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Help wanted solving a mill bed problem

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Suzuki4evr

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#1
I have a little problem wich I have to solve so I have to determine what causes the problem so I hope someone can help. Lately I discovered that when ever I want to mill something on my mill/drill to get two sides parallel to each other,something goes wrong and it ends up slightly taper(ish).
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I would mill one side flat,turn the stock around and put the flat side on the bottom and my head tells that if I run the mill over the other side,then the two sides SHOULD be the same, but they are not. I usually work metric,but I will give the sizes imperial so you don't have to do the convertions. The sides are off by about 0.013 inches over a distance of 4.724inches. It's not much it won't work for me. I doubt that there is something wrong on the vice,because it is brand new.

It is as if the bed runs down to one side. Could this be a gib problem or something bigger. I guess I can run a dial indicator down the length of the bed to check if the bed is worn down to one side . Any other ideas would be appreciated FIX the problem
 

Billh50

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#2
Is it the bed or the bottom of the vise? I would check the vise first. Remove the vise and check the table. with an indicator while moving. Also, if you have a surface plate, check the vise. The problem may be the vise. Just because a vise is new doesn't mean it is perfect. The bottom may have been hit and raised some material causing the vice not to sit flat. Or maybe the vice is not flat to begin with. Check everything.
 

magicniner

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#3
Check your tram with an indicator on the bare table, if that's good then it's your vice and you can check it knowing your table is good.
 

Billh50

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#4
Sorry, I gave some bad info. Don't bother moving the table as the spindle to table distance will not move at the same spot the indicator is. Also tramming the table will not tell you if you your table ways are not parallel with the table top. If you are out of tram you will just get a concave surface not a taper from end to end. That is why I would check the vice on a surface plate first.
If the vise checks good then there is something off on the machine itself. It could possibly be the ways are not square with each other on the knee.
 

rock_breaker

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#5
If you turned the work piece end for end then put your machined side down on the vise wouldn't that give you a parallelogram of sorts even if your machine is out of tram? The movable jaw on my vise moves upward when tightened so I have to tap the work piece down. I have had some luck using round stock between the moveable jaw and the work-piece. Also is the cutting tool secured really tight? I No solutions here just questions.
Have a good day
Ray
 

Dredb

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#6
Some basic checks should tell you if your machine is straight and square.
Just about all vises will hold a work piece, some do it much better than others. The problems are that the vise may not be flat or square and that the work piece may move about when you tighten it.
Hold the work piece in the vise, insert 2 parallels under, lightly tighten vise then tap down the work piece with a copper/lead/whateveryouhave/ mallet until parallels are gripped, a piece of paper under the end of each parallel makes it easy to check. Fully tighten vise, recheck paper and start cutting. Turn work piece over, deburr, replace in vise as above and cut 2nd side.
Just slapping the part in the vise and tightening the handle probably won't give you the result you're looking for.
 
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#7
Your using an all angle vise there. It has to be trammed in, you can't rely on the vernier scale on the vise. They just get you close to square and parallel. And follow what the others have said on tramming the vise in.
 

Billh50

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#8
Ken,
He is milling from the top. So it has to be a parallel to table problem. Also even if the head is not trammed to the table the sides should be parallel. Just side to side would be concave slightly. And then not real bad unless tram is way off. So either the part is not sitting flat in vise, vise bottom is not flat and parallel. Or table is actually moving in a downward slope. Which would indicate a machine problem in the ways.
 

Mitch Alsup

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#9
Take a tall parallel and clamp it in the vise--tall enough to stand clear of the jaws when tightened.
Take a dial indicator and mount it in the spindle.
Take a reading of the parallel across its length on the top and on both sides. This should <ahem> indicate where the problem lies.
 

Mitch Alsup

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#10
Take a tall parallel and clamp it in the vise--tall enough to stand above the jaws of the vise.
Take a dial indicator and mount it in the spindle.
Take a measurement of the parallel along the top and on both sides--this should <ahem> indicate where the problem lies.
 

RJSakowski

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#11
The first thing that I would do would be to check the gib adjustment as loose gibs can cause lifting of the table in extreme positions.

I would mount a dial or test indicator in the spindle and sweep the table surface in the direction parallel to the vise jaws. You should not see a significant change in the reading. If you do, it indicates that the table surface is not parallel to the ways. Assuming that you see no change in the reading, next sweep a parallel as described by Mitch. If you see a change in the reading there, the problem is in the vise.

The case of the table surface being non parallel to the ways can be cured in two ways. The first would be to resurface the table. Since the mill wouldnt be able to access the entire surface, the table would have to be removed and resurfaced externally. A second cure would be to mount an intermediate plate and mill the surface with a small diameter end mill rather than a facing tool to minimize any effect of poor tramming. This surface should be true to the ways.

A vise can be trued to an certain extent by inverting the vise with a large piece of uniform thickness stock clamped in the jaws. A 2-4-6 block is a good candidate. Seat the block firmly in the vise, tapping with a soft faced hammer and invert the assembly. clamp the block to the table with toe clamps or other suitable means. Mill the bottom surface of the vise using a smaller diameter end mill. Note that if the table surface isn't parallel to the ways, this procedure would worsen the condition so make sure that the table is true first.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#12
First of all thanks everyone who tried to help me here. GREAT FORUM:encourage:.I checked everything and Bill.........you were right. I would not have thought an new vice coul have such a runout,but here it is.
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That is 10thou. Now how do I fix that.Shims or is the must I do as RJ suggested do fix the problem forever? I think the 2nd one right? But for now shims must do just for this job. Thank you guys.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#13
Short of squaring the vice or buying a new one (bad idea I realize), soft jaws are the simplest solution, ditch the hard jaws and buy (bad idea again) some soft steel stock, drill and tap it, bolt to vice then mill in place, clamp parts in milled pocket and problem solved.

Or,
For example
https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/09215088

Had 5 of them on a 60" mill table on Dec. 31 of last year, the customer HAD to have the 110" long part on Jan. 2nd
i-G5Xzxg2.jpg
 
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Eddyde

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#14
Wreck has a point. The vise you have is not the best choice for squaring up pieces or for most common mill operations. A good quality mill vise without a swivel base will make your milling life a lot easier. The multi angle vise is only good for those times when you need to mill compound angles, the rest of the time it will just take up your Z axis and not provide as rigid hold as a regular vise will. Quality does matter in a vise.
 
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Alittlerusty

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#15
You have found the bed of the vise is out .010” of an inch but still haven’t truly and definitively found the cause until you check the machines table too. It still could be the table or the vice or both. Good luck!
 

Tim9

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#16
I’d remove the swiveling base from your vise and try that first. Mount just the top section of the vise and recheck it. You really seldom need that swivel anyway.
 

C-Bag

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#17
What Eddyde and Tim9 said, eliminate the swivel first.

Welcome to my rabbit hole :) I first ran into this with my shaper vise. The swivel wasn't flat. But also the jaws were somehow sprung, in the middle between the mounting screws!

Once you have the swivel off and the stationary jaw of the vise trammed in, the next step is not the bed, but seeing if the stationary jaw is parallel with the z axis of the quill. It's best to have a test indicator as opposed to a dial indicator for this as its easier to see. If it is, or is really close, there is a really good method I got off YouTube from This Old Tony and Oxtools.


They both have vids about the process of taking something that's not square and machining square, or really close. If the problem is not the head tram, the table gibs, the swivel etc( after checking them all) and you do have a good reading on the stationary jaw to the z axis, you basically use that jaw as your reference, not the bed of the vise. I know, it was not what I was thinking either, but it totally makes sense once you see the process. You only use one parallel up against the stationary jaw, put your work up against it and get the other jaw close and put something like a tig electrode or small drill bit between the work and the jaw. This makes it so the work is free to locate on the stationary jaw. Do the cut, then then on each new cut you use the same idea using the stationary jaw as your reference.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#18
I don't see how I can remove the swivel from the vice,because how would you clamp it down? I do have an older vice that came with my mill/drill and I do use it although it has been abused a bit by the previous owner. Sadly I don't have money for another new vice. I did buy that swivel base vice because I don't have a turret tipe milling machine. My machine's head can only swivel side to side not forward and and backward if you get what I mean. Maybe I will try to refurbish that old vice. The mainproblem is the vice bed that has a few drilling accidents on the bed. I will post a pic or two tomorrow. Maybe you guys can give me some ideas to blow new life into it.
 

Billh50

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#19
His vice is made in such a way as it can not be removed from swivel. The vice both swivels as well as angles. Look at the first pic. If it is the vice that is the problem then it can be A: the swivel base is not parallel B: the angle mount on the swivel base is higher on 1 side than the other C: the vice itself is off.
I think it would be easier to just buy a new vice. Even one of the cheaper Kurt Clones would be easier to fix if off.
 

mattthemuppet2

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#20
you've got to figure out if it's the vise or the table of the mill. If the mill table is good (and one hopes that it is), then the easy solution would be to shim up the low side of your vise by putting shims between the table and the base of the vise. Then save your pennies for a standard lock down vise.

My 2nd hand mill came with an angle vise like that. It's not bad but it eats up a lot of height and it's pretty flexy. I got an import 4", worked it over and then put the angle vise in the cabinet under the mill :)
 

Suzuki4evr

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#21
I checked the table and that seemed fine. My determination is the problem lies with the vice,but Bill buying a new one is not an option.I will try to fix the problem and ronovate or try to renovate the old vice.
 

Billh50

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#22
I would start at the swivel base. Check that and make sure it is flat and parallel. Then you can start putting it back together one piece at a time and check each piece as it is assembled.
 

C-Bag

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#23
I'll be the first to admit I didn't look closely at the vise, but it would be worth a look when you take the vise apart to check it to look at it closely. Even though there is a tilt to it, if I understand correctly, there are three pieces. The swivel, the tilt base and the tilt vise. It might still be possible to eliminate the swivel and bolt through the tilt base lock all the way to the table. Depending on if the problem is the swivel(which mine was) you might be able to eliminate some of the problem.

In order to make some new soft jaws for my shaper vise I had to use the vise without the old jaws in order to make the new jaws square/parallel. If that makes sense :)

Wreck Wreck's fix might be the quickest.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#24
Here is the older vice I want to fix up.As you can see were it has been attacked by a large drill. I think it would be better than the swivel vice for sturdiness.
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I had a look underneath the swivel this morning and I see now were most of the sturdiness went. Not a very good design I must say.
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It only rest on 2 round points basically and been clamped with 2 square plates. I can't sell it,cause I need it,but I am going to try to make it a bit sturdier with some kindof fixtures.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#25
SORRRRRY!!! my mistake,it rests on the curved aerias,otherwise how can it swivel.:laughing: wake up Michael :face slap:.
 

Billh50

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#26
As far as that other vice. You can always fill in those drilled areas with JB Weld or some other metal filled epoxy. I have a small vice on my drill press that I did that to about 5 yrs ago and it is still holding up well. It would make a much sturdier vice and give you more room in the Z axis. Definitely worth fixing and will give you time to fix the other one.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#27
I agree with you on that. Don't have much time to work on it now,I have too much work now,wich I am greatfull for.
 

Boswell

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#28
You might not even need to fill the "holes" in the vice. Just make sure there are no high spots. Here is a link to a thread about a vice with many more holes.

Repairing Destroyed Vice
 

Suzuki4evr

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#29
Thanks Boswell.
 

Tim9

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#30
Yea....I also did not realize that your vise is an angle vise plus a swivel vise. Personally, I would be very careful before you do any "permanent fix" to your mill just to make that vise properly trammed.
With a swivel and and angle...You just have too many variables in that set up. If you must use that vise...Then I agree with others who recommend shimming it to get everything trammed. Long term, I'd look for a good basic mill vise without a swivel and without the angle. As for as the vise you now have, just leave it under the bench until you need an angle vise. It's not like it won't ever come in handy.
 
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