Monday, August 19, 2013

Drill Press Vise Wrap Up

I'm calling it done at this point. After cleaning and repairing the bonus Kurt vise I acquired with the Clausing drill press its ready for use. I built a special base and anti rotation arm to make quick work out of clamping the vise to the drill press table.
The vise base is a .50 thick phenolic plate. I had the material left over from another job and it made sense for this application. Its strong and durable and wont mark the table. It has the perfect amount of friction that allows the vise to move around but is not so slippery that the vise will move under heavy drilling. The vise mounts to the plate via a couple of Helicoiled tapped holes. The notch is for the steel anti-rotation arm. I just scribed around the base of the vise casting and band sawed the profile and notch to match. You can see my chicken sketching on the side of the flat bar arm.
I wanted the anti rotation arm to be one inch wide. All I had in stock was two inch wide material. Nothing is easy right? I band sawed the two inch lengthwise and then milled the edges. Something to note when you do this type of splitting of a rolled bar. The cut immediately opens up and the two pieces come out curved from the stress relieving cut. I have had this happen before so I allowed extra cleanup stock so I would finish one of the bars to one inch wide. The clamps are holding a strong back back bar to keep the narrow bar from vibrating while machining.
So in this shot we see the vise mounted to the base plate and the anti-rotation arm attached. I found a cheap swivel socket wrench at HF that seems to work as a decent replacement for the missing Kurt article.
My McMaster box arrived today so I was able to complete the anti-windmill arm clamp. I think we all have a horror story on the drill press that we could relate. Its nice to not have any roadblocks to doing the right thing with clamping on the drill press.
The clamp allows the arm to slide in and out and pivot when loosened. When the clamp lever is cinched down the vise is locked in place. It can be quickly and easily removed if you need the entire surface of the drill press table for a large part. The Kurt vise is pretty heavy so it makes for a solid drilling experience.

So my famous drill press story goes like this. I was making some special plastic starwheels for a bottle filling machine. These look like big sprockets with teeth the same shape as the bottle being filled. Their purpose is to time and guide the bottles into the filling machine. These particular wheels were made from PVC plastic plate. It takes two star wheels to make a set they are connected by a spacing hub and attached with flat head screws. I needed to countersink the mounting screws after drilling the holes in the plates. We used to make these in the pre-CNC days by carefully pasting a full scale drawing on the material and then band sawing the curves and arms of the star wheel. It took a few hours to do a nice job on these with the sawing, sanding and filing. The mounting holes were one of the last operations.

We did a lot of 316 stainless in that shop so my countersink was pretty hammered. I went and got a brand new countersink from the machinist tool crib to use on my nice new star wheels. I remember it well because it was 3/4 inch in diameter and sharp as a scalpel. I saved a trip on the way back by picking up a flat head screw from the bolt bins to gage the countersink diameter. The mill was being used so I decided to use the drill press in the welding shop to countersink the holes.

Here where it starts to get interesting. I remember saying to myself, "I'll just hold this down by hand to the table" See this is how it starts, one little dumb thing. The next thing I told myself was, "I don't need to set the depth stop, It takes so long to run the damn thing down so far" I chucked up the countersink and set the drill press speed fairly slow.

These things happen so fast it always surprises me. The millisecond the single lipped countersink touched the edge of the pilot hole it snagged and sucked my star wheel plate right off the table. I somehow managed to hold onto the plate but all that did was make the countersink actually drill through the plate. Instead of a countersink for a 1/4 flat head screw I now had a three quarter inch diameter round hole in its place. My butt tightening event was over in about 500 milliseconds.

Every time I need to countersink soft plastic from that point on I either have the part securely clamped, or the cutting tool is non powered. Fortunately for me PVC cements well so I was able to make a plug and glue it in and re-drill and countersink the hole and save the part. With that cement the countersinking lesson was permanently bonded to my hard drive.

Thanks for looking.

Tom Lipton

16 comments:

  1. Tom, How can I get in touch with you? I have a couple of questions regarding the angel set-up fixture. Thanks Robin

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  2. Hi Robin,

    If your question is of general interest to the metalworking community then I encourage you to ask it publicly. If it is something else then you can email me at, tlipton + the number 2 at the google mail thing.

    Regards,

    Tom

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  3. Tom, your a well traveled man , can you help me identify a vice its on eBay id no 271257479120 its got my curiosity !
    Regards
    Mike

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  4. Hi Mike,

    That vise listing is a vise made by All American Products. It looks interesting but I can't comment on how well it works since I have never used one. I suppose it depends what you want to clamp in your shop. If you had a lot of irregular parts then it might make sense. Ninety percent of what you want to hold on the drill press is orthogonal so parallel jaws work fine. Workholding is also one of those things there is no magic bullet that covers every situation. You need a variety of tricks and tools in your kit to handle everything that comes up. Here is a link to American's site and the vise you are looking at,

    http://www.allamericanproducts.com/toolng/307-90.htm

    Thanks for the comment.

    Best,

    Tom Lipton

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  5. Me Again... *SMILE* I would love to know your suggestion for a Garage Workshop Lathe(Single-Phase) with Spindle Bore larger than 1" (Less than 5K) and a Good Starter Milling Machine... and/or if you feel there are any Mill/Lathe Combos out there that you feel would be a good unit for us amateurs *GRIN*

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  6. Hi Charles,

    For starters I wouldn't limit myself to single phase machines. There are plenty of options for converting single phase current to three phase that it unnecessarily narrows your choices in lathes. A friend just picked up a nice Yuasa 14 x 40 lathe for half of your ceiling price. It is a three phase machine and would need a converter to run on homeowner phase. My feelings are there are better and more satisfying choices on the used industrial market so that's where I tend to look and lean.

    On combo machines. If I was on a desert island and all I had was a combo machine I would use it. Remember when you went camping with one of those pocket knives they used to sell with a fork and spoon attached? Well that's an example of combining too many functions so non of the functions performs at even a basic level. I don't have any experience with these machines so I cant really make a good comment. My suggestion is get out there and meet some local folks that have one and see if you can try one.

    For folks looking for machinery I suggest you actually go look at some used stuff. You don't have to buy and you will learn a tremendous amount just by examining them and kicking the castings so to speak. Anyway I hope I answered your question in a round about way. I posted a video on YouTube about looking at used lathes. If you haven't seen it go have a look. Thanks for the comment and good question. What part of the country or world are you in?

    Regards,

    Tom

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    Replies
    1. To answer your question... Live in the Vegas area up the Hill a bit. THANK YOU for the Lathe & Mill information... Especially the suggestion about converting single phase to three phase!

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  7. Hello Mr. Lipton,

    I came across your blog about two months ago, and I must commend you for such a worthwhile (and well written) read. Recently, I was asked to watch an antique store while the owner was away, and it turned out to be pretty slow. Over a week or so I went through most of your posts all the way back to the beginning-- thanks for the fun!

    I read your tool review that included those cute Knipex smooth-jaw pliers, and they are indeed the bees knees. I recently saw them slightly discounted at Sears, down to $46.99... I think they are at this price until the end of the month. Another notable tool on sale is a Nuplaflex 3 pound deadblow hammer, $21.84. I actually bought the hammer first, which earned me a "$10 off a tool purchase over $50", then bought the pliers (and a socket). I thought I'd share that information with you and you could pass it on to your friends, coworkers, select physicists, and maybe even the cyber world.

    http://www.sears.com/knipex-10-in-plier-wrench/p-00929112000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

    Thanks again,
    I learn from you each time I read one of your posts.
    Guillermo Acosta

    Come to the El Paso area some time and I will gladly buy you a soda.

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  8. Hi Guillermo,

    Thanks for the nice words and detailed comment. I feeling a Nuplaflex hammer in my near future. We don't let the physicists play with hammers, they have enough toys of their own. Next time you have a slow day check out the oxtool YouTube channel for some live action and more yapping about metalwork.

    Regards,

    Tom Lipton

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  9. YouTube wasn't letting me post the links, if you are interested here is the shop's YouTube page
    http://m.youtube.com/#/channel/UCBlXE9enE_pjMwahXvawpXQ

    And here is a video of a more recent project that I worked on
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X40EsDEjwrU

    -Kyle / BlacksmithSB

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  10. Tom,
    I saw this on your last video. Great Idea, I'm going to copy for my vise on the drill press. Thanks

    Herb
    herb@hwblair.com

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  11. Found it! Great idea, Tom. One of those, "Wish I had it a million times..." Thanks for showing this.

    -Steve/Schwartzenheimer

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    Replies
    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the comment and participation.

      All the best,

      Tom

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  12. Hi Tom,

    Cheers for the directions to your blog, some interesting reads as ever! Did you get the clamp that goes over the 1" bar from McMaster? What are they called? It really does look perfect for mounting my vice (when I decide on one!) to my drill table as its similar to yours with two tee slots which don't match any vice I have!

    Dan

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  13. Hi Daniel,

    I made that particular part. Its just made from cold rolled steel with a slot to receive the bar in the backside that is slightly shallower than the bar thickness.

    Cheers,

    Tom

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