Quick T-slot clamping of drill press vise
I have a large floor drill press and vertical bandsaw with T-slotted tables.
I often use Heinrich vises and would like to find a clamp or another hold down device that would allow quick locking and unlocking. Position the vise, lock it down to the table, drill a hole, unlock, move the vise, repeat.
Are you aware of any T-slot based quick clamps? Maybe something like the HF Half-Vise-Grip look alike? Anything else? Something quicker than the regular milling machine strap clamps, yet with a good reach since the vise can be quite far from the nearest T-slot.
Kopal Mono-bloc clamps - they are awesome. Pricey, but awesome.
Mono-Bloc Clamps , Kopal clamps, Mitee-Bite products
At $500 a pop they're better be good, made of gold and come with a dedicated clampman.
Originally Posted by MichaelP
In fact I use the "HF Half-Vise-Grip look alike" clamps as you mention on my Rockwell 20" DP. I made some T-nuts to match the slots in the DP table and to take the M12 studs on the clamps. I also made some standoffs out of (IIRC) 1-1/4"DIA X 1"L 1018 steel. Simply a 1" long cylinder with a 1/2" hole down the center. It was either that or shorten the studs.
With the above setup it works well for clamping thin stuff and thick stuff to the DP table. I find it works well up to 1/2" diameter drill bits in all sorts of materials. I have even used up to a 2" DIA hole saw in aluminum sheet without the work breaking loose of the clamps. However... for bigger bits and work I still clamp the vise with proper studs at the clamping ears. Even though one can clamp down quite hard with the HF clamps they are still "springy." ALLWAYS use at least two of them at the same time.
The best system I have seen is the Lassy Tools Slide-Lox safety vises. They will set you back about $300+ depending on size.
Lassy Tools-Products-SLIDE-LOX SLIDING X/Y SAFETY VISES
A close second to the Lassy vises are the Heinrich safety drill vises:
Heinrich Company - Safety Drill Vise - Racine, Wisconsin
I think there is another manufacturer of the type of vise that Heinrich sells but I can't remember the name at the moment.
You could make a steel block with a T stud below it to go into your slots and mount one of these (in the link below) on top of the block you made. At this price you could make a dozen clamps for next to nothing. Does It also suggest to you that the clamping force is 500 Lbs?
Maybe 500 Lb is just a code ? The toggle action would both bear down on and hold your workpiece AND lock the T stud in the table slot at the same.
YOU GET 2 500 Lb. VERTICAL Toggle Clamp: eBay Motors (item 190401593746 end time Jun-30-10 18:08:42 PDT)
Here is what I use. They are the fastest I have found and I've been looking for 40 years. The push button release nuts allow you to push or pull them into position before turning them tight. The larger one is shop made from plate and hardened. It has a range from 0 to 5". The smaller one is forged and has a range of 0 to 3 1/2". Several different size vises see duty on the drill press but these clamps are quick enough and versatile enough that I omit use of a vise quite often. You can, of course, extend the range with risers and longer bolts but that is a pretty rare need for me. Sometimes I have to slip a parallel, or something, under the base of a clamp when it wants to position over air. They do not work for everything but they do work more than 90% of the time for my work.
The vises cited in David's post tie your vise to the column or a bracket off the edge of the table. I built one from magazine plans years ago. It was sufficient for most vise work but, for me, it got in the way too often and became a problem instead of a solution.
I've also used the cam-over toggle action clamps that davycrocket cites. They are fast for repeat set-ups where you do not have to reposition or change the clamping range. Otherwise they eat time.
We have been using ScanGrip No 13 for 20+ years, they are a good quality clamp and not too expensive. You can get riser blocks (never used them), but they have a pretty large capacity anyway (60mm).
SCANGRIP No 13 » ScanGrip
Ditto to Peter S (hi Peter) on Scangrip, been using them for similar period with similar results.
They certainly make a better clamp than they do a web page - using Firefox or OE (from here in NZ - might make a diff?), I get a price of USD0.00 for that item you linked to...
Which would be great except there's no place to click on to "Buy" it before proceeding to checkout....
Probably talkin out my a$$,oh well...........Everything above is using too much table space,and all still require some physical effort.We simply use a 5/8 SC through a thick homeboy washer into Tee nut,backed w/spacer to match vise base.It takes a 1/4 turn or so on wrench which stays in place.Theres usually two of these setups per tee slot,so theres plenty availible.We are using fairly heavy vise,air/hyd. though.
Reckon we could go with some fashion of pnuematic vise holdown(lookin for pure speed),but they still eat up table space.BW