Kurt D-50 vise grinding and restoration ?

Capt. Thomas

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Hi all, first post on the forum and my first tragedy trying to build my man cave work shop. So I have a new PM-727v and need a vise. 6" is too big, 4" may not be enough. So I decide on a 5" Kurt. Since these were discontinued 6-8 years ago, they are getting hard to find in decent shape but decided to wait till I found a good one. It finally came along (been waiting 6 mo. to find a good one, man is it painful to look at a brand new mill for that long and not be able to use it!) and at a fair price so I bought it.

Now the tragedy, the auction company I bought it from had a new person working in their shipping room and they put three wraps of foam and a handful of paper around it and tossed it in a flimsy & too big box. I am located and Guam and they shipped it USPS priority mail. By the time it got here, it looks like the American Tourister Gorilla basketball team all had a bounce with it. I think it's repairable but will need grinding and a little dinging / metal displacement to clean it up (dented corners mainly) and a bit of rust on the bottom of the bed.

So I will tear it down and clean it up and ship it properly (this time) for grinding and repair but I have no idea who does this or is recommended to do it? Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Capt. Thomas
 

matthewsx

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

If you're planning on having it worked on I would try to get a local shop to work on it for you. You could easily end up having something not usable with too much money invested. Hopefully the seller paid insurance on it and you can recoup the cost of any repairs.

Do you have a surface plate and indicators to check it out? If not then ordering a new unit from a reputable supplier might be your best course of action. Also look into hold down kits since many things won't work in a vise anyway.

I can't imagine waiting 6 months to use a new tool, hopefully it won't be that long again before you're making chips.

Cheers,

John
 

chips&more

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Hi and welcome. You did not say what part you wanted to grind. In general, IMHO, that sounds like a bad idea. A Kurt vise is pretty robust. Even after poor shipping and nicks and such, I don’t see it needing that kind of restore. A careful stoning yes. If you are thinking of making it pretty again, that could be history, sorry. Many ground surfaces on that vise are reference and cannot, should not be altered. The factory does the best job. Trying to find someone with all the jigs, fixtures and grinders to properly grind like the factory is IMHO not gonna happen. Good Luck…Dave
 

Capt. Thomas

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John & chips, Well I am located in Guam USA and I don't know that there is a local shop that could be trusted to do this here locally (I doubt it).
The dings have displaced the metal on the corners and the jaw plates won't sit flush. I will post some photos to night. Not worried about pretty just accurate :) Which is the whole point of waiting so long for a nice Kurt. So if you have a decent high dollar vise with a ding in the base, a bit of wear on the ways / a scratch or some rust on the base and it doesn't sit level..... what do you do, junk it?

I could draw file or try to ding the displaced corners back and stone but that seems a little bit of a hack job to me? But if that what we should I can try it. I have seen in the past rebuilt / rebuilding services for Kurt vises but never paid too much attention since I was willing to pay a little more for a nice vise to start with?

Thanks

Capt. Thomas
 

matthewsx

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Yes, post some pictures, I'm not a vise expert but I'm sure we have them on here.

Likely if it doesn't sit flat you just have a very expensive holding fixture for hand work. Many people do fine work without expensive vises, I'm sure you can too.

JOhn
 

Joeman77

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Welcome aboard!
Sounds like you've got your first project! Any reason you can't clamp that rascal to the table and do the job on your mill? It might not be easy to figure out how to hold it but, once you get one smooth, true surface you're halfway home. It's cast iron, machines like butter. Except the jaws & those are replaceable. Just take your time, think it out & you can whip this thing back into shape!

Good luck, Joe
 

Capt. Thomas

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Welcome aboard!
Sounds like you've got your first project! Any reason you can't clamp that rascal to the table and do the job on your mill? It might not be easy to figure out how to hold it but, once you get one smooth, true surface you're halfway home. It's cast iron, machines like butter. Except the jaws & those are replaceable. Just take your time, think it out & you can whip this thing back into shape!

Good luck, Joe

Thanks Joe but that's the problem (I think), every corner is dinged / displaced and short if just filing back to real close then trying to stone it, I don't think I have a true surface to start with? The base may (stress may) be close enough but that doesn't help me much with the fixed and moveable jaws. The jaws are dinged so bad on the corners that I can even bolt in the replaceable jaws. You can see the dings, displaced material and the spotting on the bed. The base looks about the same a the bed ways. Here are some photos:
 

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Capt. Thomas

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One other quick question, how tight is the key for the fixed jaw supposed to be? After I got it torn down and cleaned up, the key slides in and out with the fixed jaw torqued down? That can't be right can it? I'm thinking a very precision interference fit, or am I way off?

Thanks,

Capt. Thomas
 

matthewsx

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I'm going out on a limb here and say that doesn't all look like shipping damage to me.

What measuring tools do you have? Do you have access to a surface plate and tenth's indicator with a stand?

You could do like joeman77 says and take it as your first project but I suspect it will be nothing but frustration. We have all bought things that seemed like a good deal at the time but ended up being a bad idea, it's just part of the learning experience. If I were in your place I would first contact the seller and file a complaint, don't know how you bought it but if by eBay they have a fairly decent system for dealing with problems. The end result will probably be a partial refund on your purchase but maybe you won't get anything. Often credit card companies will help out in these situations but I can't really say if this will be the case for you.

Either way I would order a new vise from a reputable vendor. Shars has some pretty good deals going on now and that will get you making chips instead of trying to fix something where you don't have the experience to make it right. Maybe after a few years you can pull this one out from under the bench and make it better than new but from what I see you're unlikely to achieve what you said you wanted "a decent high dollar vise".

I'm pretty sure a 4" vise will work for most projects you're likely to do and you can always upgrade later when you find you need it. Check this one out:


I don't know what shipping will be to your location but I'm confident they will package it correctly. The sooner you start making chips the sooner you'll be past this unfortunate episode....

Cheers,

John
 

Flyinfool

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I agree with John. Most of that damage looks like it was done before shipping and before you bought it. Those dings have the same patena as everything else. A fresh dent would be a shiny spot. eBay, PayPal, and credit cards are pretty good at being on your side when it comes to an item not being as described. Look again close at the pics from the auction, are you sure that you received the same vice that was in the pictures? Now that you know what the damage is, can you spot any of the damage in the auction pics.

It is hard to tell from the pics for sure but it looks like those dings should all be able to be stoned out and you will have a perfectly functional vice when you are done. maybe not as pretty as you would have liked, but just as functional as it can be. Just be very careful while doing the stoning, you do not want to stone the whole surface to change any dimensions, you are just looking to knock down the high spots around the ding, the ding will still be there and visible. The only place you should see shiny spots from the stoning is immediately around each ding.
 

Capt. Thomas

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I'm going out on a limb here and say that doesn't all look like shipping damage to me.

What measuring tools do you have? Do you have access to a surface plate and tenth's indicator with a stand?

You could do like joeman77 says and take it as your first project but I suspect it will be nothing but frustration. We have all bought things that seemed like a good deal at the time but ended up being a bad idea, it's just part of the learning experience. If I were in your place I would first contact the seller and file a complaint, don't know how you bought it but if by eBay they have a fairly decent system for dealing with problems. The end result will probably be a partial refund on your purchase but maybe you won't get anything. Often credit card companies will help out in these situations but I can't really say if this will be the case for you.

Either way I would order a new vise from a reputable vendor. Shars has some pretty good deals going on now and that will get you making chips instead of trying to fix something where you don't have the experience to make it right. Maybe after a few years you can pull this one out from under the bench and make it better than new but from what I see you're unlikely to achieve what you said you wanted "a decent high dollar vise".

I'm pretty sure a 4" vise will work for most projects you're likely to do and you can always upgrade later when you find you need it. Check this one out:


I don't know what shipping will be to your location but I'm confident they will package it correctly. The sooner you start making chips the sooner you'll be past this unfortunate episode....

Cheers,

John

Thank you John, you may very well be right. I'm still going to explore for someone with a surface grinder that has done vise work but I am looking at this vise from Shars due to the wider opening capacity :
https://www.shars.com/products/workholding/vise/4-440v-cnc-milling-machine-vise-0-0004-1

In the mean time I may just draw file and stone it to see If I can even get it even close to useable. I don't think I can damage it worse than where it is now :)

Capt. Thomas
 

Joe in Oz

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I think you've been had....that all looks like old damage from poor workshop practice.- not shipping.
I'm with the others here. Don't even think of grinding! Stone it flat and start using it. The loose key can be held still with locktite one ONE side only (base or jaw, NOT both). Stone everything and assemble. Don't fit the key or torque the fixed jaw down until you can clamp a parallel in the vice to align key and jaw on the face of the key which will always take the load.
If you want pretty, then polish all the bits that should be shiney and repaint the rest.
 

Capt. Thomas

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Well I left out a lot of the purchase details and all the fighting I have been through on this because it doesn't fix my vise or lack of issue. But since it has come up. Yes it's the vise I bid on and matches the serial # in their photos, no not from Ebay but a private auction company. It arrived in a totally shredded box and the fixed jaw was hanging out of a huge hole, the handle & swivel base was missing (out of said hole or the other big tear on the opposite side of the box). The photos were clear and close ups, it was not damaged like this before they shipped it, sure a spot here and a scratch their but it was a decent vise before they shipped it. By the way the patina has happened during the 4 months I have been fighting this (30 days with the auction house vs. USPS, 30 or so with me vs. the auction house, 30 more with the Visa dispute and a month of me just being too disgusted to mess with it). I was told not to touch it in the event this went to court. It was pretty clean when it arrived but rust happens over night here in Guam :-( The dings, actually the whole vise was VERY shiny on arrival.

I went back and forth with the auctioneer and the post office. The auctioneer blamed the USPS, USPS took photos of the box, opened it and photo'd their inadequate / improper packaging before I even left the counter. The Postmaster flat out told me on the spot they could file but that their insurance was void for the improper packing and putting that heavy item in a 20lb. rated box (stamped on the bottom for rated shipping weight) with a couple wraps of shrink and a hand full of news paper. The Auction house told me they would file and refund me when they got refunded which never happened because they were in fact denied. Of course I sent photos to them and was at first told by their shipping Mgr. that they had a new guy blah blah and he would "talk to the boss". The "boss" said it was USPS end of story / sorry. Then I filed with Visa and ended up with a full refund minus a missing handle and swivel base.

So, as Paul Harvey used to say "now you know...... the rest of the story"! Yea I have a free vise that's pretty beat up and figured I'd spend the refund to fix it and buy a handle. So as I mentioned above, I guess I'll ding back in, file and stone it best I can so I can have my "vice of shame" and buy that Tegara 440v from Shar's

Capt. Thomas
 

chips&more

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Thank you for the pics. A little nicked up but not scrap metal, yet. Will it look pretty again, sorry, but no. Will it work as a vise again? If given the proper attention…YES. Use finesse, I can’t say that enough! Any old file and any old stone are not your best choices. To do this fix correctly, could maybe be classified as an art. Maybe first try one small inconspicuous area/nick with what file(s) and stone(s) you have on hand?
 
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Capt. Thomas

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Roger that, I have matched sets of precision bench stones from roughing to platen grade and some of the best Grobet & Vallorbe aircraft / gunsmith files.

Capt. Thomas
 
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