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Mill vise and rotary table

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Derek Lane25/08/2021 09:42:13
528 forum posts
98 photos

I have seen and heard of people fixing both on the milling table. will the effect the wear when for example the vise is used a lot more than the rotary table, meaning that the weight of the later is overhanging the end.

I hope my explanation is clear

Andrew Johnston25/08/2021 09:49:01
6283 forum posts
677 photos

I find having multiple items on the table never seems practical, something always seems to be in the way. So I generally fit just the item I need to use; my mill table is 48" long.


JasonB25/08/2021 10:01:40
21467 forum posts
2455 photos
1 articles

I'm the same as Andrew and generally just have the one item on the table. On the odd occasion when I just want to quickly use the 5C spin indexer I may leave the vice in place but it can get in the way of inserting the work.

Mine is not as long as hissad

SillyOldDuffer25/08/2021 10:13:45
7573 forum posts
1681 photos

Like Andrew I find having both on the table wastes so much space, it's rarely worth doing. The Rotary table is usually the wrong way round too; horizontal when I want vertical and vice versa.

So, unless I've planned a work-sequence specifically to use both, which is unusual, the rotary table is normally kept in it's box. As always much depends on what you do in your workshop. I suppose 75% of my milling is done in a vice, 10% rotary table, and the rest on a angle plate or clamped direct to the table.

Apart from keeping the ways clean and gently oiled, I don't worry about wear except when grinding or machining cast-iron. The machine only has to last longer than I do!


Nicholas Farr25/08/2021 11:05:22
3001 forum posts
1371 photos

Hi Derek, I'm the same, normally only have one thing on the table. My Major mill is about 60% the length of Andrew's one and by the time I get anything on my mini mill, there is absolutely no room for anything else.

Regards Nick.

Tony Pratt 125/08/2021 11:17:43
1704 forum posts
8 photos

I just keep one bit of kit on the table, as already stated the 2nd item will always be in the wrong place.


Colin Heseltine25/08/2021 11:36:05
613 forum posts
218 photos

Just one 99% of the time. I have Bridgeport sized machine and the 6" Bison vice is rather large and fitted in centre of table. I had a job the other week which required the large 10" rotary table. Left the vice on, centered the rotary table under quill and mounted the job. Only to find about 10mm short on X axis movement. Removed every thing, took vice of and put RT in middle of table. Because of the weight of the vice, rotary table and Bison indexer I would rather have them in middle of table than overhanging the knee and risk flexing the table.


Andrew Johnston25/08/2021 11:43:23
6283 forum posts
677 photos

Another consideration is that having a heavy item at one end of the table makes it much harder work to wind the handles, in all axes.


Clive Foster25/08/2021 12:03:54
2838 forum posts
103 photos

Not forgetting the risk of chomping the one not in use when moving the table to clear the cutter from the work in progress to measure it.

Howard Lewis25/08/2021 12:35:24
5348 forum posts
13 photos

I rarely have two devices on the table at the same time (Rotary Table, or tilting vice ) because of the risk work in one obstructing, or being obstructed by the other.

So, most of the time the K4 vice sits centrally on the table, occasionally being displaced by the Rotary table of the "Infinite" vice.


Martin Kyte25/08/2021 12:38:55
2570 forum posts
45 photos

Not a rotary table and a vise but I do have space to mount my George Thomas versatile Dividing head at the end of the table for quick use without removing the milling vise. It has a Tee slot adaptor plate/raising block which keys it to the Tee slots and is quick to mount and demount. Great for swift cross drilling or milling squares without removing the work from the chuck and then back to the lathe.

regards Martin

Brian Baker 125/08/2021 12:57:29
167 forum posts
34 photos

Greetings, I to have a small dividing head mounted on the right hand end of the Myford VM-F mill, very useful.

Quick to remove, and a fixed tongue tenon makes it easy to replace.

Used exactly as Martin describes above, very useful.

Regards Brian

Ron Laden25/08/2021 14:37:14
2248 forum posts
446 photos

My SX2P doesn't have the largest of tables so I only mount one item on the table and my vice lives on the table most of the time. Mounting both the vice and rotary table at the same time would put them both at the ends of the table which depending on the job could mean running out of travel in one direction.

Derek Lane25/08/2021 16:09:38
528 forum posts
98 photos

Thank you all for your input. So really advised against this so I will mount the vise centrally and change over as and when needed.

old mart26/08/2021 20:48:08
3349 forum posts
208 photos

If your vise is no bigger than 4", 100mm, then it is not so heavy to move and it can be removed in seconds. A 6" rotary table with a chuck on it is getting close to my limits, but does get in the way if left on the mill, and I am one of the lucky people to be able to choose which of the two mills sitting side by side at the museum to use for a particular job. Today I wanted to square off a 3 inch wide workpiece using the Y axis, and the Tom Senior was not up to it even trying different table slot positions for the 100mm Bison vise. I just moved to the drill mill and the job was easy. With hindsight, I could have removed the key from the vise and mounted it lengthways on the TS bed.

Edited By old mart on 26/08/2021 20:52:22

Howard Lewis27/08/2021 18:20:20
5348 forum posts
13 photos

Unless the vice is keyed to the table, replacing it will bring the problems of realigning it.

To avoid spending ages tapping (knocking ) it and winding to and fro with a clock, it will be worth making up some form of alignment jig.

My goalpost fixture may cause mirth, but it sets the vice within 0.001" in less than 5 minutes, instead of 20 minutes of clocking and frustration.

(As an Apprentice spent many unhappy times trying get a 6 or 8 inch Abwood vice that close! )


JasonB27/08/2021 18:38:19
21467 forum posts
2455 photos
1 articles

The supplied keys on my ARC one set it to within 0.001" in 5 seconds rather than 5mins. The K4 does not have keys but less than 60 secs of tapping until the dti runs true is what it usually takes me, less if I use the power feed rather than hand winding..

Ron Laden28/08/2021 07:23:36
2248 forum posts
446 photos

My vice keys get the vice within 0.002" to 0.003" I always clock the vice and it only takes a couple of minutes to get it pretty much spot on, under 0.001".

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