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Re: [mlathemods] CDCOTools.com: 3 inch Screwless Vise

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  • aalloway
    John, I have (2) two of the screwless vises a 2 inch and 3 inch. Made my own hold downs for both. Free drawings at LittleMachineShop.com. However, I had
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 6, 2011
      I have (2) two of the "screwless vises" a 2 inch and 3 inch. Made my own "hold downs" for both. Free drawings at LittleMachineShop.com.
      However, I had the same issues with both, the "set screws" would not hold the "cross pin" in place. After a couple of small projects the "pin" would loosen up  and slide around. The original "set screw" was the "standard blade" screwdriver type, on both vises. No amount of "Loc-Tight", "Purmatex" ect. helped, I tried several "fixes" The cure I finally landed on was to machine narrow flats on the pins. Used an 1/8 inch "carbide" end mill. I also replaced the "screwdriver" type set screws with a "hex" head set screws coupled with "Loc-Tight". Seems to have done the trick!
      Another "Mod" that makes things a world of easier was to machine an oval slot in the "screwlesse's" "screw" head. In said slot I "brazed" a short piece of 1/4 inch "mild steel round stock" bent in a shallow "U". No more lookin' for the hex wrench.  Love my vises, don't we all!! 
      Allen A.
      Ketchikan, Alaska
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:57 AM
      Subject: [mlathemods] CDCOTools.com: 3 inch Screwless Vise

       Last week I ordered the 3 inch screwless vise, part # 21122, from CDCOTools.com . You can go to their website and just enter "Vise" (minus the quotes) into the Search box on the left side of their home page, and scroll down to see all the vises they sell...

       Here is their $55 3-inch "Precision Screwless Vise" (# 21122) sitting on my mini-mill That little vise looks like a pretty good size on the little mill's table:

       It has mounting slots on both sides AND on both ends, so it can be mounted in the usual front to back OR side to side orientation...

       This picture shows both the jaw width and how perfectly the clamps that came with my 3-inch LMS Rotary Table work out for mounting the vise to the mill table:

       This shows the jaw height and gives another view of a rotary table clamp looking very at home with the vise:

       This shows the jaws actually open a bit more than 4 inches, although I didn't test to see if I could actually mount and tighten down on something that large:

       And finally, here the vise is laying on it's left side, so we are looking "up" at the bottom:

       To get all of the "steps" to show up in this picture, I mounted my camera on a tripod and took a 2 second long exposure. While the camera shutter was open I rapidly panned a flashlight from side to side to effectively light up the whole underside. The right end came out a little too bright but this will do for showing the works underneath.

       To explain what at first seemed very finicky to me about this vise, lets "pretend" that the above picture is us looking up from underneath the vise while it is mounted on the table with a workpiece is in the jaws. Lets further "pretend" that the crossbar needs to be one more step towards the back (to the right in the above picture) in order for it to tighten down properly on the workpiece.

       Since the crossbar needs to be a step further to the back (again, to the right in the above picture) if I were to just tighten the movable jaw's bolt down with things as they are, I would tighten as far as it will go and find the movable jaw is still loose! With understanding, I would know to keep turning the bolt counterclockwise and pushing in and down on the head of that jaw bolt repeatedly, until I feel and see the bolt head angle down enough to let me know that the crossbar has finally advanced in enough to go UP into the next slot back. Then I can tighten the jaw bolt while still pushing down on that bolt head, and within a turn or so it will put a powerful grip on the workpiece. I really like how the movable jaw pulls itself DOWN as it tightens, so no more workpiece shifting/raising with the typical jaw lift that you get with many other vises...

       In case the above explanation left anyone in the dark: The movable jaw's tightening bolt goes into the 45 degree angle face of the jaw as shown in the pictures above. The bolt itself can angle from a good bit less than 45 degrees to a good bit more than 45 degrees. On those times when you need the crossbar to go back another step, you'd keep turning the bolt counterclockwise to extend the crossbar inwards more, and pushing down on the head to get that crossbar up into the next step further back, once it has been extended back in enough to fit. Easier to do than explain, really, but only after you understand what is happening underneath the vise when you can't see whats going on.

       I'd read explanations about these screwless vises before, but couldn't truly appreciate what was really meant until I got one for myself to work with. It seemed very mysterious and finicky to me at first too, but I soon managed to work out how to make the thing work as intended. I figure most people should be ale to do the same, and maybe some real sharp thinkers out there may find ways to improve the locking design to make it faster and easier to work with...

       Now, I am thinking of getting their smaller 2 inch (part # 21120) screwless vise since this little 3 inch model looks so "big" on my little mini-mill table. :-)

       John Z.

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