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80mm ARC Versatile or 73mm Precision 3?

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Thomas Gregory 126/11/2021 22:28:44
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I post a bit on yacht forums and I fear this might be an equivalent to a "what anchor thread" but I'm new to this and have quickly realised you can't just buy a lathe, you need the rest of the stuff as well. So along with my little Hobbymat MD65 I've bought a BFE to go with it but as a newbie I don't want to make mistakes and forums are a great place to her opinions.

Now it seems like I need a vice to go with this little milling machine.... the versatile is a popular vice but I've noticed the Precision 3 on ARCs website which looks a neat unit. 100mm seems a popular choice but I fear it would be little oversized for the machine so 80mm may a bit more sensible, the 73mm precision even more "compact".

The versatile may be a good shout with the alternative jaw options, I can't imagine the BFE doing much more than "light work" so for the odd job may be the better option?

Thoughts, opinions? I'm all ears.

Edited By Thomas Gregory 1 on 26/11/2021 22:30:28

Bazyle26/11/2021 22:42:02
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Don't know exactly which ones you are looking at but you don't want one with a swivelling base. They are only used on the 4th blue moon of the century. Look carefully at where the hold down bolts will be when the fixed jaw is where you want it, like in the middle of the table not off the back. The type with slots along the side are better for that aspect. You don't need extra jaws as you can make the ones you actually need.

Thomas Gregory 126/11/2021 22:46:13
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8 photos

Links to said items

73mm Precision 3

https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Workholding/Machine-Vices/Precision-Tool-Vices-Type-3

80mm Versatile

https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Workholding/Machine-Vices/ARC-Versatile-Milling-Vices-with-swivel-base

From what I gather you remove the swivel base and stick it on the shelf.

Pete.26/11/2021 22:51:29
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The Type 3 is more of a drilling machine style vice, the Type 2 is probably more suitable for a milling machine, I think even the 80mm versatile would look clownishly big on that small machine, maybe a 70mm Type 2.

Have a look at the thread I started on 'Arc Euro Type 2 vices' someone linked some similar vices on sale at a good price, not sure if if they're still on offer though.

JasonB27/11/2021 07:17:12
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I have a 90mm type 2 and 80mm versatile and of the two the versatile gets used 99% of the time, the type 2 only really comes out if I want to make use of the taller jaws. The rest of the time the type 2 keeps the swivel base of the 80 company in the back of a cupboard.

I also find the 80mm more secure as the type 2 can not grip tightly if you get the screw in the wrong notch.

The flange all around the bottom of the verstaile ones makes them look a lot larger than they actually are, it's a shame the SG Iron one does not come in 80mm. Though the 80 gets used on a mill table that is the same distance front to back as your BFE

John P27/11/2021 08:37:30
360 forum posts
238 photos

Posted by Pete 26/11/2021

Have a look at the thread I started on 'Arc Euro Type 2 vices' someone linked some similar vices on sale at a good price, not sure if if they're still on offer though.

-----------------------------------

They still are, on MSC Advantage December as QGVMP 85220J @ £31.99 and QGVMP 85320K @ £41.99 .

John

Clive Foster27/11/2021 10:08:22
2993 forum posts
105 photos

Following the advice from John I got the vices from MSC and have found them perfectly satisfactory.

Not going to be an everyday tool for me so the price was, just, right enough for the very limited use they will get.

Knowing Ketan I suspect the Arc offering will be a little better made. Not done a forensic examination of the MSC ones but they are clearly at the value for money end of the scale.

Clive

Bizibilder27/11/2021 10:15:25
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The MSC ones have a deep groove down both sides for clamping. The catalogue picture is incorrect in showing just a row of holes (At least on the ones I bought about a month ago with the same code number)

Bizibilder27/11/2021 10:15:26
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114 forum posts
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Just to add - they are excellent vices and the price is pretty much unbeatable for the quality. (usual disclaimer).  For the hobbymat table the 2" may be the better choice.

Edited By Bizibilder on 27/11/2021 10:17:51

John Hinkley27/11/2021 10:30:04
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1219 forum posts
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I had a Google to find out what a BFE milling machine looks like. There is an old advert for one at Pennyfarthing that has a picture of a vice on the table - fourth picture down. Given the dimensions of the table are 450 x 160mm, the vice in the picture looks to be about the right size for the machine and I would estimate that it is no more than 70mm wide, possibly less. I would personally not pay for a swivelling mount that will, for 99% of the time, be used as a paperweight. I also agree with others that the slotted sides are a more versatile method of clamping the vice to the table.

John

John Haine27/11/2021 11:05:15
4436 forum posts
265 photos

Worth thinking about alternative workholding too, a vice isn't a panacea especially for a small machine. Think about clamping work direct to the table, or to an angle plate using various methods including toolmaker's clamps. You might find that the first thing you use a vice for is making tee nuts and clamps then don't use it nearly as much as other methods. And I bought a vice with swivel base and like others here have never ever used it!

Thomas Gregory 127/11/2021 14:09:28
15 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks all, I think I may go for the MSC 2" jobbie for now whilst I'm just playing as I imagine having a smaller vice may have it's uses in the future. I'll decide about a bigger vice once I have a bit more of an idea, the 80mm versatile seems to be a good big vice but I think as John said above alternative clamping arrangements may be an option to look at, especially bigger stuff.

Can someone summarise the pro's and cons to a layman on the clamping types between the precision 2 and 3, rack/hex key vs screw and handle?

Many Thanks

Tom

Oh and whoever mentioned the MSC Advantange brochure, please can you forward me your contact details so I know where to send my wife when she sees the credit card statment!

Bill Phinn27/11/2021 14:39:50
635 forum posts
92 photos

Can someone summarise the pro's and cons to a layman on the clamping types between the precision 2 and 3, rack/hex key vs screw and handle?

I have a type 2 and a type 3.

Not an exhaustive list, but things that come to mind:

Type 2 pros: rapid jaw opening/closing over big distances, minimal jaw lift.

Type 2 cons: engagement of cam in locking notches sometimes a faff requiring adjustment of locking screw. Not getting this right can result in part not being properly secured and/or end of locking screw making contact with worktable. Surfaces on which work and parallels sit is a little on the narrow side for the size of vice.

Type 3 pros: probably firmer hold on parts is possible and there is a broader base to seat parts and parallels on.

Type 3 cons: marginally greater tendency for moveable jaw to lift. Opening and closing across big distances slightly more time consuming.

John P27/11/2021 14:55:54
360 forum posts
238 photos

Posted by Thomas Gregory 1 27/11/2021 14:09:28
Oh and whoever mentioned the MSC Advantange brochure, please can you forward me
your contact details so I know where to send my wife when she sees the credit card statment!

Contact me at Neil at My time Media
John Neil

Nick Clarke 327/11/2021 14:57:33
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1323 forum posts
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I have the versatile 80mm on my Sieg SX1L which I suspect is about the same size as your Hobbymat Mill - It comes with a swivel base which I usually take off to give more headroom as it is quite a tight fit - however it is always there should I need it and it does fit if I need it to, but it doesn't leave much room for a workpiece.

I rationalised this by thinking how big a bit of metal will I want to machine on a mill this size - for me there are always bigger machines to use at friends or the club.

To complement this I use a small type 2 precision vice.

Dave Halford27/11/2021 19:00:36
1891 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Bill Phinn on 27/11/2021 14:39:50:

Can someone summarise the pro's and cons to a layman on the clamping types between the precision 2 and 3, rack/hex key vs screw and handle?

I have a type 2 and a type 3.

Not an exhaustive list, but things that come to mind:

Type 2 pros: rapid jaw opening/closing over big distances, minimal jaw lift.

Type 2 cons: engagement of cam in locking notches sometimes a faff requiring adjustment of locking screw. Not getting this right can result in part not being properly secured and/or end of locking screw making contact with worktable. Surfaces on which work and parallels sit is a little on the narrow side for the size of vice.

Type 3 pros: probably firmer hold on parts is possible and there is a broader base to seat parts and parallels on.

Type 3 cons: marginally greater tendency for moveable jaw to lift. Opening and closing across big distances slightly more time consuming.

 

I would add

type2 con no base tenon slot for a swift set up to parallel with the table

type3 pro has a base tenon slot for a swift set up to parallel with the table.

 

I have an 80mm Accu lock vice (same as the versatile) and confess I have used the swivel base once.

Edited By Dave Halford on 27/11/2021 19:02:29

Neil Wyatt27/11/2021 19:19:56
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Posted by Thomas Gregory 1 on 26/11/2021 22:28:44:

I post a bit on yacht forums and I fear this might be an equivalent to a "what anchor thread" but I'm new to this and have quickly realised you can't just buy a lathe, you need the rest of the stuff as well.

On this website you can combine both topics with a 'Super Adept' lathe*

Neil

Clive Foster27/11/2021 20:03:13
2993 forum posts
105 photos

I'm unconvinced as to the absolute value of a tenon slot on these smaller type 2 and 3 vices for small machines. Better off with separate alignment devices for across the table and parallel to the table mounting. Not forgetting a machinists protractor for angled setting when needed.

Clamping slots down the side for mounting gives more freedom to shift the vice for best position to handle the job rather than being limited by the need to align two mounting lugs and, if fitted, a tenon with the Tee slots. This extra freedom of positioning can be a great help on small machines with short table movements.

The great inherent resistance to moving jaw lift of the type 2 vice comes at the cost of relatively less gripping power. The clamping screw works at around 45° to both work and vice top so the imparted force is divided roughly equally between gripping the job and holding the jaw down. In practice the downwards force probably stops the jaw moving further against the work at a gripping force rather less than that produced by a conventional in-line screw vice. The clamping screw on type 2 and similar style vices is almost always a relatively small caphead. So the maximum force is further limited by the short allen key. Conventional vices have a larger screw and longer handle so more scope for heaving up good'n tight. Whether needful or not.

If you fancy making something for larger jobs consider adapting the jaw layout used on this planer vice to make a simple "endless vice" aligned along the Tee slots, rather than across the table as shown, to hold work direct to the table.

planer vice.jpg

Forget the base and key. Scale down sizes as appropriate. Simply fix the jaws to the table with appropriate Tee nuts. Perhaps not as strong as the usual commercial and DIY versions, which are too big for your machine anyway, but much easier to make and adequate for smaller work. Its likely that a small cast iron angle plate could be found of appropriate size for the fixed jaw. Or just go crude and effective with a squared off block.

Speaking of creative crudity I recently had to produce a 9 ft long by 3 inches wide light alloy wedge tapering from 6 mm thickness to 1 mm. Fortunately do-able in 4 sections that just fitted into the Bridgeport table travel. To get the wedge angle I set-up a piece of ex-kitchen cabinet chipboard at the correct angle and milled it flat. Creative use of short bolts, tapped holes and wood screws held the alloy bar to the base which in turn was held on the table with clamping kit components. Job went reasonably straightforwardly but the short bolts, woodscrews and tapered base were sacrificed in the process.

Most of we home shop types tend to overlook how many jobs can be made much easier if sacrificial work holding can be employed. I'm certainly far too inclined to try and preserve / hang onto things that "might be useful someday" rather than get value today from a one time sacrifice.

Clive

 

Edited By Clive Foster on 27/11/2021 20:05:13

JasonB27/11/2021 20:09:40
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You don't actually have to use the two mounting lugs on the 80mm versatile, it's got that large lip running all round so easy to use clamps on any part of that including the ends so in fact mounting is more versatile than a slotted precision vice.

old mart27/11/2021 20:30:43
3524 forum posts
217 photos

If you get the ARC versatile, the swivel base comes as standard but doesn't have to be attached. Having the base available which may only be needed once in a blue moon might be a bother to some, but I personally would never dream of getting rid of the 2 swivel bases at the museum even if the rotary table gets used a hundred times more often.

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