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Used mill vise purchase

drummerdimitri

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Beirut, Lebanon
I'm looking to buy a vise for a used milling machine that I am purchasing soon.

All the new options locally are made in China and shipping one from abroad wouldn't make financial sense as they weigh 32 kg or more so the only viable option is to buy used.

That being said, I found a Demanders (Swedish made) vise with a 200 mm jaw length that looks very similar to the one below. The seller is asking 500 $ for it and it looks to be in a good condition without any visible signs of damage.

I also saw one that has removable pins at the bottom that looks exactly like the vise in the other picture. Looks to be a Rohm unit and It has a smaller jaw but the opening is quite a bit bigger.

It has some rust on it but also looks to be in good condition. I have a pulsed laser cleaner so removing rust and oil will be an easy job to restore it to almost new condition.

Which of these would be better suited for a conventional milling machine? I have no experience with any of them and would like to hear your ADvise (pun intended) on the matter.
 

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Shit I forgot, I have 3 Kurt DX6's I bought 4 years ago, and only used for a year, then switched to Orange double vises.
I got them on the low low for $500 each, I should probably sell them, they're like new.
 
The vice in your right hand picture is a so called "modular vice", a type that has become popular for CNC work.

If it is a Rohm its likely to be a MSR type which was Rohms second attempt at a Gerardi clone. The first attempt was bit too close to the real Gerardi in using a ball forced down into depressions in the base to locate the force screw holder so Gerardi legal department had words with Rohm so it was taken off the market. Rohm switched to using a cross pin to locate the force screw holder introducing a superficial similarity to some breeds of the Precision Vices often used for toolmaking and grinding. These Precision Vices are characterised by being accurately ground all over with an angled pull screw working through or against the pin to tighten the moving jaw. Precision Vices are unsuitable for general purpose milling work as the moving jaw travel is very short and re-setting to accommodate different size job is a bit of a knack. Especially on those that don't have a visible pin, which are most common.

Typically modular vices have a relatively short travel on the moving jaw, often around a inch and a half or so, necessitating frequent changing of the force screw carrier position if widely varying sizes of work are being handled. Which many folk consider a major inconvenience. I think less of an issue with the pin location type in your pictureI think than with the true Gerardi clone which needs an allen key to release the screws holding the location ball down. Flip side is that the modular style vice has a rather wider jaw opening than a conventional style on the same length base. Modular style vices invariably have pull down jaws with the back face at an angle which are claimed to largely eliminate work and jaw lift issues when tightening up so it's rarely necessary to beat the job down. I've no idea how valid this idea is in practice but jaw and work lift is pretty much inevitable on a conventional vice having some wear.

Assuming both samples are in decent condition the choice will largely depend on whether you prefer a smaller opening with the ability to move through the full travel by simply winding a screw or can accept regular adjustment of the force screw carrier position in exchange for a wider opening. I imagine that most folk quickly get used to what they have and learn the most effective ways of using it.

Clive
 
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The vice in your high hand picture is a so called "modular vice", a type that has become popular for CNC work.

If it is a Rohm its likely to be a MSR type which was Rohms second attempt at a Gerardi clone. The first attempt was bit too close to the real Gerardi in using a ball forced down into depressions in the base to locate the force screw holder so Gerardi legal department had words with Rohm so it was taken off the market. Rohm switched to using a cross pin to locate the force screw holder introducing a superficial similarity to some breeds of the Precision Vices often used for toolmaking and grinding. These Precision Vices are characterised by being accurately ground all over with an angled pull screw working through or against the pin to tighten the moving jaw. Precision Vices are unsuitable for general purpose milling work as the moving jaw travel is very short and re-setting to accommodate different size job is a bit of a knack. Especially on those that don't have a visible pin, which are most common.

Typically modular vices have a relatively short travel on the moving jaw, often around a inch and a half or so, necessitating frequent changing of the force screw carrier position if widely varying sizes of work are being handled. Which many folk consider a major inconvenience. I think less of an issue with the pin location type in your pictureI think than with the true Gerardi clone which needs an allen key to release the screws holding the location ball down. Flip side is that the modular style vice has a rather wider jaw opening than a conventional style on the same length base. Modular style vices invariably have pull down jaws with the back face at an angle which are claimed to largely eliminate work and jaw lift issues when tightening up so it's rarely necessary to beat the job down. I've no idea how valid this idea is in practice but jaw and work lift is pretty much inevitable on a conventional vice having some wear.

Assuming both samples are in decent condition the choice will largely depend on whether you prefer a smaller opening with the ability to move through the full travel by simply winding a screw or can accept regular adjustment of the force screw carrier position in exchange for a wider opening. I imagine that most folk quickly get used to what they have and learn the most effective ways of using it.

Clive
What he said...
 
Wouldnt a typical milling vice have a swivel base.?............IMHO ,all the ones shown are for CNC ,and somewhat unsuitable for use on a manual milling machine.
 
Wouldnt a typical milling vice have a swivel base.?............IMHO ,all the ones shown are for CNC ,and somewhat unsuitable for use on a manual milling machine.
Aah.

Swivel base.

The great vice divide.

Some folks dislike the waste of Z axis travel due to the thickness of the base. Its also often claimed the extra joints reduce rigidity. Others love them because it makes setting the vice dead parallel to the table so much easier without resorting to keys on the vice base. Which depend on being pretty tight in the milling machine table slots to be effective, often making removal a bit of a battle.

I'm a swivel guy.

Simply pulling the vice back whist tightening up so the table Tee slots and vice lug slots are both hard against the studs gets mine parallel to around a thou per inch, perhaps a bit better pin a good day, which may well do for rough work. Couple of minutes swivel tweaking with a gauge gets reliable tenth over the full 4 inches of jaw width on my usual vices. Again maybe better on a good day. Which is usually good enough.

I like my Vertex VJ400 4 inch jaw vices which are good fit for my Bridgeport and my usual work. Unusual beasts as they are basically a cheaper version of hydraulic vices with a screw rather than the hydraulic device. Nut is held by a pin with choice of three holes so the opening can be much larger than a normal 4" vice, just over 7 inches at maximum. Suffers a bit from jaw lift at full stretch but I don't often use the really wide open position so it's an acceptable trade off for not having to switch to my big Abwood for larger jobs. The Abwood is heavy brute.

Have to disagree with john.k about swivel bases being the norm pre-CNC days. A goodly proportion of milling vices, possibly the majority of large ones, were supplied without swivel bases which would often be listed as an accessory. Indeed many, like my big Abwood, had no swivel base accessory listed anyway. That Abwood was supplied ready machined with locating key slots, pretty much positive proof that it was never intended for swivel base fitment.

Clive
 
I'm looking to buy a vise for a used milling machine that I am purchasing soon.

All the new options locally are made in China and shipping one from abroad wouldn't make financial sense as they weigh 32 kg or more so the only viable option is to buy used.

That being said, I found a Demanders (Swedish made) vise with a 200 mm jaw length that looks very similar to the one below. The seller is asking 500 $ for it and it looks to be in a good condition without any visible signs of damage.

I also saw one that has removable pins at the bottom that looks exactly like the vise in the other picture. Looks to be a Rohm unit and It has a smaller jaw but the opening is quite a bit bigger.

It has some rust on it but also looks to be in good condition. I have a pulsed laser cleaner so removing rust and oil will be an easy job to restore it to almost new condition.

Which of these would be better suited for a conventional milling machine? I have no experience with any of them and would like to hear your ADvise (pun intended) on the matter.
Kurts' are almost standard.
But, to me they are pretty junky.
I make my own soft-jaws for mine.
It all depends upon what work you are doing.
You show a vice, and a tool-makers vice.
Either could do, but who made them?
They'd both be fine for my drill-press.
 
I run multiple modular vices a Gerardi and Chinese clones. The clones are better in my opinion. The Gerardi has been allocated to the Bridgeport which is mostly used as a precision drill press now. All have the same problem in that the back jaw moves when you tighten the vice so the back jaw cannot be used as an accurate datum. The cross pin in the modular vice shown is preferable to the system using the ball as the holes fill with chips. I find the pin is quick and easy to use but I've been using grinding vices for over 40 years.
 








 
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