A new Vice

No, this does not mean I have found a new immoral way of spending my spare time. Mostly because A) I never seem to have any spare time and B) I cannot think of anything that takes my fancy 🙂

Instead, this is a new vice for the Bridgeport. We have the one manual mill dating back to the 1970s sitting in a corner of the workshop. It is scruffy but solid and remarkably accurate,  especially as it has a three axis DRO (Digital read Out) fitted which gives me the ability to machine very precisely.

One issue has been the machine vice, I was given it as an interim option when I purchased the Mill and I have always meant to swap it out, just never got around to it so I ordered a replacement the other day. This particular vice appears to be a reasonable copy of the well known KURT offerings and so far seems to be OK, I have checked the usual things such as does the front jaw rise when clamping, is the bed parallel to the mill table and are the jaws maintaining square when clamping something in the middle and so far it is looking very good. Next job is to make a set of high jaws for the stock work the machine is used for. I will machine them from aluminium and they will be the same width (160,0mm) and around 100,0mm high.

One issue was I could not find a set of clamps to hold the vice down so I found a lump of 30,0mm x 60,0mm EN3B (Bright Mild Steel) and worked within those dimensions for the clamps. I machined the four clamps in one length then band sawed them to a nominal 50,0mm lengths, cleaned them up and drilled a 13,0mm hole for the hold down bolts and the job was done. Well not quite as I also had to machine a key for the location key way on the underside of the vice to engage and hold it near parallel to the existing beds slots, which makes clocking in so much easier. I also had to clean the machine as it and the floor was now covered in a lot of chips.

The plastic screen has a magnetic base and is useful when I am fly cutting as it prevents chips being hurled in all directions.

Final job was to modify the two bits of ply I usually have to cover the bed and make cleaning easier when a job is completed.

All in all I am pleased with the vice and it is certainly not going anywhere plus I have a significantly larger throat opening on the new vice at 200,0mm  and I can even move the jaws to the outside which gives me close to 400,0mm albeit somewhat precariously.



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