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3" Precision Vise for Minimill

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  • Arved
    I m looking to get another vise for my minimill. I m currently using a 2 screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I m interested in
    Message 1 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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      I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.

      There are three:

      2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."

      1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.

      1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."

      Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.

      Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).

      aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
      Arved Grass
      Fleming Island, Florida
    • Frank Ramsden
      I have the 1699 made by H&H. It has been a good quality vise for my mini mill. Looks like they changed it a little bit, added some screws to the rear holding
      Message 2 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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        I have the 1699 made by H&H. It has been a good quality vise for my mini mill. Looks like they changed it a little bit, added some screws to the rear holding block. I milled the lip off the rear of the base as I don't use the swivel base often. Milling the lip gave me an extra 1/4" or so of rearward movement. I would buy it again but nothing bigger for me, the table is just to small.



        On Aug 1, 2012, at 5:52 AM, "Arved" <arved_grass@...> wrote:

         

        I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.

        There are three:

        2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."

        1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.

        1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."

        Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.

        Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).

        aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
        Arved Grass
        Fleming Island, Florida

        =
      • a3sigma
        I have the 1590 model from LMS: http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=1590&category= use it often on both my X2 and my Sherline.
        Message 3 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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          I have the 1590 model from LMS:

          http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=1590&category=

          use it often on both my X2 and my Sherline. Excellent value, one of the most useful tools in the box.

          David Clark in Southern Maryland, USA

          --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, Frank Ramsden <usarmyfly@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have the 1699 made by H&H. It has been a good quality vise for my mini mill. Looks like they changed it a little bit, added some screws to the rear holding block. I milled the lip off the rear of the base as I don't use the swivel base often. Milling the lip gave me an extra 1/4" or so of rearward movement. I would buy it again but nothing bigger for me, the table is just to small.
          >
          >
          >
          > On Aug 1, 2012, at 5:52 AM, "Arved" <arved_grass@...> wrote:
          >
          > > I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.
          > >
          > > There are three:
          > >
          > > 2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."
          > >
          > > 1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.
          > >
          > > 1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."
          > >
          > > Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.
          > >
          > > Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).
          > >
          > > aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
          > > Arved Grass
          > > Fleming Island, Florida
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • Jim E.
          I have the LMS 3 p/n 1699 vise and am very happy with it. WRT/the LMS 1755 Vise, 4 Precision Milling, Heavy : I have an idea LMS is saying that it won t
          Message 4 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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            I have the LMS 3" p/n 1699 vise and am very happy with it.

            WRT/the LMS 1755 "Vise, 4" Precision Milling, Heavy": I have an idea
            LMS is saying that it won't fit IF you're using the swivel base. I
            could be wrong, but it appears to me that if you REALLY needed a 4" vise
            and wouldn't mind foregoing usage of the swivel base, you could install
            and use the upper portion as a standard fixed-position Kurt-style vise.

            But, again, I could be wrong...

            Graciously,
            Jim E.
            Lakewood, Calif.
            All Hail Rube Goldberg!

            Arved wrote:
            > I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.
            >
            > There are three:
            >
            > 2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."
            >
            > 1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.
            >
            > 1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."
            >
            > Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.
            >
            > Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).
            >
            > aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
            > Arved Grass
            > Fleming Island, Florida
          • Robert Furmanak
            I use a 4 vise from Enco that is similar to the LMS 1755 on my mini mill. However, I modified it significantly. I milled off the lip at the rear of the vise,
            Message 5 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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              I use a 4” vise from Enco that is similar to the LMS 1755 on my mini mill.  However, I modified it significantly.  I milled off the lip at the rear of the vise, and milled a flat on the rear of the swivel base.  When I had the small table on my mini mill, I bolted it with the T nuts in the front slot, and used an additional set of clamps in the rear slot.  Without a rear set of clamps this vise will rock on the small table no matter  how hard you tighten them. That is because it is in the front slot, and there is little table left to prevent forward tipping under the stress of milling.  Using the center slot limits the Y travel significantly. I use the swivel base only when necessary.  The added height adds to the instability.

                              It works much better on the large mini mill table.  The center slot may be used, and no additional clamps are necessary.  Go to my blog post to see a picture of the vise mounted on my mill: http://robertchristine.blogspot.com/2011/03/mini-mill-upgrade-adding-larger-table.html

               

              From: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim E.
              Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:48 AM
              To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [GrizHFMinimill] 3" Precision Vise for Minimill

               

               

              I have the LMS 3" p/n 1699 vise and am very happy with it.

              WRT/the LMS 1755 "Vise, 4" Precision Milling, Heavy": I have an idea
              LMS is saying that it won't fit IF you're using the swivel base. I
              could be wrong, but it appears to me that if you REALLY needed a 4" vise
              and wouldn't mind foregoing usage of the swivel base, you could install
              and use the upper portion as a standard fixed-position Kurt-style vise.

              But, again, I could be wrong...

              Graciously,
              Jim E.
              Lakewood, Calif.
              All Hail Rube Goldberg!

              Arved wrote:

              > I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.
              >
              > There are three:
              >
              > 2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."
              >
              > 1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.
              >
              > 1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."
              >
              > Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.
              >
              > Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).
              >
              > aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
              > Arved Grass
              > Fleming Island, Florida

            • Charlie Knox
              Arved, Go with the 1699. You won t be disappointed. Charlie
              Message 6 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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                Arved, Go with the 1699. You won't be disappointed.

                Charlie
              • Dale E
                Hi, Of the vises you are looking at, the Phase II is probably the best quality. They ve been around for around 20 years now. And they tend to have a good
                Message 7 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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                  Hi,

                  Of the vises you are looking at, the Phase II is probably the best quality. They've been around for around 20 years now. And they tend to have a good handle on QC.

                  What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of the vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none of these vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their specs should be fine for all but the fussiest work.

                  What you want to consider along with the quality issue, is how well a vise is going to fit. So pay attention to how far the mount holes are from the front of the vise to the center of the mount holes. Chinese vises can vary widely in length. Too long and it will be a bad fit. Causing you to lose y-axis travel.

                  And last look at the weight of the vise. Too heavy and it can cause you table loading problems. But too light and it can indicate a weak vise due to thin castings.

                  Dale

                  On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 6:52 AM, Arved <arved_grass@...> wrote:
                   

                  I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.

                  There are three:

                  2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."

                  1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.

                  1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."

                  Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.

                  Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).

                  aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
                  Arved Grass
                  Fleming Island, Florida


                • Chris Wood
                  Sadly, our recent experience is that the Phase II vise is in every way similar to the PN 2500 vise. Including quality. Quite a bit of extra cost for a logo.
                  Message 8 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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                    Sadly, our recent experience is that the Phase II vise is in every way similar to the PN 2500 vise. Including quality.

                     

                    Quite a bit of extra cost for a logo.

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                    Chris Wood
                    LittleMachineShop.com

                    The premier source of tooling, parts, and accessories for bench top machinists.
                    396 W. Washington Blvd. #500, Pasadena, CA 91103
                    (800)981-9663 * Fax (626)797-7934

                     

                     

                     

                    From: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dale E
                    Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 2:43 PM
                    To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [GrizHFMinimill] 3" Precision Vise for Minimill

                     

                     

                    Hi,

                    Of the vises you are looking at, the Phase II is probably the best quality. They've been around for around 20 years now. And they tend to have a good handle on QC.

                    What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of the vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none of these vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their specs should be fine for all but the fussiest work.

                    What you want to consider along with the quality issue, is how well a vise is going to fit. So pay attention to how far the mount holes are from the front of the vise to the center of the mount holes. Chinese vises can vary widely in length. Too long and it will be a bad fit. Causing you to lose y-axis travel.

                    And last look at the weight of the vise. Too heavy and it can cause you table loading problems. But too light and it can indicate a weak vise due to thin castings.

                    Dale

                    On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 6:52 AM, Arved <arved_grass@...> wrote:

                     

                    I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.

                    There are three:

                    2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."

                    1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.

                    1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."

                    Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.

                    Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).

                    aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
                    Arved Grass
                    Fleming Island, Florida

                     

                  • Glen
                    That s what I found with a Phase II qctp I bought from Enco. I got better quality for a couple of extra Shars branded tool holders I bought resently. I m
                    Message 9 of 22 , Aug 1, 2012
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                      That's what I found with a Phase II qctp I bought from Enco. I got better quality for a couple of extra Shars branded tool holders I bought resently.

                      I'm using the Shars 3" precision milling vise with swivel base. I'm happy with the quality/price, and it fits the mini mill well.

                      The LMS 1699 looks like a good unit.

                      Glen

                      --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Wood" <chrisw@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Sadly, our recent experience is that the Phase II vise is in every way
                      > similar to the PN 2500 vise. Including quality.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Quite a bit of extra cost for a logo.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Chris Wood
                      > LittleMachineShop.com <http://www.littlemachineshop.com/>
                      > The premier source of tooling, parts, and accessories for bench top
                      > machinists.
                      > 396 W. Washington Blvd. #500, Pasadena, CA 91103
                      > (800)981-9663 * Fax (626)797-7934
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > From: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                      > [mailto:GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dale E
                      > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 2:43 PM
                      > To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [GrizHFMinimill] 3" Precision Vise for Minimill
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Hi,
                      >
                      > Of the vises you are looking at, the Phase II is probably the best
                      > quality. They've been around for around 20 years now. And they tend to
                      > have a good handle on QC.
                      >
                      > What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of
                      > the vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none
                      > of these vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their
                      > specs should be fine for all but the fussiest work.
                      >
                      > What you want to consider along with the quality issue, is how well a
                      > vise is going to fit. So pay attention to how far the mount holes are
                      > from the front of the vise to the center of the mount holes. Chinese
                      > vises can vary widely in length. Too long and it will be a bad fit.
                      > Causing you to lose y-axis travel.
                      >
                      > And last look at the weight of the vise. Too heavy and it can cause you
                      > table loading problems. But too light and it can indicate a weak vise
                      > due to thin castings.
                      >
                      > Dale
                      >
                      > On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 6:52 AM, Arved <arved_grass@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a
                      > 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm
                      > interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS
                      > website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE
                      > IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice
                      > smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the
                      > vises LMS has to offer.
                      >
                      > There are three:
                      >
                      > 2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that
                      > Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."
                      >
                      > 1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be
                      > the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for
                      > selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand
                      > names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.
                      >
                      > 1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise
                      > for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid
                      > than our next biggest vise."
                      >
                      > Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward
                      > getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these
                      > or other (but similar) vises.
                      >
                      > Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene
                      > and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium,
                      > magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).
                      >
                      > aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
                      > Arved Grass
                      > Fleming Island, Florida
                      >
                    • Arved
                      ... This one? http://www.shars.com/products/view/7465/3_x_3200quot_Lock_Down_Precision_Milling_Machine_Vise_with_Swivel_Base (http://tinyurl.com/c8b2lj8) ...
                      Message 10 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                        --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Glen" <glenf99@...> wrote:

                        > I'm using the Shars 3" precision milling vise with swivel base. I'm happy with the quality/price, and it fits the mini mill well.

                        This one?

                        http://www.shars.com/products/view/7465/3_x_3200quot_Lock_Down_Precision_Milling_Machine_Vise_with_Swivel_Base

                        (http://tinyurl.com/c8b2lj8)

                        > The LMS 1699 looks like a good unit.

                        Looking better all the time!

                        Thanks,
                        - Arved
                      • Arved
                        ... All three vises at LMS spec the parallelism of the ways at 0.0006 in 4 . The Shars vise only has one spec: Accurate to .002 on parallelism and
                        Message 11 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                          --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, Dale E <dalee1002000@...> wrote:
                          > What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of the
                          > vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none of these
                          > vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their specs should
                          > be fine for all but the fussiest work.

                          All three vises at LMS spec the parallelism of the ways at 0.0006" in 4". The Shars vise only has one spec: "Accurate to .002" on parallelism and Squareness"

                          I know these are going to be a compromise from Screwless vises. On the LMS #2356 3" screwless vise, "all sides are flat, square and parallel to 0.0002"." That's an order of magnitude different from the Shars vise.

                          But considering I'm working on HO scale model trains, I'm doing the equivalent of milling with an end-mill that's a a scale foot or more across (usually bigger), holding things to within 0.05 scale inches (0.0006" x 87.1 inches/inch) is probably better than how real railroad equipment is built.

                          With a screwless vise, sometimes I'll have problems, especially making large changes in clamping ranges. When I have to move the clamping nut (or whatever it's called - I can't find a parts breakdown for this kind of vise), it will get out of alignment, touch the table, or get hung up on the table slots and rotate out of position. Most of the time I can fiddle with it and get it to work. Some times, I have to pull the vise up to reset it, and then I have to go back through the clamping and reallignment of the vise. Taking 10 minutes to do this may not sound like a big deal, but it's annoying. I'm not sure if this would be better or worse with a 3" vise than my 2" vise, but it seems to me that there's a lot of convenience to be gained going with a Kurt style vise, which is why I'm considering one.

                          Thanks,

                          Arved Grass
                          Fleming Island, Florida
                        • Rob Potter
                          Arved, I - and probably everyone else who uses one - had the same problem with my screwless vice. To make life easier, I added a large knurled ring around the
                          Message 12 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                            Arved,

                             

                            I – and probably everyone else who uses one – had the same problem with my screwless vice. To make life easier, I added a large knurled ring around the head of a longer replacement cap screw. This allows me to grab the darn screw with my fingers and ‘hunt’ for the right position by feeling for it. This simple little mod’s made using the vice a lot easier for me.

                             

                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GrizHFMinimill/photos/album/802710473/pic/471647133/view?picmode=medium&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&dir=asc

                             

                            If the above link doesn’t work, look for ‘Robs Ring Light’ and the picture ‘On 2’ for a shot of the modified vice screw.

                             

                            Rob Potter

                            Portland, Oregon

                             

                            From: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Arved
                            Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 7:34 AM
                            To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] Re: 3" Precision Vise for Minimill

                             

                             



                            --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, Dale E <dalee1002000@...> wrote:
                            > What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of the
                            > vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none of these
                            > vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their specs should
                            > be fine for all but the fussiest work.

                            All three vises at LMS spec the parallelism of the ways at 0.0006" in 4". The Shars vise only has one spec: "Accurate to .002" on parallelism and Squareness"

                            I know these are going to be a compromise from Screwless vises. On the LMS #2356 3" screwless vise, "all sides are flat, square and parallel to 0.0002"." That's an order of magnitude different from the Shars vise.

                            But considering I'm working on HO scale model trains, I'm doing the equivalent of milling with an end-mill that's a a scale foot or more across (usually bigger), holding things to within 0.05 scale inches (0.0006" x 87.1 inches/inch) is probably better than how real railroad equipment is built.

                            With a screwless vise, sometimes I'll have problems, especially making large changes in clamping ranges. When I have to move the clamping nut (or whatever it's called - I can't find a parts breakdown for this kind of vise), it will get out of alignment, touch the table, or get hung up on the table slots and rotate out of position. Most of the time I can fiddle with it and get it to work. Some times, I have to pull the vise up to reset it, and then I have to go back through the clamping and reallignment of the vise. Taking 10 minutes to do this may not sound like a big deal, but it's annoying. I'm not sure if this would be better or worse with a 3" vise than my 2" vise, but it seems to me that there's a lot of convenience to be gained going with a Kurt style vise, which is why I'm considering one.

                            Thanks,

                            Arved Grass
                            Fleming Island, Florida

                          • Yahoo!© Security Center
                            Arved, I have been following this thread with a great deal of interest. I use a similar 2 screwless vise on my minimill and have the same problems that you
                            Message 13 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                              Arved,
                              I have been following this thread with a great deal of interest. I use a similar 2" screwless vise on my minimill and have the same problems that you have.  I also have a large angle vise that I use for non-precision work. The setup for the angle vise is much, much easier, but it clearly doesn't hold the work securely enough for anything but the lightest operations. 
                               
                              LMS Model 1699 is appealing but its tolerances wouldn't seem to be much better than Model 1904 or by implication, Model 2500- both of which weigh about 15% less.  Its a tradeoff.
                               
                              Brian

                              From: Arved <arved_grass@...>
                              To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:33 AM
                              Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] Re: 3" Precision Vise for Minimill

                               


                              --- In mailto:GrizHFMinimill%40yahoogroups.com, Dale E <dalee1002000@...> wrote:
                              > What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of the
                              > vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none of these
                              > vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their specs should
                              > be fine for all but the fussiest work.

                              All three vises at LMS spec the parallelism of the ways at 0.0006" in 4". The Shars vise only has one spec: "Accurate to .002" on parallelism and Squareness"

                              I know these are going to be a compromise from Screwless vises. On the LMS #2356 3" screwless vise, "all sides are flat, square and parallel to 0.0002"." That's an order of magnitude different from the Shars vise.

                              But considering I'm working on HO scale model trains, I'm doing the equivalent of milling with an end-mill that's a a scale foot or more across (usually bigger), holding things to within 0.05 scale inches (0.0006" x 87.1 inches/inch) is probably better than how real railroad equipment is built.

                              With a screwless vise, sometimes I'll have problems, especially making large changes in clamping ranges. When I have to move the clamping nut (or whatever it's called - I can't find a parts breakdown for this kind of vise), it will get out of alignment, touch the table, or get hung up on the table slots and rotate out of position. Most of the time I can fiddle with it and get it to work. Some times, I have to pull the vise up to reset it, and then I have to go back through the clamping and reallignment of the vise. Taking 10 minutes to do this may not sound like a big deal, but it's annoying. I'm not sure if this would be better or worse with a 3" vise than my 2" vise, but it seems to me that there's a lot of convenience to be gained going with a Kurt style vise, which is why I'm considering one.

                              Thanks,

                              Arved Grass
                              Fleming Island, Florida



                            • Arved
                              ... Weight is usually a pro, as it implies there is more material taking the forces, resulting in less deflection due to the load, as well as the extra mass
                              Message 14 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, Yahoo!© Security Center <briankenyn2@...> wrote:
                                > LMS Model 1699 is appealing but its tolerances wouldn't seem to be much better than Model 1904 or by implication, Model 2500- both of which weigh about 15% less.  Its a tradeoff.

                                Weight is usually a "pro," as it implies there is more material taking the forces, resulting in less deflection due to the load, as well as the extra mass damping vibration (and/or changing the harmonics).

                                The negatives are clearly the shipping costs (one time event) and having to man-handle the darn thing, which may be more of an issue than I'm giving it credit for. I suppose in the long run, wear in the table ways may be an issue, but I'm having a tough time getting my mind around how a 15% increase in vise weight is going to translate into reducing the life of the table. I may have to adjust the gibs a little more frequently...

                                Weight might also be more of an issue if/when the center of mass of the vise and held work is outside of the envelope defined by the saddle - changing the loading on the ways, and putting parts of the castings in tension rather than compression. I'm thinking this is boardering on "over thinking a problem."



                                Arved Grass
                                Fleming Island, Florida
                              • Arved
                                As long as the extra knurled part doesn t interfere with the screws ability to swivel in the movable jaw, that looks like it might be handy. However, with a
                                Message 15 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                  As long as the extra knurled part doesn't interfere with the screws ability to swivel in the movable jaw, that looks like it might be handy. However, with a nice long (HF) T-handle allen wrench, I've been able to do a lot of fiddling! When that nut gets turned 90-degrees, or worse, falls off, there's no option than to pull the vise up and reseat it.

                                  The engineer in me says there has to be a better way. The engineer in me also says that if there was a better way, it would have already been done. Maybe some sort of "keel" that slides in the bottom, yet never gets low enough to foul on the table?

                                  I don't want to _replace_ my machinist vise with a Kurt style one. I want to suppliment it, adding a tool to my toolchest rather than replacing it. I expect there will be times when I'll use the machinist vise, especially when I need high accuracy or don't need to change the grip. Otherwise, if I'm going to be going between something 1/4" wide to something 1-1/4" wide and back again, I'd rather not have to fiddle with that nut if I didn't have to.

                                  Arved Grass
                                  Fleming Island, Florida

                                  --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Potter" <rob@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Arved,
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I - and probably everyone else who uses one - had the same problem with my
                                  > screwless vice. To make life easier, I added a large knurled ring around the
                                  > head of a longer replacement cap screw. This allows me to grab the darn
                                  > screw with my fingers and 'hunt' for the right position by feeling for it.
                                  > This simple little mod's made using the vice a lot easier for me.
                                • Glen
                                  It doesn t look the same as the one I have. I bought mine a year and a half ago. Mine s blue and the castings look better than the one in your link. I put a
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                    It doesn't look the same as the one I have.  I bought mine a year and a half ago.  Mine's blue and the castings look better than the one in your link.

                                    I put a pic in "Glen's HF Minimill" at the following link:

                                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GrizHFMinimill/photos/album/786707242/pic/list

                                    I'd go with the LMS 1699 vice.

                                    Glen


                                    --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Arved" <arved_grass@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Glen" glenf99@ wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > I'm using the Shars 3" precision milling vise with swivel base. I'm happy with the quality/price, and it fits the mini mill well.
                                    >
                                    > This one?
                                    >
                                    > http://www.shars.com/products/view/7465/3_x_3200quot_Lock_Down_Precision_Milling_Machine_Vise_with_Swivel_Base
                                    >
                                    > (http://tinyurl.com/c8b2lj8)
                                    >
                                    > > The LMS 1699 looks like a good unit.
                                    >
                                    > Looking better all the time!
                                    >
                                    > Thanks,
                                    > - Arved
                                    >

                                  • gillesasselin11
                                    I must admit I did not follow this thread so I might be off a bit. :). However I bought one of those 3 screwless vises from LMS and had serious problems with
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                      I must admit I did not follow this thread so I might be off a bit. :). However I bought one of those 3" screwless vises from LMS and had serious problems with it at the beginning. I thought my experience could be useful to others who facing the same situation. It was nearly impossible to slip the pin in another set of grooves to adjust the opening of the vise. The pin would move sideways instead of moving parrallel to the grooves. One side would fall into the groove but the other would sit on the junction between the groove and the base of the vise. The result was that, if I tightened the screw, the pin would get indented and became even harder to move from that position. To me, the problem seemed to come from the fact that the vise was hardened and the pin was soft steel. I had some scrap pieces of HSS round bars, fortunately one of them was the exact O.D. of the pin. I replaced the pin and now it can not get indented by the base and grab on the edge: it has no choice than to slide down the groove.

                                      --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Arved" <arved_grass@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > As long as the extra knurled part doesn't interfere with the screws ability to swivel in the movable jaw, that looks like it might be handy. However, with a nice long (HF) T-handle allen wrench, I've been able to do a lot of fiddling! When that nut gets turned 90-degrees, or worse, falls off, there's no option than to pull the vise up and reseat it.
                                      >
                                      > The engineer in me says there has to be a better way. The engineer in me also says that if there was a better way, it would have already been done. Maybe some sort of "keel" that slides in the bottom, yet never gets low enough to foul on the table?
                                      >
                                      > I don't want to _replace_ my machinist vise with a Kurt style one. I want to suppliment it, adding a tool to my toolchest rather than replacing it. I expect there will be times when I'll use the machinist vise, especially when I need high accuracy or don't need to change the grip. Otherwise, if I'm going to be going between something 1/4" wide to something 1-1/4" wide and back again, I'd rather not have to fiddle with that nut if I didn't have to.
                                      >
                                      > Arved Grass
                                      > Fleming Island, Florida
                                      >
                                      > --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Potter" <rob@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Arved,
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > I - and probably everyone else who uses one - had the same problem with my
                                      > > screwless vice. To make life easier, I added a large knurled ring around the
                                      > > head of a longer replacement cap screw. This allows me to grab the darn
                                      > > screw with my fingers and 'hunt' for the right position by feeling for it.
                                      > > This simple little mod's made using the vice a lot easier for me.
                                      >
                                    • usarmyfly
                                      I set up an album to show the 1699 on my mini mill. I milled the rear lip off to gain some extra clearance as you will see in the photos and also have my DRO
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                        I set up an album to show the 1699 on my mini mill. I milled the rear lip off to gain some extra clearance as you will see in the photos and also have my DRO setup on the rear of the table so it works for me. You will see the DRO hits before the vise.

                                        I also stretched the base 1/2 Hoss style, only used half of another base so I could use the longer stock Y (or x, can never keep them straight) leadscrew.

                                        If LMS had their solid column SX2, I would have much rather gone that route. It has been fun building this on though, good practice for a novice like me.

                                        http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/usarmyfly/Mini%20Share%20Stuff/ 

                                        --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, Frank Ramsden <usarmyfly@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I have the 1699 made by H&H. It has been a good quality vise for my mini mill. Looks like they changed it a little bit, added some screws to the rear holding block. I milled the lip off the rear of the base as I don't use the swivel base often. Milling the lip gave me an extra 1/4" or so of rearward movement. I would buy it again but nothing bigger for me, the table is just to small.
                                        >

                                      • Dale E
                                        Hi, I really thought hard about a Shar s 4 vise. But that .002 parallelism was a sticker for me. I make a lot of tools and need better than that. I went to
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                          Hi,

                                          I really thought hard about a Shar's 4" vise. But that .002" parallelism was a sticker for me. I make a lot of tools and need better than that. I went to Enco and bought mine. But I did pay a fair bit more.

                                          The design feature that make the Kurt style vise a better mill vise than screwless types, in my opinion, is the clamping range. Because the the jaws are movable from inside to outside. And they can be swapped for custom jaws. I use a lot of angled jaws to tip work pieces to specific angles quickly and easily.

                                          I've used the screwless vises, but only for holding work on surface grinders.

                                          Dale

                                          On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Arved <arved_grass@...> wrote:
                                           



                                          --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, Dale E <dalee1002000@...> wrote:
                                          > What you want to see is parallelism specs of the ways to the bottom of the
                                          > vise. Anything under .0005" parallelism is excellent. Frankly none of these
                                          > vises is particularly precision. But the ones that list their specs should
                                          > be fine for all but the fussiest work.

                                          All three vises at LMS spec the parallelism of the ways at 0.0006" in 4". The Shars vise only has one spec: "Accurate to .002" on parallelism and Squareness"

                                          I know these are going to be a compromise from Screwless vises. On the LMS #2356 3" screwless vise, "all sides are flat, square and parallel to 0.0002"." That's an order of magnitude different from the Shars vise.

                                          But considering I'm working on HO scale model trains, I'm doing the equivalent of milling with an end-mill that's a a scale foot or more across (usually bigger), holding things to within 0.05 scale inches (0.0006" x 87.1 inches/inch) is probably better than how real railroad equipment is built.

                                          With a screwless vise, sometimes I'll have problems, especially making large changes in clamping ranges. When I have to move the clamping nut (or whatever it's called - I can't find a parts breakdown for this kind of vise), it will get out of alignment, touch the table, or get hung up on the table slots and rotate out of position. Most of the time I can fiddle with it and get it to work. Some times, I have to pull the vise up to reset it, and then I have to go back through the clamping and reallignment of the vise. Taking 10 minutes to do this may not sound like a big deal, but it's annoying. I'm not sure if this would be better or worse with a 3" vise than my 2" vise, but it seems to me that there's a lot of convenience to be gained going with a Kurt style vise, which is why I'm considering one.

                                          Thanks,

                                          Arved Grass
                                          Fleming Island, Florida


                                        • Arved
                                          ... And it also looks like you put a spacer block to bring the head out a bit to take advantage of the extra Y travel. Nice! Arved Grass Fleming Island,
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                            --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "usarmyfly" <usarmyfly@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > I set up an album to show the 1699 on my mini mill. I milled the rear
                                            > lip off to gain some extra clearance as you will see in the photos and
                                            > also have my DRO setup on the rear of the table so it works for me. You
                                            > will see the DRO hits before the vise.
                                            >
                                            > I also stretched the base 1/2 Hoss style, only used half of another base
                                            > so I could use the longer stock Y (or x, can never keep them straight)
                                            > leadscrew.
                                            >
                                            > If LMS had their solid column SX2, I would have much rather gone that
                                            > route. It has been fun building this on though, good practice for a
                                            > novice like me.
                                            >
                                            > http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/usarmyfly/Mini%20Share%20Stuff/
                                            > <http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/usarmyfly/Mini%20Share%20Stuff/\
                                            > >
                                            >

                                            And it also looks like you put a spacer block to bring the head out a bit to take advantage of the extra Y travel. Nice!

                                            Arved Grass
                                            Fleming Island, Florida
                                          • Frank Ramsden
                                            It s only a 1/2 spacer because that s all I had. Another 3/4 and it woul be centered.
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                              It's only a 1/2" spacer because that's all I had. Another 3/4" and it woul be centered. 



                                              On Aug 2, 2012, at 9:11 PM, "Arved" <arved_grass@...> wrote:

                                               

                                              --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "usarmyfly" <usarmyfly@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > I set up an album to show the 1699 on my mini mill. I milled the rear
                                              > lip off to gain some extra clearance as you will see in the photos and
                                              > also have my DRO setup on the rear of the table so it works for me. You
                                              > will see the DRO hits before the vise.
                                              >
                                              > I also stretched the base 1/2 Hoss style, only used half of another base
                                              > so I could use the longer stock Y (or x, can never keep them straight)
                                              > leadscrew.
                                              >
                                              > If LMS had their solid column SX2, I would have much rather gone that
                                              > route. It has been fun building this on though, good practice for a
                                              > novice like me.
                                              >
                                              > http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/usarmyfly/Mini%20Share%20Stuff/
                                              > <http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/usarmyfly/Mini%20Share%20Stuff/\
                                              > >
                                              >

                                              And it also looks like you put a spacer block to bring the head out a bit to take advantage of the extra Y travel. Nice!

                                              Arved Grass
                                              Fleming Island, Florida

                                              =
                                            • Arved
                                              I want to take time to thank everyone who participated in this discussion, both on the list, and personally. I learned a lot. I want to especially thank those
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Aug 2, 2012
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                                                I want to take time to thank everyone who participated in this discussion, both on the list, and personally. I learned a lot.

                                                I want to especially thank those who suggested sticking with a screwless vise, and for giving me some ideas and clues that I'll probably use in the future with my 2" vise.

                                                I also appreciate Chris' comments, AND his restraint defending his products. His comments about the 2500 (no name) and 1904 (Phase II) vises being the same (giving the impression the 2500 could be a better vise) was very surprising, given the price difference. His comments about the relative quality of the 1699 (it's no Kurt, but it is better than the other two) was the icing on the cake from all the other comments in favor of the 1699.

                                                I placed my order this evening, along with a vise clamping kit. Half price compared to Enco!

                                                Now the hard part starts: waiting for the UPS or USPS delivery truck to show up. :-)

                                                http://youtu.be/uoLoyg3JKRQ

                                                Thanks again,
                                                Arved Grass
                                                Fleming Island, Florida

                                                --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Arved" <arved_grass@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > I'm looking to get another vise for my minimill. I'm currently using a 2" screwless vise from Enco, and while it has been quite servicable, I'm interested in getting a 3" Kurt style vice. "Chris' Tips" on the LMS website for their 4" Precision Vice says, in capital letters, "THIS VISE IS TOO BIG FOR A MINI MILL." Enco doesn't offer a precision milling vice smaller than 4", nor does Grizzly, so I'm predominently looking at the vises LMS has to offer.
                                                >
                                                > There are three:
                                                >
                                                > 2500 3" Precision Milling Vise, $99.95. "This is the same vise that Phase II has been selling (with their logo) for a number of years."
                                                >
                                                > 1904 Phase II 3" Precision Milling Vise, $139.95. Specs do appear to be the same as the 2500. As we know, though, the Chinese are notorious for selling lesser quality products (seconds?) under different brand names/no brand names, so I'm pretty leary of the 2500.
                                                >
                                                > 1699 Heavy 3" Precision Milling Vise, $109.95. "This is our premium vise for the mini mill. It is considerably heavier and therefore more rigid than our next biggest vise."
                                                >
                                                > Based on the descriptions on the LMS web site, I'm leaning toward getting the 1699, but I'd like to hear some feedback on owners of these or other (but similar) vises.
                                                >
                                                > Most of my work is model railroad related (HO scale), milling styrene and Zamak ("...a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium and copper" - from Wikipedia).
                                                >
                                                > aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
                                                > Arved Grass
                                                > Fleming Island, Florida
                                                >
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