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Recommend a mid- range vice please

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Ross Lloyd 119/06/2018 00:14:51
114 forum posts
1 photos

Hi

I recently bought a vice that was way too big for my mill. After packing it up (and tearing two muscles in my back in the process blush  ) to return for refund, I am now in search of a more appropriate 4 inch vice.

I would really love a Kurt or a Glacern, but I don't think I can justify the cost. It will be paired with a Warco WM18 mill, and I am a learner. I saw this at axminster which looks like a Kurt clone but is 5 inch and too big, any thoughts on clones though?

Aside from that, what would you recommend? Price bracket is £120-£200 max. General milling use. Thanks gents

Edited By Ross Lloyd 1 on 19/06/2018 00:17:18

John Haine19/06/2018 06:57:37
1946 forum posts
110 photos

Look for KM4 type. Axminster have them in 100mm at £204.29 max. Available from other sources too, probably cheaper. I've used one for years on my VMB.

Or this from RDG.

David George 119/06/2018 07:07:18
avatar
417 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Ross it's worth a look at Chester hobby store they have two types which are quite good.

David

Clive Brown 119/06/2018 08:46:23
133 forum posts
5 photos

I'd suggest looking at Rotagrip. I bought from them an 80mm version of the vice linked to by the OP, cost £75 plus delivery. I'm well pleased with it. I don't really use the swivel function though.

They have other sizes, including 100mm and brands.

Chris Evans 619/06/2018 09:17:44
1200 forum posts

MSC have "Kurt style" vices on their offer sheets from time to time. I have a couple of old 6" vices for my Bridgeport mill one by Jones and Shipman and the other a Toss. both good but getting heavier as I age. Try and signup for the MSC offer sheet, it is sent out monthly with latest offers, all prices plus VAT and not always the cheapest but on occasion some good stuff.

Clive Foster19/06/2018 09:34:02
1348 forum posts
29 photos

Ross

Probably a little larger and little more expensive than what you are looking for but I am very impressed with the Vertex VJ-400 from Rotagrip **LINK**.

Essentially a hydraulic style vice with a manual screw it can open to 7 1/4 inches - 180 mm, much wider than ordinary vices of similar size. Actual screw closing range is about 2 1/2 inches but the nut is located by a simple pull out pin with three alternate positions for openings of just under 2 1/2, 5, and 7 1/4 inches.

I got mine to use with a square column mill with 30" x 8" table, so a little smaller than your Warco. Frankly it was as large a vice as could be used on that machine but being able to hold pretty much anything I needed to work on without resorting to table clamps was really nice. If they made a 3" - 80 mm version with similar opening range it would be as close to an ideal general purpose vice for your size of machine as one could reasonably hope to get.

Having moved up to a Bridgeport I now have a pair.

Clive.

Edited By Clive Foster on 19/06/2018 09:34:20

mechman4819/06/2018 09:34:39
avatar
1987 forum posts
359 photos
Posted by John Haine on 19/06/2018 06:57:37:

Look for KM4 type. Axminster have them in 100mm at £204.29 max. Available from other sources too, probably cheaper. I've used one for years on my VMB.

Or this from RDG.

​I have one similar to this model... it does the job but I changed the clamp strips under the movable jaw from black steel to BDMS, to eliminate a tendency for jaw lift. Another type I would go for would be...

**LINK**

130-040-02000 Precision Tool Vice Type 2 - 90mm wide £96.08 Excl.VAT
£115.30 Inc.VAT

George.

steamdave19/06/2018 09:38:20
369 forum posts
29 photos

Have a look at the Warco DH-1 vice. I've had one for a number of years and have been very pleased with its versatility to hold larger items than conventional vices. It's a bit more expensive now, of course!

https://www.warco.co.uk/machine-vices-vice-jaws/109-dh-1-precision-vice.html

Dave
The Emerald Isle

Vic19/06/2018 09:49:31
1634 forum posts
9 photos

I’ve had the four inch version of this vice for quite a few years. I’ve never once thought of changing it although mine came without the swivel base and I think that would have come in very handy for some of the jobs I’ve done with it.

**LINK**

John Hinkley19/06/2018 10:10:10
avatar
574 forum posts
185 photos

Ross,

Like you, I ordered a 6 inch vice for my Warco VMC mill, only to find that. when it arrived, I could only just about lift it and it was way too big for the machine. I packed it up and took it back to Arc Euro Trade, who were very understanding and swapped it for the smaller, 100mm version. I'm exceedingly pleased with my purchase and it is indeed a "versatile" precision vice, as advertised. Recommended.

**LINK**

I am a satisfied customer and committed Arcophile, only. No connection otherwise.

John

Muzzer19/06/2018 12:22:36
avatar
2758 forum posts
441 photos

Yes, I've got one of those too - the 6" version. Good price but also very nicely made and with an increased jaw opening relative to similar looking products - that's worth a lot.

One key feature of these "Kurt angle lock" type vises is that the moving jaw is pulled down against the base as you tighten it. Without that feature, any wear on the sliding parts is likely to be seen as jaw lift.

Murray

Edited By Muzzer on 19/06/2018 12:23:21

SillyOldDuffer19/06/2018 13:22:39
2942 forum posts
593 photos
Posted by steamdave on 19/06/2018 09:38:20:

Have a look at the Warco DH-1 vice.

...

+1 for the DH-1, but I managed rather well for a long time on a WM18 and one of Warco's lesser vices, which was good enough for most purposes. (The advantage of a DH-1 lies in it's flexibility, rather than raw gripping power and spectacular precision.)

Beware of Satan tempting you to buy inappropriately expensive tools like a Kurt vice. He often appears in the form of an elderly gentleman whispering 'buy cheap, buy twice' in your ear.

Nothing wrong with investing in decent kit provided you have deep pockets or an actual need. However, starting a hobby on a limited budget makes it likely your money is better spent on other things. Blowing your dosh on a first-class vice is foolish when shortly after you might well find you need a rotary table.

We live in a time of disposable tools and disposable income. It's worth taking advantage. If an inexpensive tool doesn't work out, you'll know better next time. It will serve for a period and you're not stuck with it. Back in the day, even cheap tools were disproportionally expensive, and getting it wrong was punished severely. Times have changed. Note the difference between 'inexpensive' and 'cheap'; vendors with a reputation to protect are less likely to let you down.

Dave

Zebethyal19/06/2018 14:11:15
156 forum posts

Another +1 for the DH-1, I use mine on a Sieg X2, which is a fair bit smaller than the WM-18. It has so many configuration options many of which are not possible with a conventional vice.

If you are at a show, Warco regularly do a bundle offer to include all of the extra jaw options at a bargain price.

Don't go bananas with tightening it either, it has amazing gripping power with just a small tweak of the handle once closed on the item. too much tightening will actually damage the vice.

Ross Lloyd 122/06/2018 22:34:08
114 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Gents

Thanks all for the suggestions, the DH1 looks pretty good, though I have some misgivings about the jaw height (fixable with another 90 quid) admittedly) and the horizontal grip length, 85mm.

I get that you can put something longitudinally in the bottom half, but would I be right in thinking that if you were machining something say H:25 x D:25mm x L:200mm it would only be hanging onto the 25mm end faces, and if you wanted to clamp it horizontally you would have to rely on the 85mm width?

That ARC versatile milling vice looks rather nice too. Again has quite shallow jaws though. How important is this dimension?

Cheers

Ross Lloyd 122/06/2018 22:35:19
114 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Vic on 19/06/2018 09:49:31:

I’ve had the four inch version of this vice for quite a few years. I’ve never once thought of changing it although mine came without the swivel base and I think that would have come in very handy for some of the jobs I’ve done with it.

**LINK**

Hi Vic

Ah yes, it was the 6 inch big brother of that one which I had before It seemed a pretty tidy vice, was just way too heavy. How is it with jaw lift?

Cheers

Ross Lloyd 122/06/2018 22:37:39
114 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by John Haine on 19/06/2018 06:57:37:

Look for KM4 type. Axminster have them in 100mm at £204.29 max. Available from other sources too, probably cheaper. I've used one for years on my VMB.

Or this from RDG.

Hi John

Is it possible they have changed the name of the KM4? I could not see a vice named that on the axminster site.

Cheers

Ross Lloyd 122/06/2018 22:37:55
114 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 19/06/2018 07:07:18:

Hi Ross it's worth a look at Chester hobby store they have two types which are quite good.

David

Thanks David

Ross Lloyd 122/06/2018 22:39:25
114 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 19/06/2018 09:17:44:

MSC have "Kurt style" vices on their offer sheets from time to time. I have a couple of old 6" vices for my Bridgeport mill one by Jones and Shipman and the other a Toss. both good but getting heavier as I age. Try and signup for the MSC offer sheet, it is sent out monthly with latest offers, all prices plus VAT and not always the cheapest but on occasion some good stuff.

Sounds good, but what does MSC stand for? Am still quite new to the game and I've not come across that one yet

Cheers

EDIT: Ah do you mean these guys? https://www.mscdirect.co.uk/CGI/INSRCH?ns=1&oldNtt=&oldNtk=&oldURLVar=&scrNtt=vice&image.x=0&image.y=0&Ntk=Keyword+Search

Edited By Ross Lloyd 1 on 22/06/2018 22:41:27

Ross Lloyd 122/06/2018 22:51:58
114 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by John Hinkley on 19/06/2018 10:10:10:

Ross,

Like you, I ordered a 6 inch vice for my Warco VMC mill, only to find that. when it arrived, I could only just about lift it and it was way too big for the machine. I packed it up and took it back to Arc Euro Trade, who were very understanding and swapped it for the smaller, 100mm version. I'm exceedingly pleased with my purchase and it is indeed a "versatile" precision vice, as advertised. Recommended.

**LINK**

I am a satisfied customer and committed Arcophile, only. No connection otherwise.

John

Hi John

Absent shots of the underside on the web, I am wondering: How does the vice attach to the milling table?

Cheers

Muzzer22/06/2018 23:01:24
avatar
2758 forum posts
441 photos

They offer a similar vise to the Arc one called "Value brand" but it has limited jaw opening (142mm vs 199mm), despite being apparently the same basic design. I expect Arc (Ketan) worked with his supplier to optimise the design beyond the basic concept, which is something you get from the better purveyors of Chinese goods.

Murray

You need to clamp it to the table with tee bolts and a couple of slotted clamps. The larger ones don't seem to come with them but you need a clamp set anyway, which are on offer from MSC (but check your slot width)....

I notice that the MSC vise is on offer at £130 at the moment (page 13). Good deal!

Edited By Muzzer on 22/06/2018 23:12:22

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