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Vise/Vice advise

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Derek Lane10/08/2021 16:33:54
720 forum posts
165 photos

I have ordered a WM18 milling machine and want to order a vise the work I know that I want to do is beam engines and later on something like a 3 1/2 or 5 inch gauge loco.

What size would be advisable to get, I could imagine that a 6" would be far to big for the machine

steamdave10/08/2021 16:56:56
510 forum posts
44 photos

I was going to suggest the Warco DH1 vice
but I've just noticed the price!

I've had one for a number of years and have always found it does the job for me. Should any job be too small for it, the easiest way round about would be to make up an 'infinite length' vice. I tried to find a good pic, of one, but my quick search came up empty.

The Emerald Isle

John Hinkley10/08/2021 17:11:51
1303 forum posts
423 photos


You could do an awful lot worse than the offering from ArcEuroTrade. I'd suggest the 100mm one would suffice for your needs. SEE THE AD, HERE.

I have one and it is very good, in my opinion. I originally bought the 160mm one, but when it arrived, I could only just lift it onto mill table, where it dwarfed everything. (Mill is a Warco VMC, so not that small.) I sped up the M1 and swapped it for the smaller one.

As others have said before, I would forget about one with a swivel base. I will bet you will never use it and it takes up a lot of airspace.


Nick Clarke 310/08/2021 17:20:14
1392 forum posts
61 photos

I use a radial milling vice from Arc Euro (sometimes without the rotating base) and often one of the small precision vices - The question is frequently how much headroom there is there on a small milling machine as against holding capacity - you may need to clamp to the table directly.

Roger Best10/08/2021 17:36:22
369 forum posts
56 photos

I have a DH1 and it is beautifully made. Worth the cash and a special bit of kit for special jobs.

It is not big though - only 85mm wide. It will look small on the WM18, 100mm will look better.

By happenstance I also have a Warco cheapy 80mm vice and the difference is huge, its cute but loads of details are poorly executed. It still does the job and its ideal for that risky job where I won't curse too much if it gets dirty or scratched. Obviously I wish it was bigger.

Steviegtr10/08/2021 18:49:26
2422 forum posts
336 photos

Hi Derek. I did a revue of the Arc euro one & here is the link if it's any good to you. There are 2 parts to it.


Arceuro vice

Part 2 is here.

Arceuro vice part 2

Edited By Steviegtr on 10/08/2021 18:50:38

Former Member10/08/2021 19:03:23
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

old mart10/08/2021 19:47:12
3720 forum posts
233 photos

For that size milling machine, a 4", 100mm would be the sweet size, with 5", 125mm being too big unless you have large work. ARC have a good range, and they also show the footprint if their products, you can cut out a piece of cardboard to lay on the mill bed to compare sizes.

Clive Foster10/08/2021 21:18:17
3104 forum posts
107 photos

Possibly a touch large and definitely on the expensive side but I got a pair of the Vertex VJ400 110 mm x 180 mm wide opening machine vices from Rotagrip 20 + years and found them most satisfactory. Almost £300 nowadays **LINK**

Basically a screw operated version of the hydraulic vice with three positions for the nut selected by putting a pin through one of three holes so it can open much wider than a normal vice. First position is the usual opening for a vice of this size. Other two go rather wider. Something I've exploited many times.

Comes with swivel base but you don't need to use it. I'm a Bridgeport driver so I have room.


Derek Lane11/08/2021 10:55:03
720 forum posts
165 photos

Thank you all looks like a 10mm/4" vise will be the ideal size. I will order one nearer the time that the mill is due

Nicholas Wheeler 111/08/2021 11:21:44
909 forum posts
86 photos

Posted by br on 10/08/2021 19:03:23:

Why not ask Warco what they recommend ?

MILLING VICE - 80MM is what they list on their website

They'll tell you if the vice bolts to the table. How will they know if it will suit the work you do?

How many of us have just one vice? I can go weeks without using the mill(X2), and have 100 and 25mm screwless vices, plus a 3" tilting one that's only good for small workpieces/cutters due to its height.

Former Member11/08/2021 11:44:40
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Derek Lane11/08/2021 13:13:57
720 forum posts
165 photos
Posted by br on 11/08/2021 11:44:40:

Ah yes, they do not have a crystal ball to see what you will be doing with it

I should have thought of that.

Pardon me, Derek, for making a silly suggestion.

It will not happen again.

Edited By br on 11/08/2021 11:48:17

Edited By br on 11/08/2021 12:01:49

Not a silly suggestion in my books I am sure if I contacted them they have enough knowledge of machines once I explain what I need the vise for.

Juddy11/08/2021 13:26:41
102 forum posts

I too have the wm18 milling machine, I have a Vertex VA5 which is an excellent vice, very well made with accurate jaws with next to zero jaw lift, expensive but this quality will be a one time buy.

Vertex Swivel Base Milling Vice 4" VA-4 | eBay

Clive Foster11/08/2021 14:32:20
3104 forum posts
107 photos

+1 for what Juddy says. Its a one time buy so don't cheap out on something that either isn't as good as you'd like or doesn't really do what you need. Life is too shot to struggle with vice issues and the elevated scrap rate that comes from things not being held well and in proper registration.

Only time its safe to grab a cheapy or auction site bargain is if you have no feel for your needs and cannot decide between attractive, but very different alternatives. In that case a bit of real world experince will clarify things. Then get the good vice, don't struggle on with the training wheels cheapy. Assuming you haven't got lucky and found a Monday morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, example of cheapy which is gonna be a keeper. It happens!

The quality gap between "economical purchase" (but not boat anchor) and "if I have beans on toast for a month" where most of us have to shop has narrowed dramatically in the 20 + years since I got my VJ400.

Back then economy (and below) range really was a "here be monsters" jungle! Into which I wasn't venturing.

Looked very closely at the Vertex VA-4 and 5, or the then current equivalent and others of similar ilk before splashing the extra cash on the VJ400 which I've never regretted. Back then the Vertex K-4 was well regarded as a respectable, effective and decently economic choice. Justifiably well thought of by lots of users but I felt, quite possibly wrongly, that I would have been permamanently at least mildly dissatisfied and went further up market.

These days I'd probably be mimbling over the good acculoc clones from reliable vendors like Arc Eurotrade before making a rather harder to decision to get the VJ400. But that is with the hindsight of 20 years experience. Without that its very, very likely I'd go for an Arc acculoc.

In my dreams I want a brace of Chicks although might possibly settle for a pair from Geraldi.


old mart11/08/2021 19:28:40
3720 forum posts
233 photos

_igp2821.jpgThis is what the museum's drill mill looks like with an ARC 125mm vise and also with a 100mm Bison vise. I bought the ARC vise for its extra opening for a larger job. The drill mill is one of the larger sizes, the bed is 8" by 28 1/2" and has a 500mm X travel.





Edited By old mart on 11/08/2021 19:30:44

Howard Lewis12/08/2021 10:25:06
6013 forum posts
14 photos

As part of the deal, my Warco Economy came, many years ago, with a Vertex K4

It very rarely comes off the table.

It has filled almost all of my needs (except for milling at compound angles (For which a 2", 3 way has sufficed )

So my suggestion would be a K4 or the Arc equivalent.


SillyOldDuffer12/08/2021 10:37:05
8490 forum posts
1891 photos

I have two vices, both supplied by Warco:


I don't require them to 'last a lifetime'; I'm past my 'Before Date', and the hobby doesn't require me to thrash my tools. I'm sure they will last longer than I do!

The vice on the right is an ordinary 100mm machine vice. That in the centre is a DH1, with 80mm jaws. Note both vices are removed from their turntable bases. Swivelling is rarely required, and the bases take up space and reduce rigidity. Turntables are almost unnecessary in my workshop, and many others agree. For the same reason I'm suspicious of Angle/Swivel vices - bendy!!!

Although the DH1 is only 80mm wide, it's holding capacity is greater than the 100mm vice. Its jaws can be unbolted and moved, providing much wider jaw opening. I mostly use it in the plain 80mm configuration, but every so often the wider grip is handy.

The 100mm vice has a couple of vices, ho ho! There's a slight tendency for the jaws to lift on tightening, which is so common that it's respectable in professional workshops to tap jaws and work down with a mallet to correct the problem. More serious is a design compromise. The rear jaw has a stress-relieving gutter, also serving to collet swarf. Unfortunately spacing parallels tend to fall into the gutter and making sure they haven't is a time-waster. Not a problem with thicker work, but I mill lots of stuff under 10mm thick, which is spaced carefully to height.

There's no doubt the DH1 is a better vice, but 80% of what I do can be done just as well with an ordinary one!

I think both vices are about the right size physically for a WM18. Wider jaws come with a disproportionate increase in size and weight. A 100mm vice weighs about 10kg, 125mm about 15kg, worse as they get bigger!


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 12/08/2021 10:39:03

John Reese16/08/2021 21:49:53
1035 forum posts

I favor Kurt vise clones. The Arc Euro vise advocated by Steviegtr is a particularly useful clone of the Kurt. It can be set on its side for holding work vertically.

Terry Kirkup23/08/2021 13:19:28
108 forum posts
82 photos

Hi Derek. I may be a bit late to the party, but here's my 120mm Arc type 2 on my WM18, seems about right to me:img_20210527_122921.jpg

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