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  1. #1
    Hey everyone,
    I need some advice on how to clamp my vice to my milling table.

    I bought a "Precision Tool Vice Type 2" from Arc Euro Trade for my little milling machine and eventually got a clamping kit to go with. Links for vice and clamps (24 pc kit). Sadly the hold down clamps they sell are for the smaller vices.

    My first thought that was I should use the clamping bars to fit in-between the grooves that run up the side of the vice but when the clapping kit arrived I realised the clamping bars that come with the kit are too fat to fit in the groves. I phoned Arc to ask and they said to just use the bolts and t nuts to hold the vice to the table.

    Its take me a while to find some free time to have a look, but as I suspected this is completely impractical... the bolts are also too fat to fit in the groves properly and to get them to make any sort of contact they need to go in at an angle. When I try to tighten them they just slip right off the vice. Maybe I misunderstood them and if so does anyone have any suggestions on how to actually hold this vice down? I wonder why this vice does't have a break in the groves so that the bolt can pass through and then bolt down that way... every other vice does!

    Picture attached at my attempt to do what Arc was saying... Any help much appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Deff don't clamp the way you are, not practical has you no.
    Can you mill your own slots in the vise, make your own clamps out of some plate and machine to suit the vice. Or mill the kit you bought to fit the vice, prob only need a few mm machining of the top to fit in the vices slot.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply man.
    Thought about milling my own slots on the vice, but I would expect its hardened tool steel... wouldn't want to cut that on my tiny mill. Might ask a local company to shave off a few mill off the clamping kit if it comes to it. Emailed Arc to see what they say.

  4. #4
    Small light cuts should be fine, what mill is it.

  5. #5
    Sieg KX1. Yet to cut anything on it despite having it for well over a month! Will post up my thoughts once I've used it a little.

  6. #6
    How wide are the slots? I've got some small 6mm or 10 mm thick (cant remember which) home made clamping bars I've made. What's the bolt diameter too?


  7. #7
    What you need is some substantial flat bar (4 off) say 25mm wide and about 10mm thick and about 50mm long,
    if the slot in your vice is less than 10mm wide you will need to machine the end of the bar so it will fully engage in the slot. you now need a hole in the bars for your "T" studs, say 20mm from the end of the bar that locates in the vice slot.
    You can now either add packing a tad higher than the hieght of the vice slot from the table, and with a nut on your "T" stud just tighten, you could also drill and tap the other end of the bars 10mm and jack it that way but don't forget packing on you milling table.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to mekanik For This Useful Post:

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by njhussey View Post
    How wide are the slots? I've got some small 6mm or 10 mm thick (cant remember which) home made clamping bars I've made. What's the bolt diameter too?
    10mm between the lips. Bolts are M6.

    Did a bit of googling to see if I could buy some appropriate clamps but came across this - looks like a easily hackable solution with a few bits of plate I have lying around until I can make something more like this.

    Also, just a note for anyone thinking of getting one of these vices... I've read a few people saying to put a bit of paper underneath before clamping?!

  10. What you propose is essentially what mechanik suggested, make your own clamp plates patterned on the ones you already have, out of 10mm plate milled down to 9.5mm at one end. Personally I wouldn't go to the trouble of making hold down blocks.

    I wouldn't put some paper under if you plan to ever use the vice jaws as a datum. Put a dti in the spindle, make sure the table and the bottom of the vice are scrupulously clean and clamp it down. Then measure the height of the top of the jaw or the lip in the jaw or a parallel held in the jaw pressed firmly down (I.e. lightly clamped and then tapped down) against the vice base as you traverse the table. One or more of those should be a flat datum. Putting paper in there, even tobacco paper, will destroy that IMHO but try it and see for yourself.

    Ps, if you don't have a set of parallels get some, essential kit for milling IMHO.
    Last edited by irving2008; 20-11-2014 at 05:22 AM.

  11. #10
    Mike / Irving thanks very much for replying guys, its all good advice.

    I emailed Arc to see what they said and they were kind enough to give me a call to try and explain their solution involving the stepped angle blocks from the kit. To be honest I didn't understand what they were saying. I would happily recommend Arc to someone. They seem like good people who don't mind giving advice over the phone and their stuff is very well priced, but I got the feeling that although there maybe some way of using the kit, I'm not sure if its a particularly good one. They did suggest that I could mill my own clamps at one point - chicken and egg type situation, a little frustrating - can't make something like that until I have a vice that clamps down!

    Irving... I was dubious about the paper thing. I'll try it without the paper and only go down that route if I find the vice slipping. And yes, I am a proud owner of a very heavy set of parallels and a dial indicator :). I bought the machine and then slowly purchased the extras as my bank balance recovered... part of the reason I've yet to cut anything!

    Bit of a tangent when you mentioned parallels, but its seems to me that metric based equipment is in the minority?! Arc was one of the few places I could find selling metric parallels and the only place I could find selling the metric equivelent to 1-2-3 blocks. Most of the world with the exception of the states is on metric right?! So silly.

    Thanks again,

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