sign since it's more cost effective and easier to bolt that jaw in place. So my guess it wasn't a poorly made vise when new. And even 30 years ago Japan was making some excellent tooling. I'd guess that flaking isn't just to fool the buyer. Any wear on the moving jaw guides gets you more lift, but it's not impossible to stone that out and readjust the moving jaw with a bit of thought and work if there's no access to a surface grinder. Kurts are pretty much the standard only because there well made, accurate and have that adjustable pull down design for the moving jaw just like Harold mentioned. My main criteria for workholding is how tight it holds the part and down to those parallels and the accuracy of the parts it's capable of producing. Anything else is secondary. There's no problem if you still have to use that dead blow if it works. With the mill trammed in correctly, the parallels accurate and the ways in half decent shape then any taper in X or Y on the part is caused by the work holding. If it allows the production of good parts then the vise is fine and upgrading to a better one would not gain you anything more for the same vise size. There was a whole lot of good parts made and are still being made with vise designs just like yours.

And a Kurt if you did want to replace what you now have isn't the only option. Yes there a bit slower to use and don't hold quite as tightly. But they still work to pull the part down and there even more accurate than Kurts best for a whole lot less money. Buying one of what's generaly refered to as a grinding or tool makers "screwless" vice is another way. I think anyone here would judge Stefan Gotteswinter on Youtube as a highly talented professional machinist since that's what his day job is. He uses one of those screwless vises on his RF-45 sized mill at home and isn't shy about taking a decent cut on it. I have a couple of 3" capacity ones on my little Emco mill and bought an Accu Pro branded 4" for the cross slide on my larger lathe for it's rear mounted mill. Every dimension I checked on the AP was under the allowable .0002" on it's ground all over surfaces. It's also one of the few things I've bought that I think I got far more than I paid for. It's extremely well made out of hardened high grade tool steel with a beautiful surface ground finish.

You could pay a whole lot more than even what Orange Vise wants for there best for a large Hermann Schmidt screwless vise and maybe gain .0001" in accuracy. But were milling not grinding. And your mill or even a real Bridgeport aren't high horsepower and rigid hogging machines. Until I saw Stefan routinely using his as the main milling vise I thought these vise types weren't the best idea and suspected there actual holding ability. I still don't take quite as much depth of cut or feed as hard as I would with one using the more usual design, but so far I haven't had anything move. My two smaller one's were made in India, there ok I guess and did barely measure within spec. But I replaced the tightening bolts, cross pins and toggles on both with better fitting parts and good quality Allen bolts. The Accu Pro's bolt and internals are as good as I'd use. If I was looking for one of these vise types. I'd make sure to get one that has both the side and end clamping slots. Lot's of them only have those slots on the ends so some Mickey Mouse workarounds are needed to get them clamped down from the sides. A 4"-6" one would fit your mill just fine, but prices on even the imports seem to skyrocket above that 4" size.

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