[Newbie] Recommendations On A New Vise For Mini Mill...

MeredithJL

Registered
Registered
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
31
So I did this tonight at work. It's a 3" mill vise (imported) from LMS, it was part of one of their accessory packages that I bought when I bought my mini mill. I was snugging the handle down when I heard/felt a soft 'thunk.'

Cracked it on both sides. I've been using it for about 3 months, but not daily, and definitely not improperly. I had it positioned in the middle of the table, directly under the spindle pretty much, and I had it secured with 4 clamp set-ups.

Any recommendations on brands/models to look at, as well as ones avoid? I'm thinking I'd like to get something a little bigger and deeper, maybe a 4" or 5", or would that be too big for a mini mill bed? I'm going to have to keep the pricing below $300 if possible.

13615289_1637161406603569_2776523900242079527_n.jpg
 

mksj

Active User
H-M Supporter Gold Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
3,404
Pretty bad casting on the vise, I would look at the Shars vises, either the 440V or 550V and see what fits. If you sign up for their emails (just go to there internet site) they will send you a 10% off on your first purchase. I would say that most of Shars tools are from China, but I have been pretty pleased with the tooling I have purchased from them. I have not had to return anything because it did not meet tolerance. It isn't a Kurt vise, but it is less than 1/2 the price. Glacern makes nice vises, but just a bit too pricey these days, but it is very good quality. I would probably buy up if you go to a bigger mill at a later point.
http://www.shars.com/4-440v-cnc-milling-machine-vise-0-0004-1
http://www.shars.com/5-550v-cnc-milling-machine-vise-0-0004-1
https://www.glacern.com/gsv_440

The point of this post is that quality is suffering everywhere (not only China), everything is built to a price point and people buying up the cheap stuff up at an incredible rate. We are a disposable society. My main issue is you buy cheap, don't expect it to be any better just because it has a prestigious name like Fowler, SPI, Gibraltar etc. I think one needs to decide how much one will be using a tool and if buying up/higher quality pays. If one can't afford to buy up for a tool, then get the best you can at the price level you are looking. Check around and see what others have used and seems to work. But that being said, I try to buy once (new or used) and plan on using it a long time. I have just thrown out too many crappy tools, it just so happens that most of them where made in China and India.
 

MeredithJL

Registered
Registered
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
31
Pretty bad casting on the vise, I would look at the Shars vises, either the 440V or 550V and see what fits. If you sign up for their emails (just go to there internet site) they will send you a 10% off on your first purchase. I would say that most of Shars tools are from China, but I have been pretty pleased with the tooling I have purchased from them. I have not had to return anything because it did not meet tolerance. It isn't a Kurt vise, but it is less than 1/2 the price. Glacern makes nice vises, but just a bit too pricey these days, but it is very good quality. I would probably buy up if you go to a bigger mill at a later point.
http://www.shars.com/4-440v-cnc-milling-machine-vise-0-0004-1
http://www.shars.com/5-550v-cnc-milling-machine-vise-0-0004-1
https://www.glacern.com/gsv_440

The point of this post is that quality is suffering everywhere (not only China), everything is built to a price point and people buying up the cheap stuff up at an incredible rate. We are a disposable society. My main issue is you buy cheap, don't expect it to be any better just because it has a prestigious name like Fowler, SPI, Gibraltar etc. I think one needs to decide how much one will be using a tool and if buying up/higher quality pays. If one can't afford to buy up for a tool, then get the best you can at the price level you are looking. Check around and see what others have used and seems to work. But that being said, I try to buy once (new or used) and plan on using it a long time. I have just thrown out too many crappy tools, it just so happens that most of them where made in China and India.


Thanks for the suggestions. I was planning on upgrading it soon anyways. Just not this soon, LOL! I'm new to machining in general but I've been a carpenter and welder for over 20 years in the entertainment industry. I try to buy quality tools whenever possible myself, too.
 

hman

Active User
H-M Lifetime Diamond Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
4,049
I've used a 3" LMS screwless vise (#3767) on my mini-mill (HF 44991) for a goodly number of years now, never had a problem, and found it to be a great "fit" for the mini. It's also easy to set perpendicular to the table, using a square. Anyway, check out the following part numbers for their 3" and 4" vises - 3767, 4871 (on close-out), and 3857. Also check out their vise comparison chart:
http://littlemachineshop.com/info/vise_compare.php
And who knows ... Chris might even give you a full or partial refund on your "cracker."
 

mksj

Active User
H-M Supporter Gold Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
3,404
One thing to mention on the Glacern vises, they do run specials at different times, and sometimes have clearance or scratch and dent. If you can fit a 5", then it might be worth looking at. On smaller mills you need to take into account mounting and where the part is clamped, you have very limited Y travel and clearance in the back of the vise.
https://www.glacern.com/gsv_550
https://www.glacern.com/deals
Coupon Code: JULY4 - $50 off UPS Ground shipping on orders over $240
Coupon Code: GSV550 - 5" Standard Vise for $349
 

burdickjp

Registered
Registered
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
79
I've had good luck with screwless vises on the mini mill.

Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
 

Charles Spencer

Active User
Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
1,049

minions

Registered
Registered
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
47
Glance at Craigslist once before ordering new. I just bought a new Kurt d675 for 300 dollars from CL. You just never know.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Uglydog

Active User
H-M Supporter Gold Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,491
The feeling in your gut is awful when those situations happen.
We've all been there.
While a vise is super convenient, don't forget that simple hold downs often work well.
This is an especially good option if you are cash poor at the moment, or are waiting for the deal of the day to happen.
However, please note I have not used a mini-mill.

Daryl
MN
 
It can take up to an hour for ads to appear on the page. See our code implementation guide for more details. If you already have Auto ad code on your pages there's no need to replace it with this code
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock