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Tooling & Machines / Modifying a pair of drill press vices
« Last post by springcrocus on Today at 09:18:24 AM »
Whilst reading a post by Brendon M about horizontal milling feeds and speeds, I suddenly thought - I've seen that vice before! That triggered a memory of a conversion I did to a pair of drill press vices about six or seven years ago.

Having a need to hold some long flat bar on the mill, but with funds very low, I purchased a pair of cheap drill press vices from Toolstation (a budget tool supplier chain in the UK) a few years ago. They were pretty rough and ready, definitely not square or level but they were made of cast iron so I decided to re-machine them as a matched pair for general purpose milling jobs.

I first spent ten minutes or so on each one flatting the bases on some wet and dry on my surface table and then dismantled them to leave the main casting. The jaw facings they provided were just strips of some unknown gash material as were the sliding jaw catchplates. Those went straight in the bin, along with the fixing screws.

I trued them up as best I could on the mill and machined the slideways first, the difference in heights being seen by the size of the chips on each one. Then I put the large angle plate up and milled for a clean-up on the two sides followed by squaring up and milling the front and back.

That gave me the option of aligning the vices using a square or butting up to my tee-slot packers if I don't need super accuracy. In hindsight, it would have been smart to do this set of operations first.

Next, I trued each one up in turn and milled the fixed-jaw face for a complete clean-up and also made the lower step where the jaws sit exactly the same height as the slideway. This picture shows just how rough the as-bought machining is! I was also going to give the insides of the slideways a quick lick to square them up but I didn't have enough travel to do them in this setup. In the end, I didn't bother, it's the least important part of the whole job.

Once the machining of the upper surfaces was complete, I then machined the underside of the slideway. This needed to be dead parallel to the upper surface of the slideway so that the jaw catchplate rode smoothly along the underside while the sliding jaw moved along the bedway without jamming. The more accurate this part is, the less jaw lift there will be during tightening. The picture shows them clamped on a pair of parallels.

Then it was time to machine the sliding jaw castings. To start, I bolted the existing jaw faces to my small angle plate and machined the top to get them reasonably square to the jaw faces. These were then clamped to the mill table and the two sliding surfaces machined followed by re-positioning and milling the catchplate mounting to size. I have left these a couple of thou proud of the vice body as mentioned above and will lap these down later to suit each vice.

The jaw-mounting faces were the last to be machined, the castings being mounted in a small vice and skimmed to clean up. Then it was time to deburr all round and give each of the machined faces a bit of a rub on some wet and dry before offering each jaw to the main casting and checking for a nice sliding fit. It was at this point that it became obvious that the clamping-screw hole in the sliding jaw was about forty thou lower than before and would need bushing and each jaw was mounted back on the mill, the hole clocked out and then the table moved to the offset position. A 5/8" dia slot drill was then plunged down to the original depth. Meanwhile, on the lathe, a pair of brass bushes were made from 5/8" dia bar, drilled 3/8" and parted off. These were then loctited into the sliding jaws and left to set, followed by drilling through the existing retaining screw holes and tapping M5.

The ends of the clamping screws were also in poor order so I cut off the front section completely and then remachined them with flat ends and the retaining undercut in the correct place.
Finally, a length of 3/4" x 3/16" ground flat stock was cut up to provide two sets of hard jaws and two underside catchplates. The holes in the jaws have the same side-to-side spacing as before but had to be compensated for in the vertical plane to allow for the material removed during milling and are held in place with M5 countersunk screws.

To see how much jaw lift I had, I nipped up a parallel in each vice in turn, set a clock on the moving jaw and then tightened up fully. Originally the deflection was in the region of three to five thou on each but after a few sessions back and forth on the surface plate, I've got that down to about a thou. On one, I went a tad too far and the jaw locked up but a polish of the slideway underside freed it off.

And after all that faffing around, I had a matched pair of milling vices that didn't cost an arm and a leg. The final picture shows them being used in that manner for the first time.

I've used them quite a lot in subsequent years and well worth the 15 each that I paid for them and the time taken to modify them.

Regards, Steve
Tooling & Machines / Re: A square rotary table
« Last post by springcrocus on Today at 08:05:01 AM »
Thank you Frank.  :cheers: I'll post some pics in a different thread at some point. Sounds funny, but I actually don't have a good pic of the whole finished lathe (yet), because I can't back up very far in my tiny workshop to get it all in! I do have a lot of pics of the construction sequence  back when I built it, but mostly that's casting and machining the individual parts. I'll see what I can do, if there's enough interest.
Steve, there's nothing like a good story and I'm sure everyone here would love to follow your project. Because it's a bit different, we will all pick up some hints and tips along the way. If you start a thread, I'm in.  :popcorn:
Regards, Steve
Tooling & Machines / Re: Pros and Cons of home shop CNC
« Last post by Jasonb on Today at 07:52:13 AM »
Agree that the CAD CAM part of it can be done at any time you have spare such as that odd half hour when you don't fancy going out to a cold workshop, while half watching something on TV, etc.

The job can also be left "set up" on the computer so you can come back and do a bit at any time then once the code has been spat out by the post processor it's just a case of mounting the work and pressing Go. You can always break the paths into shorted run times if you don't want to leave the CNC running for a long time and then just come back to that and run the next bit(s)
Chatterbox / Re: Prescription Safety Glasses,,, who do you go to?
« Last post by Jo on Today at 07:16:13 AM »
Side shields is the name we use for the wider bit of normally plastic that mounts onto the temples to stop bits sneaking round the sides of the lenses into the eyes.

Your Own Design / Re: 1/4 scale Porsche 917 180 degree V12 Build
« Last post by Jasonb on Today at 07:15:46 AM »

 lets call it 120 grooves   1mm wide x 5mm deep

Nicole thin bits      .043 wide by .236 depth of cut.   Best price so far is $21 EACH.      ( I have a holder for them.)   I'll keep looking, but Bubba! (Steve Huck )   if you know a cheaper place to buy...let me know.

If you go with their Grooving & Cutoff inserts (neutral) rather than standard grooving you will get closer to your 1mm with their 0.039" width and an extra mm of depth capability. These are what I use most of the time in my holder for parting small parts and grooving, even parted some 200mm dia streel tube the other day with them. Never found them cheap but they are good.
Hello McGyver

You have an industrial sized machine, I have a 1/2hp 150kg "bench top" machine that also does horizontal milling ;)

Unless there are other parameters I have not yet accounted for, at the moment 1mm DOC with a 1/2inch wide straight tooth cutter was the best I could manage. That might be because the cutter is damaged, mind you. I might try again with a brand new cutter but making mistakes gets expensive. Perhaps that is just the cost of learning.

I will say that this Hercus mill had no trouble at all slotting directly through 10mm mild steel flatbar with a 1/4inch slot mill, or using a shell mill to take a 7mm DOC at 1.5inches wide; it is just straight teeth cutters it seems to struggle with.

And yes it is a drill press vice  :facepalm: I used it because I wanted to try and clamp the work piece as close to the table as possible. I need some neato clamps like what you have.

Thank you for your time :)
Introduce Yourself / Re: Hi from Honeoye Falls USA
« Last post by Kim on Today at 05:06:33 AM »
Hi Bill, welcome to the forum!  Or at least to posting to the forum!

I look forward to seeing what your working on :)

Looks like a really nice shop you've got there!  And a beautiful little Chucky!

So, how do you pronounce Chili?  Apparently, it's not as simple as the chili in chili beans?

Your Own Design / Re: Halfa, a DOHC inline Twin
« Last post by Kim on Today at 05:01:01 AM »
I certainly understand how drilling 6 holes can take all day!  I'm not a fast worker to start with, and I usually only have a couple of hours in the shop on any given day (2-4 probably), but I have to think through what I'm doing, then start to do it, then think through it again - and frequently this involves following up on some rabbit hole like "Where will that hole be used?  Is it really in the right place to mate up with whatever going there eventually?" Then after researching that, I finish my third think-through, finish getting things set up, check it again, and then finally actually do the operation.  And after checking that it's right, I'm off to the second operation of the day!  Or I've blown my concentration budget for the day and I'm ready to go in.

I clearly understand how drilling six holes can take all day!  :embarrassed:

Tooling & Machines / Re: Pros and Cons of home shop CNC
« Last post by Mike R on Today at 04:04:26 AM »
I forgot to add another reason I got into CNC machines - at the time I was travelling ALOT for work (200+days a year) and I had more PC time than shop time so I figured a way to leverage my PC time into something beneficial to my hobby endeavors was to play with CNC - CAD and CAM so I could "in theory" pop into the shop and run a program when I was home.  It didn't quite work out that way, but I still enjoy the path CNC has taken me on.
Introduce Yourself / Re: Hi from Honeoye Falls USA
« Last post by BillB on Today at 03:25:22 AM »
honey oih (like oil without the L).  That's actually one of the easy pronunciations around here.  I still get Chili wrong.   
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