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Replacing my Vise- What should I do?

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ErichKeane

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Alright, so here's the deal. I have an old Kurt D60 (Casting date in '79). It has been working more or less fine, but is pretty worn (and spent its years in a high school). The ways are cut up in a few places, so I have to be careful about laying parallels, and the top of the movable jaw is chewed up, so holding in the 'wide' mode is pretty unreliable.

I tore it apart last night (including picking out the thrust bearing in 90 pieces with a chisel), cleaned it up, and realized it is in pretty awful shape. I already knew the cuts in the ways were pretty bad, and the drill holes in the top of the moving jaw sucked, but I thought about having it welded up and reground. However, the drill holes in the movable jaw are through some really thin portions, including through the nut and into the half-sphere area. The metal is really thin in spots, and likely on its last leg. My welder told me that its likely not worth fixing the moving jaw at all.

I tossed it on the surface grinder and cleaned up the ways, and will likely put it back into service (as a backup) once the rebuild kit comes in.

That said, I want to replace it with something in better shape (and without the holes in the ways, which cause problems pretty often for me). Here are my options:

1- There is an older unmolested D50 on craigslist for ~$150. Not sure how I feel about downsizing from a 6", but I figured I'd surface grind the ways flat and it would be perfect, since it IS a Kurt.

2- Buy a cheap 6" milling vise (Shars/etc) for about the same, and grind the ways. I saw a "Build Something Cool" video doing this, and it seems like a lot of work to square up the fixed jaw as well as the base. Hopefully I'd luck into one with a very flat base plus a square fixed jaw.

3- Buy a GMT 6" vise (~$400: https://www.glacern.com/gsv_690). They seem alright, but I fear that I'd just be overpaying for an imported vise.

4- Suck it up and buy a DX6 (~$550). This is expensive, and will pretty much devastate my 'toy' budget, but seems to be the Caddy of manual machine vises.

ANY other suggestions? Something obvious I'm missing?
 

MAKEITOUTOFWOOD

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#2
Put your Kurt back together and continue to look for a good deal on a 6" vise.
 

Bob Korves

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#3
It sounds like most of your issues are with the jaws. Buy or make some new ones.
 

ErichKeane

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#4
It sounds like most of your issues are with the jaws. Buy or make some new ones.
It isn't the jaw faces, it is the big movable jaw piece. I am not sure what to call that. The 'nut' is >$100 and that movable jaw is likely at least to that, at that point I'd question the value math, I'd still be stuck with a ways that makes using a sine-bar or a parallel error-prone.
 

pacifica

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It isn't the jaw faces, it is the big movable jaw piece. I am not sure what to call that. The 'nut' is >$100 and that movable jaw is likely at least to that, at that point I'd question the value math, I'd still be stuck with a ways that makes using a sine-bar or a parallel error-prone.
You should be able to find a d675 for under $250 that is functionally close to new, just not perfect cosmetics. I would stay with 6" jaws or 8" if you have the room.A new dx6 does have the 9" capacity!
 

ErichKeane

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What is wrong with the movable jaw?
The top of it was drilled to death with apprentice marks. Additionally, it seems that someone machined it (poorly) in the past.

I ended up just sucking it up and picking up a S&D DX6.
 

Technical Ted

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The top of it was drilled to death with apprentice marks. Additionally, it seems that someone machined it (poorly) in the past.

I ended up just sucking it up and picking up a S&D DX6.
Are you happy with your S&D DX6? I was thinking about doing the same. Can you even see the scratches or dents?

Ted
 

ErichKeane

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Are you happy with your S&D DX6? I was thinking about doing the same. Can you even see the scratches or dents?

Ted
Its pretty awesome! There is 1 void in the base casting that doesn't effect anything, but otherwise it is a great looking vice! I haven't got it trammed in or anything yet, but thats my next step.
 
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