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[4]

Vise alignment bar ???

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umahunter

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#1
I'm looking for a thread I can't seem to find maybe I'm using the wrong words. I saw at one time a bar you clamp into your vise that lines up with flats on your mill column to quickly square your vise. i thought there was a video on it but now I can't seem to find pics the thread or video anyone make one or remember what I'm talking about. I'm doing a lil more each day as I recover and figured this is a lightweight project I could tackle thanks for any help :) :)
 

brino

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#2
I think I remember that......distant though.
I'll see if I can find it too.
-brino
 

TomS

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#3
I did some searching and didn't find anything either. I do remember the subject though and as I recall the tool looked something like this.

Vise Squaring Tool.jpg

The rods are spaced such that you can clamp the bar in your vise and the rods are exactly, or as close as possible, to the same length. Clamp the bar in your vise and push the rods up against the column then clamp your vise to the table.

As far as construction goes your imagination is the only limitation. Let us know what you come up with and how it works out.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#4
why not have them out further and long enough to go into the table slots to align the vice, just a thought. my vice has the tabs in the bottom and gets the vice pretty close with in a few thousands.
 

Richard King 2

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#5
I would not trust that bar for precision work. Many times those flats especially on a Turret mill like a Bridgeport are not square to the table saddle travel. It may be a fast way to get it close, but all the machinists I know, we indicate the top of table first in X&Y (aligning head) and then check the solid side of the vise.
 

benmychree

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#6
Tightly fitting keys on the vise base that fit snugly in the tee slots will align a vise accurately enough for nearly any work. If the vise has a swivel base, it can easily be indicated to near perfection.
 

umahunter

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#7
I did some searching and didn't find anything either. I do remember the subject though and as I recall the tool looked something like this.

View attachment 268929

The rods are spaced such that you can clamp the bar in your vise and the rods are exactly, or as close as possible, to the same length. Clamp the bar in your vise and push the rods up against the column then clamp your vise to the table.

As far as construction goes your imagination is the only limitation. Let us know what you come up with and how it works out.
Yes it was like that but had a flat on both ends the concept was you perfectly tram your vise then clamp this into vise and bring up to column and set plates in place then whenever you have to move vise this gets you very close
 

chips&more

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#8
In this case, anytime you add a component to the alignment process you add more uncertainty. I try to keep it as simple as possible. The less the gadgets and newfangled thing a ma bobs the better. They are all just more uncertainty in accuracy with your final result. It doesn’t take that long for me to indicate a vise in and be done with it and know it’s accurate…Dave
 
Last edited:

TonyRV2

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#10
On first look, I thought this looked like a good idea too, but I think I have to agree with Dave here. As I thought about it, I asked myself how wise is it to indicate via this jig, a machined surface on the column which may or may not be square to the table, when in fact all you really want to do is to square up to the table to begin with. I use the more traditional method of simple location keys on the bottom of the vice. However, if for some reason I were compelled to make an alignment jig of this nature, I'd do my locating on the table, not the column. In either case I think you can only hope to get it close and I would still run an indicator across the fixed jaw of the vice as I do now with the keys.
 

T Bredehoft

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#11
I, too, have keys on my vice, install it, snug down the nuts, and then indicate the fixed jaw. It's usually within .005, only needs tweaking.
 

homebrewed

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#12
For "OK" alignment I just use a machinist's square against the front edge of the table. The square is slid up to the side of the vise, the vise is tapped to minimize the gap between the square and vise, then tightened down. Checking the fixed jaw with a DTI has shown this gets me down to a few thou in very short order. All the usual caveats apply -- no debris between square and table and vise, front of table is parallel to the X axis.

Mark
 

hman

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#14
On first look, I thought this looked like a good idea too, but I think I have to agree with Dave here. As I thought about it, I asked myself how wise is it to indicate via this jig, a machined surface on the column which may or may not be square to the table, when in fact all you really want to do is to square up to the table to begin with. I use the more traditional method of simple location keys on the bottom of the vice. However, if for some reason I were compelled to make an alignment jig of this nature, I'd do my locating on the table, not the column. In either case I think you can only hope to get it close and I would still run an indicator across the fixed jaw of the vice as I do now with the keys.
I was also concerned with this issue. My solution is shown in post #3 of https://www.hobby-machinist.com/thr...25-rf-30-rf-31-mill-drills.38796/#post-332478

And no, it's not dead-nuts perfect (as more than one poster has pointed out). But it's perfectly fine for everyday work, and very quick to use.

PS to umahunter - I've heard this gadget referred to as a "quick tram." You might want to try this for a search term.
 

kd4gij

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#15
Yes it is just that quick.

 

Cadillac STS

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#16

There was another posting somewhere about truing up the column the rear bar goes against to fix the problem he had here. It was to put an angle grinder in the true vise and work it back and forth on the column behind the vise. This will put in a curved surface but straight with the true vise. The back "Bar" can be a round piece of stock to fit the (True straight) slot produced by the angle grinder. This way you know the jaw is true with the column it is being checked against without needing to shim.
 

hman

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#17
That was me. Go up to post #14 and click the link.
 
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