Shop-made tooling; useful, but. . .

Toolmaker51

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Generally, I regard setup tooling as permanent fixtures/ jigs that serve in a restricted sense, suitable for limited operations or parts. Does not apply in every case, but any can envision fabbing up something, that spends the rest of it's life collecting dirt on a shelf. If it works; name it, take a picture of mounted part, creating a reference for later.
Other times, a collection of simpler items does the trick, parallels in this case. Great supporting part in a vise, until opening to load another. Coolant knocks them over, chips get underneath them, or they fall while reloading.
Grrrrrrrr.
Now, before asking for pictures, a valuable trait of machinists is cultivating ability to visualize. . .besides this isn't MTV, I'm not Peter Gabriel or David Byrne.
I'll offer set of favorite hacks regarding parallels and machining vises. We've seen many; separators [spring loaded tubes outside the jaws], or coil springs bearing against them, or two drops of fast-set glue, or magnets, or rubber bands [!], or nothing at all....
I use strapping tape, the steel variety binding loads to pallets. I simply cut a length and form one of three ways, depending on part width.
#1 is hair-pin like, one leg longer than the other. Longer is convexed to contact ends of parallel, the shorter hits middle of opposite bent with a little snow ski like tip. That keeps it or parallel from moving out of jaws opening/ closing on repeat parts.
#2 is great when drilling; a simple U-form, with ski tipped ends.
#3 for wide items; roll a circular length around 3x the jaw opening and lap the joint with a strap clip or bend acute interlocking hooks.
#Freebie. I don't work production; but time saved means I work on my own projects. When possible, instead a lot of deburring, use 4 parallels. Outboard of those supporting workpiece, insert shorter parallels at the jaws. Instant chip and burr clearance.
 

Bob Korves

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I use banding, too. Another thing that works well for a lot of jobs is short chunks of the foam insulation used to keep pipes from freezing. It has size limitations as to work size, but can be used multiple ways to increase the range.
 

BGHansen

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I made a set of parallel holders from aluminum and rare earth magnets. Stole the idea from a seller (there are multiples) off eBay. The price is usually under $15 for 4. They work well though they do accumulate chips. The accumulation is outside of the jaws on the sides of the vise so no harm, no foul. Just have to remember to not clear the chips by hand since I don't always remember where my tweezers are.

Like Bob mentioned, steel strapping bent to a "V" and Styrofoam works well too.

Bruce

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Jubil

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I use a drop or two of bar & chain oil or a touch of grease. Movable jaw will break it loose sometimes but I just put it back and it sticks. But after seeing these suggestions, I think I'll make a set like Bruce has cause I need another project :rolleyes:
Chuck
 

chips&more

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On a few occasions I have used the wavy parallels to hold the solid parallels in place. But most of the time I use nothing. I like to remove everything during part changing so I can get all the crap out. I don’t have problems with parallels, am I all alone?
 

mmcmdl

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If I'm doing multiple parts , I find it easier to mill some soft jaws . Put a dowel in the fixed jaw for positioning and they're easy to keep clean .
 

rgray

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Soft jaws for me. Made the first few with parallels, then installed them in the vises and cut them with a step. No worries about having parallels
fall out now.
This thread has video of them both being made and in use. https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/new-to-me-mori-seiki-mv-40.80467/#post-695246

I've been having fun and built about 6 dozen, so I've listed some on ebay.

Not really a hobby machine, but it did cost me less than my Bridgeport.
 

bakrch

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I tend to always use the same size parallel, so I invested in hard step jaws for both vises. Already had their Vee-Jaws, so it made sense (for the quick change feature).

I paid good money to not have to deal with this issue, haha. Bonus, they included a free set of bump stops due to a shipping issue on my previous order.

Nice undercut in the corner and everything. Lower height as well, but still slightly above the jaw itself.

If I ever need a different size, think I'll just mill out a set of soft jaws to slip over the quick change style mounting screw.
 
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AGCB97

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Handles of a spring clamp or clothes pin works most of the time.
 

MrWhoopee

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It's been banding for me for the last 40 years, once in awhile a die spring. In fact, I use banding for all sorts of flat spring devices. My current vise came from the factory with stepped jaws. The steps are .265 wide, would be better if they were .09.
 

FanMan

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I mostly use a plastic zip tie, formed into a loop and slipped in between the parallels. I've thought of building the tube-and-spring type that some of the toolmakers where I work use but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
 

pontiac428

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I'm with @chips&more. I learned a long time ago while making medical laser parts that you can lose .005 from a tiny invisible chip in your fixture, so I remove and carefully wipe down the vise and parallels (and deburr the part) each and every time I mount a part in the mill. Work is seated gently with a dead blow and the vise is cinched, loosened, re-cinched and the work re-seated so the parallels stay put. I'm not out to set any production records, just taking the extra time to make sure everything is clean, snug, and perfectly seated. With this method, I've not yet found a need for springs or magnets. Of course, I may totally be missing something due to a narrow scope of experience.
 

Mini Cooper S

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Cheap and easy, I sometimes use painters tape to fasten the parallels to the jaws. Works good but sometimes cutting fluids don't play well with the adhesive on the tape.
 
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