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Angle Lock Style Vise Recommendations?

Discussion in 'MINI-LATHE & MINI-MILL INFORMATION' started by CarlosA, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. CarlosA

    CarlosA United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have been having some problems with my starter "screwless" vise on my harbor freight mini mill. I think its time to pull the trigger and get a 3" angle lock style vise. Does anyone have any experience with the cheap ones that are around? Cheap is OK with me, I won`t be cranking down on it and breaking the casting like some of the horror stories... really just want a quicker setup, that has locator blocks in the base - I won`t be using the swivel part in day to day use.

    This one seems decent since I can have it in a few days ...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PX9BADE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2QSX0WT38UK5G

    The only thing I have to go off of that screams "all made in the same factory in china" is the weight - every one of them from $89 to $189 from ebay to little machine shop to wherever, has the same weight and same casting. problem is that inexperienced or lazy sellers on ebay ship it UPS with a $50 cost, when I assume it would fit in a big USPS flat rate box.

    Any suggestions or ideas? Will this thing be repeatable enough for me to make a few identical parts? What else should I be asking?

    I should also add that if there were a 3" Kurt vise for $400 i`d probably go that route, to save a lot of frustration on setups - but as far as I can see, all of these cheap vises are the same, so might as well save some money?
     
  2. CarlosA

    CarlosA United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    By the way ... I found this to be a great read on this topic: http://www.docsmachine.com/projects/4vise/4vise-01.html

    Funny to me how its missing the "ball" featured that makes the kurts so smooth and powerful when locking down... But with my tiny mill taking at most .050" custs at .25" deep, I don`t need to really crank down on it.
     
  3. Fabrickator

    Fabrickator United States Active User Active Member

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    I've had a Taiwan cheepo for the past twenty years and it works flawlessly. I Loctite'd the jaw screws in and mounted in the mill and trued them up to the mill table inside-top and ends. I use it all the time. Don't waste a lot of money on an expensive mill/drill press vise. You usually are truing the part to be machined anyway, so you just need a way to hold it tight. On the drill press, I generally just let it float/self center. Harbor Freight/angle/screw type. Save your money for a indexing rotary table and make an angle plate for it. That will give you a whole new world of set-up options.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  4. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  5. CarlosA

    CarlosA United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yeah that is awesome - I didn't even realize they existed. So if anyone has one they'd sell for $300 let me know!

    My dilemma now is realizing that the worst of these are made in India, China/Taiwan would be preferable for sure.
     
  6. JamesSX2_7

    JamesSX2_7 Australia Iron Registered Member

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    Hi Carlos,
    Not sure if your vise dilemma is over or not, but if interested I now own one of these vises.
    I have a short write up with photos in the Machine Accessories section called "New Machining Vise - 80mm Accu-lock".

    I do not know where it was made, and the "manual" is a copy of a copy of a copy so gives no clue.

    It is no Kurt, however I'm pretty happy with it and enjoy using it.

    James.
     

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