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.




My back ground is for the most engineering, however I did have a bit of a break and ended up as Technical manager for an IT security company for a while. Now I know this sounds a bit random however I have always been capable of turning my hand to IT stuff and it was a nice break from noisy manufacturing plants and press lines. At the start of the IT thing I was contracted into a customer site by IBM and I always remember a 1TB ‘Jukebox’ storage system going in. This thing was approaching the size of a ‘phone box, was a vivid purple colour, had a theoretical storage capacity of 1TB, oh and it never actually worked whilst I was there, due to some issues with the SCSi interface. Luckily it was not a project I was working on so I only had to watch from a distance as people ran around panicking.

Fast forward many years. We run four primary machines here and they need to be backed up a lot as to loose the accounts and VAT data, or the CAD drawings or RFD register would be a nightmare. We use a variety of systems to backup our data and it was about time we invested in a new file server and here it is:

OK, so it is not exactly flashing lights and humming fans however it is very effective and notably it has a 4TB storage capacity. What you are looking at is the whole thing. In fact it is longer has the cables attached other than power as it sits in a corner and is connected to remotely. The thing you are looking at is the hard drive, a piggy back board and a tiny little single board computer running a variant of Debian Linux. Total cost was around £30.00 for the computer which is a Raspberry Pi3 B+ the expansion board was about the same and the hard drive itself was left over from a project of ours and probably cost around £75.00 so there it is, a standalone secondary file and backup server for less than £150.00 The back up process is automated in that every time a machine is shut down a script runs that throw new or changed files across before the workstation is turns off. In simple terms just choose shut down and the rest is done automatically.

I must admit to having enjoyed this project as it has  been a while since I played with a Linux system and I was impressed how quickly the command came back to me. Next job is to harden it off which I am in the middle of right now.

Rear Bag Riders for the Tikka T3 TacA1

We have just finished a run of these in standard and lightweight options.

As ever the plate is 6082 vapour honed black anodised aluminium and this one has the ‘competition’ carbon fibre tube so overall weight is under 150 grams, whereas the standard is closer to 200 grams.


Do bear in mind the carbon tube is not as robust as the standard aluminium tubed version, having said that they seem to stand up to a lot of abuse, I just would not jump up and down on one of them!

We also build the RBR for all Accuracy International models including the competition special at 99 grams. Also covered are the Sako TRG 21/22 & 41/42 models plus a variety of standard T3 models.

Also, due back from the anodisers very shortly are rear bag rider brackets for the GRS range of rifle stocks in both standard and light weight versions which look really good when fitted to a GRS stocked rifle.

Bell Target in Lincolnshire

Firstly, a brief mention of the Lincolnshire Bell target league, right now the league has half a dozen active teams with more being organised as I write this.

Bell target, if you have not come across it before, is a .177 target air rifle discipline, shot at 6 yards off hand (Standing)  The goal is to put a .177 pellet through the 3/8″ hole right in the middle of the steel target, this scores you 5.1 points. After this the score drops into the 5 ring, then 3 and 2, there is no 1 ring. Maximum theoretical score is 25.5 with 5 shots being taken. Rifles are strictly open sighted and about the only optics you can use are your prescription glasses. It is also worth wearing some safety glasses as the pellets have be known to ricochet back.

I have been shooting Bell target for the Nags Head in Middle Rasen for the Winter league and have thoroughly enjoyed it to the degree that we have a ‘Proper’ Bell target coming this week, so if you fancy giving it a go it will be permanently set up in the workshop.

The Lincolnshire league website can be found here:





Tikka T3x TAC A1 Tactical rear bag riders

We have another run of Tikka T3x TAC A1 Tactical rear bag riders due back from anodising within the next couple of days or so and it seemed like a good time to mention it now.

These are machined from 6082 Aluminium with a satin black anodised finish on the plate and a 6082T6 18,5mm polished Aluminium tube attached to the plate with an A4 stainless screw. Why a polished tube? Well it always seems to track better in my opinion which is why I take additional time to polish it instead of anodising.

Weights are <160.0 grams for the standard with 130.0 and 100.0 gram options if your rifle is on a serious diet. The 100.0 gram option includes a carbon fibre tube with polished end cap and boss as we do with our Accuracy International version.

Before you ask, yes we do ship to the USA as well as the majority of the rest of the world, There are a few obvious exceptions 🙂

I will add a picture when they are back from anodising.

You can find them in our e-commerce shop here:


Yes, I know the picture is out of date and I will update it shortly and finally, yes these will fit the standard T3 as well and we also do a TRG 21/22 41/42 version for you Sako owners.