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Toolmakers Vise Material

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ddickey

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#1
What would be a good material for making a vise?
 

kd4gij

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#2
One of the tool steels. I used A2 because I had access to it. And a heat treat oven at the time.
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
I had access to O1, used it for the body and all the parts, the jaw inserts got glass hard, the body I annealed to about RC 35. It only opens one inch. is two inches wide. I can't find a picture of it right now.
 
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Bob Korves

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#4
One of the tool steels. I used A2 because I had access to it. And a heat treat oven at the time.
A2 would be a very good choice for a precision toolmaker's vise. It has good dimensional stability, is air hardening, and can achieve high hardness.
 

ddickey

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#6
Very nice looking Tom.
The only tool steel I've machined is O1. How does A2 compare?
I'd like to harden it but don't know if it is necessary.
 

ddickey

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#7
I do not have any acme taps or dies for the lead screw. I do however have some left over 5/8-10 RH acme precision rod left over from my surface grinder job. I could buy a brass insert and press it into the lead screw block. Then I could buy a few acme nuts to fit onto the screw to make my handle proper.
The other option is to just single point a 60° thread.
Suggestions?
 

Richard White (richardsrelics)

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#8
I have left hand taps if interested.......1/2 and 5/8 I believe, but would have to verify tomorrow.... will probably never use them again, but willing to loan
 

ddickey

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#9
Thanks Richard but my acme rod has RH threads.
 

ddickey

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#10
Started my vise toady and man those A2 chips are more like dust.
 

T Bredehoft

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#11
How does A2 compare to O1?
I'd like to harden it but don't know if it is necessary.
If the A2 has been normalized, (the way you bought it) it should be easy to work. I've not had the privilege of using it so I'm not sure. The major difference between the two is the hardening process. O1 hardens when quenched in oil. A2 hardens when removed from the heat source and waved about in the air. (air hardening) Both should be ground after tempering, (raising to about 500º F and letting cool naturally. Grinding is necessary because they swell slightly when hardened.
 
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