Author Topic: My New Universal Vise  (Read 10027 times)

CowboyCS

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My New Universal Vise
« on: November 19, 2013, 03:29:49 AM »
I've been to a point in my engraving where I need to upgrade to a Microscope...with that in mind I decided I had better have a new vise to go with it so that I'm not constantly messing with finding center.

Not being in any hurry since I needed to save up to buy a Microscope anyways and not being able to afford both a vise and a scope at the same time as well as not seeing a vise on the market that had all the features I want in a vise I decided to make my own. I've made all my other vises so it wasn't like I didn't have an idea of what I wanted to improve/change. I also didn't want to infringe on anybodies patents so I was careful to incorporate ideas that were either common across the industry or my own. Over the course of the last year on my one day a week off from building guns I've been slowly tinkering with building this thing a piece at a time...

So here it is:
This is the complete vise with standard jaws on top:


Of course it needs to be able to tilt so I built the base with a bearing and a collar arrangement using a flange, threaded pipe and a pipe cap machined out to accept the ball bearing:


And of course when working under a scope it helps to be able to offset the head around the center of rotation so I built it to offset the width of the vise jaws when needed:


I've found that vise jaws can be so limiting in their holding ability so with that in mind one day I was working on my rotary table on my mill and noticed how easy it was to mount/clamp just about anything down with the clamping plate so I designed my vise to have removable jaws on a clamping plate:

This way I can fabricate just about any type of clamp or jig I need and have virtually unlimited ways to hold thing down to the vise.

Of course why stop there...by removing a few more screws I can take the vise off the base and tilt arm and have a low profile offset vise that can be used with a turntable or sine plate:


Some more views:








It's all carbon steel because that was what I had laying around my shop, I wish I could have made it out of stainless but this was built on a budget with a new microscope in mind.

It weighs 52 pounds with everything put together...it of course gets lighter as I start removing parts and pieces but even as a flat vise with out the base or jaws it still weighs 20ish pounds.

As time goes by and I know what kind of jigs and clamps I need I'll start fabricating them, probably mostly in brass to be non-marring. I figured I might start by making a simplified miniature set of bridgeport style clamps.

Any questions, comments, ideas, critiques are welcome.

Thanks for looking,

Colin

Offline omark west cen colo

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Re: My New Universal Vise
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 05:51:08 AM »
it looks like a real winner to me. very useable and very well thought out and made.   mark    8)
on the 4th of julypeople should fire their guns into the air to show the government who does have the power,,,b franklin!   on these walks make your gun your constant companion,,,t jefferson!   those that will give up freedom for security deserve neither freedom or security,,,b franklin!   west colo

Offline David Rase

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Re: My New Universal Vise
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 07:47:15 AM »
Colin,
Great job.  I like making jigs, tools and fixtures almost as much as rifles.  Some of my friends would say I like building tools more.  That is a great vise.  I really like the swivel.  At first I thought the ball bearing was a trailer ball.  Do you have any pictures of the ball and swivel disassembled.  I would love to see those parts disassembled.  I bet that base could be adapted to several vises.
David

CowboyCS

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Re: My New Universal Vise
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 07:47:06 PM »
Thanks guys, hopefully as I use it more it turns out to be as versatile as I was thinking when I designed it.

David I didn't think to get any pictures of the base disassembled but it's really simple; it's a 3" threaded flange, a 3" x 3" threaded coupling and a 3" pipe cap. The 3" steel ball was given to me by a knife maker friend who said it was to big for his forge and hammer to work with so I think it is a 52100 bearing. I machined the Pipe cap out to accept the steel ball, and welded a ring inside the 3" threaded coupling, I put a leather ring inside so that it acts as a compression between the ball and the welded in ring, and put a leather ring in the pipe cap. This gives the cap and the ring some squish and prevent the ball from rubbing on metal. I also welded a 2" O.D.. pipe to the ball on center to give more clearance between the ball and the bottom plate of the vise, this also gave me a way to easily mount the vise to the base.

It's really a pretty simple set-up that could easily be adapted to hold many other things and allow for adjusting then to a good working angle. I spent less than $100.00 on the flange, pipe and cap from McMaster-Carr. I don't know what a 3" ball bearing would cost but it probably wouldn't be that expensive.

Colin

RickS55

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Re: My New Universal Vise
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 03:52:13 AM »
Great set up. I am envious.

Offline David Rase

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Re: My New Universal Vise
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 06:20:10 AM »
Thanks guys, hopefully as I use it more it turns out to be as versatile as I was thinking when I designed it.

David  I machined the Pipe cap out to accept the steel ball, and welded a ring inside the 3" threaded coupling, I put a leather ring inside so that it acts as a compression between the ball and the welded in ring, and put a leather ring in the pipe cap. This gives the cap and the ring some squish and prevent the ball from rubbing on metal.
Colin
Colin,
Thank for the information.  Welding a ring inside the 3" coupling was the piece of information I was missing.  I could not figure out how to get compression on the ball.  I all makes sense now. 
David

Offline Dphariss

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Re: My New Universal Vise
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 05:15:01 PM »
Impressive.
The skill and ingenuity repeatedly demonstrated here never ceases to amaze me.
This was a great project and a great outcome.

Dan
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