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Just To Say Hello From Canada And Also To Ask A Quick Question

Ken from ontario

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#1
Hi all, just joined this site , worked in metal fabrication field for 35 years,mainly welding /fitting/fabricating parts , did some basic machining but I'm not a machinist .

bought myself a mini milling machine a couple of days ago, LMS 3960( Canadian Busy Bee equivalent).
It c/w a brushless motor,very excited to start using it making whatever ,don't have a specific project at the moment.
My question today is, I'm looking to buy a parallel set for my 3" milling vise(inexpensive /imports ), all I find is the 6" long sets, I am wondering if I should settle for a 6" st instead of searching for a 3" or even a 4" .

Is a 6" going to interfere with clamping or machining if used in a smaller vise?
Could I just cut them to the size I want?
What's your opinion, please share your thoughts.
Thanks very much.
Ken.
 

David S

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#2
Welcome to this great site Ken.

I have a small milling vise 2 1/2", I have one set of 3" long parallels and a much larger 6" set. I ended up cutting some of the 6" ones in half with a cut off wheel.

David
 

higgite

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#3
I got a set of 4" thin parallels from Tormach for $29.95 + shipping, wooden storage box included. LMS has some 3" and 4" sets as well.

Tom
 

brino

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#4
Hi Ken welcome to the site!

I had to look up Selwyn, but Lakefield comes up in google maps.
Is it the same place? (Just North of Peterborough.)

I grew up in the Belleville area and still have family there.
My brother went to Trent University.

-brino

EDIT: never mind I found it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selwyn,_Ontario

Selwyn is a township in central-eastern Ontario, Canada, located in Peterborough County. Formerly known as Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, the township passed a by-law changing its name to Selwyn in 2012.[2] The change became official on January 15, 2013.
 

Cobra

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#5
Hi Ken.
I had a great little 3 inch vise from LMS when I first started.
Used 6 inch parallels from the get go. On the occasions that they were in the way of other clamping, just slid them out the other side.
They are actually a great help squaring the vise. Clamp one in the vise and use that for your indicator surface and you have twice the distance to square up.
Jim
 

f350ca

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#6
Welcome Ken, HSS blanks make excellent parallels. The chinese ones from Busy Bee are cheap and can be used for you guessed it a cutter in a pinch.

Greg
 

Ken from ontario

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Hi again,I'm sorry I didn't get back to you all sooner, just came back home from my shop, I spent the last 3 hours cleaning my mill , removing the oily stuff (I think it's called Cosmoline?) from the CI surfaces, I still smell like Kerosene lol.
Thank you all for your replied and your warm welcome, as far as the 6" parallels vs 3", it sound like most of you see it not being a big issue, I kind of like the idea of getting the 6" and cutting the ones I use the most in half.
I like Jim's idea of using the long ones for squaring up the vise.
Brino, you are right, this whole area north of PTBO used to be called Smith,Ennismore, Lakefield, changing to the new postal code wasn't fun .I just edited my loction to Peterborough.
Thank you all for your help and your comments,I will order a set of 6" from Amazon tonight.
 
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Ken from ontario

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#8
Welcome Ken, HSS blanks make excellent parallels. The chinese ones from Busy Bee are cheap and can be used for you guessed it a cutter in a pinch.

Greg
I wish I knew this before,I was there two days ago, the blanks are only $8.99. ,thanks all the same though,I never would have thought of using Hss blanks.
 

bfd

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#9
make sure you measure your hss blanks if you use them for parallels they are not always the same size but if you find a matched set they do make excellent parallels at one time enco had a 4" vise that should fit your machine if its still avail. bill
 

Ken from ontario

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Thanks Bill, We don't have Enco up here ,I have seen their flyers a few time and some of their stuff is really inexpensive when on sale,the only similar type stores we have is called PA(Princess Auto) which is more like your Harbor Freight.
 

Cobra

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#11
Ken, you might also want to try Busy Bee or KBC here in Canada.
KBC certainly has a higher grade of tools than either Busy Bee or Princess Auto.
 

Ken from ontario

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#12
Thanks Jim, KBC is alright, they do have some different stuff ,I do check them out every once in awhile but never bought anything from them yet,I'm sure that will change soon though;)
A member from another site suggested to cut my own parallels by purchasing a 3 foot bar of machined /tooling stock, it is a neat idea since I could get different thicknesses like 1/4" and 3/8" and cut them all to the length I need , the problem is there isn't many machine shops around who sells the machined flat bars.
 

Cobra

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#13
Ken you can get flat stock to cut up through KBC but none of the ground flat stock you buy from them or others like McMasterCarr will be of the same accuracy as an actual set of parallels. Because the parallels are the base for a lot of your work I would look at one of the suppliers like CDCO or LMS to buy a set of 1/8" X 6".
 

Cobra

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#15
Looks good. You'll be happier with them than ground stock.
Have fun with them.
 

Charles Spencer

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#16
I have those. They're alright by me. And I agree with Jim: You'll be happier with them than ground stock.
 

Ken from ontario

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#17
Thanks guys,Today for the first time I wished I had the parallels already,I was setting up my vise on the mill and needed a straight bar in the vise to verify if it was square to the table (like jim had mentioned),I ended up using a try square, not that it mattered that much , I was just playing with the new toy:D
 

Ken from ontario

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#19
Jim ,The link doesn't seem to work, it does take me to site but I don't know where to click to see the video:confused 3:.
Anyhow I was going to use a test indicator against the 6" parallel and move the X table left to right(or R to L), tap the vise (held with one screw slightly loose so it can pivot) until I see no discernible movement with the dial. how does that sound?
Thanks BTW for the link/help.
 

Cobra

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#20
That is exactly the process that Tom shows.
His site is actually very good for instructional videos.
The vise video is in the Milling area.
 

TakeDeadAim

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#21
Welcome to the forums, if you find the length of the 6" in the way you can always cut them in half. I have cut some with carbide tooling and some cutting fluid, (rapid tap) not the easiest on the tools but I would imagine withe that small vise you only need the thinner sizes.
 

David S

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#22
Speaking of traming the milling vise. I frequently have to remove my vise from the table. For most of my work I mount the vise side ways so I can better view what I am doing. I mounted a couple of alignment pins on the bottom of the vise. The one on the right is an eccentric which allows me to provide the adjustment. Now we drop the vise in the t slot, push to the back of the slot to align and tighten down bolts

milling vise.jpg vise alignment pins.jpg
 

Ken from ontario

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#23
Jim, I keep getting an error message ,probably I need to login first.
TA, Thanks ,I have a Portaband to cut them in half, hope it works otherwise I'll just leave them 6" until I find a better cutting tool.
David,that's a clever set up, I'm sure it doesn't take you long to square it up.