Mill Vise Selection Saga...(OMG)

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Mac McCaskie

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Question in brief: what's a good size vise for Grizzly G0619 - 6" x 21" Mill / Drill?

I'm tooling up a new mill and purchased a "distressed" vise from a shop specializing in smaller machines. Along with the tail-tail witness marks, it came missing a bearing, the clamp screw was too short and didn't close. Of course I discovered the short screw after I filed the ways. That shop probably lost my business.

Then, being a bit gun shy with that experience, I ordered the smallest KURT vise
upload_2019-5-16_19-42-36.png

Oops, a little too big maybe? I'll have to say, it's a really nice vise, just too big for this beginner's machine.

So, back to original question, what is a good size and can you offer a link or brand name? I don't mind lapping it, but obviously all the parts need to be there.

TIA
-mac
 

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swarfrat

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The Kurt is a great tool, but way too much for your mill. Check out the selection at the Little Machine Shop for smaller vises (3-4"). If you want a lock-down type like the Kurt, look at the Tormach.
Craig
 

Wizard69

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First off if the screw in your current vise isn’t the right size why not get the right screw? I’m not sure how you can blame the shop if a used vise had problems, would you buy a used car without an inspection?

That said screw less vises in the 3-4” range work well in these smaller machines. I wouldn’t throw out the KURT though as you never know when that capability will come in handy!

The other thing to consider before buying new is to get a tape measure and some card stock and kick the device up. Card stock comes in very handy around the shop.
 

Mac McCaskie

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Thanks Swarf and Wizard for the reply's, I will look into the screw-less vises. As for the POS vise, I was not under the impression it was used and defective, maybe it was returned. I ordered it over the internet and inspection was not possible. How would I get a replacement screw if the vendor couldn't even replace the bearing?
 

TonyM

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pkastagehand

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Actually, I don't think that is the smallest Kurt vise. At IMTS in Chicago last fall I saw some pretty small ones at the Kurt booth.
 

DJP

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If you are downsizing to a 4 inch Kurt type consider buying two. Long work pieces supported at the ends of the table is a useful way to clamp effectively. As stated... keep the 6 inch as you never know when a bigger mill becomes available.

You can't have too much clamping force when milling, in my opinion.
 

Mac McCaskie

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Update: The vendor will refund my money for the maligned vise. Big shout out to them. As for keeping the Kurt, I can't justify it and can return it for the cost of shipping. If sometime in the future I do get a larger mill, I'll either have to move to a place with ground floor shop space or hire Belger Cartage, our local heavy lifters, to move it into the basement.
Thanks for all the tips, looks like I need to stick with a 4" lock-down type vise and found something on Amazon that will probably, hopefully fulfill my meager skillset.
 

reubenT

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I went with a 2 piece vise to allow maximum work clearance. Got a used one from an ebay seller cheap because it was missmatched, just had to mill down the high side. But I have full size machines, don't know how small they make 2 piece vices.
 

stanstocker

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Question in brief: what's a good size vise for Grizzly G0619 - 6" x 21" Mill / Drill?

Greetings,

I have a four inch vice from GMT that is excellent. GMT is still import, but it's at the high end of the import spectrum. At $350 it's a large step up from the usual "quality import" class, it feels every bit as smooth and nice as the Kurt vises I've used.

There are some nice 3 inch vises floating around as well, if you get a pair you could have added work length options without giving up too much capacity. Most work that is going to cover over three inches of Y area is an exception for machines in this size and can be clamped to the table . A bit more bother, but if it's a rare event save your back and wallet the cost/weight of an oversize vise.

Take care,
Stan
 

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