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what size vice for mill

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Peter Etherington 222/10/2020 19:34:04
21 forum posts
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Just bought a mini mill XJ12-300 and the table size is 460 x 112mm, what would be the biggest vice I could reasonable put on it. Many thanks, Peter

Emgee22/10/2020 20:01:03
1764 forum posts
237 photos

Peter

If you fit the vice on the X axis you could fit a greater opening vice than if fitted in the Y axis.
If the top of the Y axis handwheel is below table height you could allow the vice to overhang at the front of the table.
You also need to consider the size of work you expect to do in the vice but I believe a good starting size would be a 100mm wide jaws that open to 100mm or more, fitted in the Y axis direction with the face of the fixed jaw on spindle centreline with the table in the most rearward position.

Emgee

You may want a low profile type to keep a good working distance between the top of the vice and the toolholder.

Edited By Emgee on 22/10/2020 20:09:35

Dave Halford22/10/2020 20:50:23
1022 forum posts
9 photos

The wider they are the taller they are, a 75/80mm one will be plenty.

Peter Etherington 223/10/2020 10:38:40
21 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks guys, Peter

old mart23/10/2020 18:20:20
2219 forum posts
164 photos

Look on the ARC site at the sizes of 75 to 100mm size vises. Cut out a cardboard template and offer it up to the mill. That will give a good idea of which suits you best.

Peter Etherington 223/10/2020 18:25:42
21 forum posts
1 photos

Ta

old mart23/10/2020 20:39:21
2219 forum posts
164 photos

I forgot to mention, get one with a swivel base which is detachable. You will rarely use it, but it can be so frustrating to need one and not have one.

JasonB24/10/2020 19:36:17
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Peter also asked my via one of my Videos on Yutube but I will reply here so that I can add some photos and it may be of use to others wanting to put a big vice on a small mill.

As others here I suggested an 80mm vice for this Mini-mill and these following photos illustrate some of the reasons why I'm using the SX2.7 with a table of 595 x 140 which is larger than the mini-mill's table at 460 x 112.

Firstly a shot of a 100mm versatile vice from ARC without it's swivel base, not that as the size of a vice goes up the fixed jaw tends to be further back from the mounting lugs so if a cutter of modest size (12mm in photos) is to clear the back of any work in the vice then it will have to be mounted to the fromt tee slot. This makes it almost impossible to see the handwheel let alone the dial on a non DRO equiped machine.

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The next size down is the 80mm Versatile which can be mounted to the central tee slot which gives a better view of the handwheel and you can also see the dial

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Side by side comparison

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Peter did say he was thinking of the Radial vice from ARC which probably does have a slightly smaller footprint than the versatile due to not having the "lip" all round the base but tee slot position would still come into it and they don't open as far.

The other thing to think about on the very small mills when looking at vices is their height, here you can see that the top of the 100mm vice's jaws are just under 25mm further above the table than those of the 80mm eating into valuable head room

dsc04004.jpg

Finally on a safety note I managed to drop the 100mm vice while taking these photos as it is just about hovering when bolt holes are over that nearest tee slot and that is with the jaws closed, glad I had steel caps on at the time even though I did manage to jump back in time so it only dinged the vinyl tile.

Blue Heeler25/10/2020 04:54:22
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226 forum posts

Jason what do you use on the handle of the vice a socket and socket handle?

What would you rate that 80mm vice out of 10?

Neil Lickfold25/10/2020 07:22:24
640 forum posts
102 photos

I made adapter plates for my vices. It has hold down on the front and rear T slots. Then the vice is placed on this adapter plate. It allows it to be placed at spacing other than the 3 T slot positions. It also allows for pivoting easier as well. Not as easier as the swivel base however.

Neil

JasonB25/10/2020 07:38:33
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On the manual mills I tend to use the supplied knuckle bar type handle though I do tend to prefer a cranked type handle but that may simply be due to having used that type a lot more. On the CNC where it is my go to vice I use a 12mm combination spanner as you can't get the knuckle bar in due to the chip tray all around the table.

I'd probably give it 9/10 if 10 were the Kurt version as it does what I want of it and the Kurt certainly cost over 10% more! Each type of vice has it's vices such as the gap along the middle of the vice bottom where you may want to rest work or that can allow swarf onto the screw but that is countered by it having a far greater opening capacity then something like my K4 with it's solid bottom.

Peter Etherington 225/10/2020 09:33:09
21 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Jason, I will go for the 3" with it only being a small mill and i`m only building small scale steam loco`s (16mm) It`s man thing I think, always wanting something bigger smiley Peter

not done it yet25/10/2020 10:06:56
5141 forum posts
20 photos

A sensible choice - as a start. A vise which is too big for the machine is just a pain to use. You could, as per Emgee, fit the vise along the x axis - or you could buy or make a vise to fit anything up to the full length of your table, if needed.

I mainly use 70 and 90mm type ll vises on my mills - but some don’t like that type.

Larger items can be clamped direct to the table, anyway or workpieces can be fixed to an angle plate, etc.

A small vise and a clamping kit are better purchases than one large(r) vise, IMO.

old mart25/10/2020 15:46:49
2219 forum posts
164 photos

You have made a good choice for your mill. Which one are you getting?

Peter Etherington 225/10/2020 17:49:39
21 forum posts
1 photos

The 3 inch radial from Arc, it is not as big as the 3 inch Versatile from the same supplier

old mart25/10/2020 18:17:39
2219 forum posts
164 photos

Thats a good choice, it has the slight jaw lift problem which can be minimised by making sure the moving jaw has the lowest ammount of play without actually locking up. The plates which hold the moving jaw on to the body can be removed and the clearance can be reduced for a tighter fit. You can test the actual ammount of jaw lift by clamping a thick parallel in the jaws while it sits on a pair of parallels resting against each jaw. One will be loose after tightening the vise. A set of parallels should be on the essential to buy list if you don't have them already.

Peter Etherington 225/10/2020 19:07:16
21 forum posts
1 photos

Already on list with ER32 collet chuck, 123 blocks, angle block etc, also thinking of adding DRO. Peter

old mart25/10/2020 19:29:33
2219 forum posts
164 photos

Buying the machine is just the start of a money pit with these hobbies.smile o

Peter Etherington 226/10/2020 09:29:04
21 forum posts
1 photos

All part of the excitement

Emgee26/10/2020 11:19:58
1764 forum posts
237 photos
Posted by Peter Etherington 2 on 25/10/2020 19:07:16:

Already on list with ER32 collet chuck, 123 blocks, angle block etc, also thinking of adding DRO. Peter

An ER25 chuck will hold up to 16mm shank cutters, the largest recommended for the machine, it will be lighter and smaller to allow access to more restricted areas that need machining.

Emgee

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