• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

Mill Vise

Cross Slide

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
5
Likes
3
#1
I'm brand new to machining. So new that my machines haven't even shown up yet.
I'm getting a Craftex CX600 Mill / Drill.
The working surface of the table is 20"x7" with three 3/8" T-Slots.
I'm wondering if there is a certain size of Mill Vise that I should be looking into?
I don't want to buy the wrong Vise that I will find to small or to big once I try using it.
 

TomS

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
1,456
Likes
455
#2
Personally, I would go with a 4". I have a RF-30 mill drill and a 5" vice. I have to use the T-slot closest to me for clamping so that the vice doesn't overhang the front (side closest to the column) of the table. I do have a 4" and like it better because it give me more options for positioning and clamping it to the table without restricting travel.

Tom S.
 

Cross Slide

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
5
Likes
3
#3
Thanks for the info Tom.
The company I'm getting the machine from has what looks like a nice 4" Vise. I will go with that one.
Trevor
 

Charles Spencer

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
972
Likes
1,002
#4
I agree. I got a 4" vise for my Chinese mill/drill and I don't think that I'd want to go any larger on it.

I got a good deal on one from Discount Machine on ebay, which is Shars. I got the swivel base because it was only $5.00 more than the same vise without one. It has worked very well for me.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SHARS-4-x-4...ase-CNC-New-/330717190280?hash=item4d0047d888

But I checked the shipping to Canada. Unfortunately it's $126.00. I paid $38.00 for shipping. Still, if you're paying more than $200.00 USD it might be worth it. Or if Shars has a distributor in Canada you might check it out.

http://www.shars.com/4-x-3-93-lock-down-precision-milling-machine-vise-with-swivel-base
 

Cross Slide

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
5
Likes
3
#5
Thanks for the link Charles.
That is a very nice Vise. I may have to go that way.
 

TomS

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
1,456
Likes
455
#6
I bought my 4" on eBay for $98 delivered. Not super precision but didn't expect it to be for the price. Ebay has a big selection and price range. I'm sure you can find something that fits your budget and accuracy requirements.

Tom S.
 

ferlum

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
48
Likes
57
#7
I got this one from a Canadian seller on eBay. It's a great fit for the mini mill. The angle in this pic makes it look a little longer than it really is. Jaws are 3.5" wide and open about 4.85", which is the widest opening I've seen in a vice this size.

The seller is quality_machine_shop, located in the Toronto area. They don't appear to have any listed at the moment but you could always contact them.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/quality_machine_shop

f2su9y.jpg
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
3,019
Likes
2,926
#8
I have an RF-31 mill/drill and a 4" Kurt vise fits it perfectly and allows full Y-travel. A larger vise would restrict Y-axis travel or put the rear jaw in a less than ideal position. My table is 8 X 28, so for your 20 X 7 table I should think a 3" vise would be better.

The vise size is not just about capacity. It must be bolted down to the table and this puts the rear fixed jaw in a certain position. That position greatly influences how much Y-axis travel you have. The bulk of the vise that projects behind the rear jaw can also contact the mill if the vise is large, further restricting Y-axis travel. Accordingly, you want a vise that is sized to the mill and table size.

Since 90% of your work will probably be done with the vise, having an accurate vise is really important. If I were you, I would buy a 2-3" screwless import vise that is accurate into the low tenths. This will give you accuracy, enough capacity that should match what your mill can handle and allow you time to learn to use the machine. During this time I would look for a used Kurt D30 3" Anglelok vise on ebay. They come up from time to time and generally sell in the mid to high $300.00 range - if you find a good one, buy it if you plan to stay with your mill. If you sell your mill you can sell the Kurt D30 for what you paid and move on ... and it will sell, I assure you.

A milling vise has to be pretty accurate and it must hold the work solidly without causing it to rise when you clamp the work down. A screwless vise will do all of this, as will a good Kurt vise. Size it to your mill so you can use all the travel the mill has and you'll be fine.
 

Cross Slide

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
5
Likes
3
#9
Thank you for all the info guys.
It gives me something to think about.
My plans may have changed now. I was about to place my order for the brand new equipment. Then I was offered a used lathe and mill (maybe 3 years old). They are both bigger then I was planning to purchase. But bigger is always better!!
I'm just waiting to go see them in person. The price he wants for both pieces is around what I was going to spend for just the lathe new. So I don't think I can really pass them up. Plus I get all tools, accessories, etc. that he has for both pieces!! That will include a new 5 or 6" Mill Vise!!!
Trevor
 
Last edited:

brino

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
2,841
Likes
2,610
#11
Then I was offered a used lathe and mill (maybe 3 years old). They are both bigger then I was planning to purchase.............................. The price he wants for both pieces is around what I was going to spend for just the lathe new. So I don't think I can really pass them up. Plus I get all tools, accessories, etc. that he has for both pieces!!
Normally all the accessories cost as much as the lathe/mill.
That sounds like a great deal, congratulations!
Please follow-up with some pictures for us.
-brino
 

Wireaddict

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
134
Likes
38
#12
I bought a Mini Mill & tooling package from LMS several years ago. The vise that came with the tooling package only opens to 3 in. & I'm making an adjustable electric motor mount & belt tensioner for a bandsaw from a piece of CRS 4 in. wide that needs to be squared & several holes elongated. I removed the 3 in. mill vise & clamped the 4 in. piece of cold rolled to a pair of 1x2x3 blocks on the table & Indicated it in & tried to square the ends with the side of a 3/4 in., 4-flute end mill but couldn't get either end any better than about 0.030 in. from one side to the other. I looked at new 4 in. mill vises & found they were too pricey & may not fit the mill table.

Then it occurred to me to give my 4 in drill press vise a try. The mini mill table is slotted for 3/8 in. bolts or studs & the drill press vise has 17/32 in. mounting slots so I made sleeves for the hold-down bolts from 1/2 in. O/D copper tubing. After indicating the vise in & squaring the CRS piece again I found that both ends are within a few thousandths & with no more vibration than I had with the mill vise or hold-down clamps. Hopefully this tidbit of info will help get someone else out of a jam.
 

Rockytime

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
186
Likes
101
#13
The Shars 4" viseis excellent. I bought mine with the rotating base but seldom use it as it occupies too much vertical space.