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Thread: Simple magnetic parallel holders for the mill vise

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Guy Marsden's Avatar
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    Simple magnetic parallel holders for the mill vise

    I saw something similar to this on the web and decided to make my own magnetic parallel holders for my mill vise so they don't flop around in there!

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Minor problem...

    The holders limit how far the vise jaws can be closed

    Major problem...

    You're putting magnets in an area where ferrous swarf will be abundant; tidying will be frustrating.

    Alternate solutions to the problem...

    A piece of scrap steel banding bent into a springy "U" and placed between the parallels to push them against the vise jaws.

    A couple of varying width "sticks" of foam rubber used as above.

    Put a drop of oil on the parallel before placing in vise; let capillarity stick them against the jaw. (Grease can be used too but clean up isn't as easy as with oil.)
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Supporting Member Guy Marsden's Avatar
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    Hi Marv, thanks for your thoughts.
    Yes, there are a lot of ways to skin this cat! But I think these work perfectly for most of my needs. I am mostly milling non-ferrous materials on my mini Mill.

    I have used the oil trick with capillary action as you suggested, but I'm not entirely satisfied with it.

    The magnets when they are attached to the vise are so far inside the aluminum that I doubt they would attract ferrous swarf.

    With all due respect, it strikes me that you're overthinking things a tad! 🙂

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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Marsden View Post
    Hi Marv, thanks for your thoughts.
    Yes, there are a lot of ways to skin this cat! But I think these work perfectly for most of my needs. I am mostly milling non-ferrous materials on my mini Mill.

    I have used the oil trick with capillary action as you suggested, but I'm not entirely satisfied with it.

    The magnets when they are attached to the vise are so far inside the aluminum that I doubt they would attract ferrous swarf.

    With all due respect, it strikes me that you're overthinking things a tad! ��
    ?

    Uh, no.
    I was en route to same conclusions, when the link about magnetic + parallels appeared, (sometimes it may be Marv's tele-pathic signal).

    Problem I find with magnets is not limited to swarf nests, its how ferrite are too weak to be dependable, neodymium causes residual flux in vise body and parallels, that when set up again without matching the previous field N-N, S-S, or N-S, they move on their own. Unacceptable in toolmaking, where materials encountered are ferrous, non-ferrous, non-metallic, even soft - subject to embedded contamination.

    Lots of us have posted similarly. I've relied on steel (plastic works too) strapping tape, or coil springs for decades. Another benefit is the accommodating nature when there are 4 parallels in use. 2 supporting workpiece, 2 shorter outboard against the jaws for chip clearance.
    I too, 'glue' them occasionally. Not oil; boat trailer grease, when coolant is involved, not water soluble.
    WTIM plus access to surface grinder, time well spent to chamfer one long edge of each parallel, against errant swarf. The lower corner formed of vise jaw and vise bed is notorious for ruining 2nd op work.

    As with most things engineering, there is little found to be right 100%, let alone reliable. Prime factor in what makes this so absorbing; no one has addressed every issue satisfactorily, first try, worthy inscription on stone. There is no practical way of estimating cumulative years of experience a forum attracts; a dozen could represent hundreds of years, some threads have hundreds looking in.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    WOW.. we have been using springs for that purpose forever. But that won't make much of a video.

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    Thanks Guy Marsden! We've added your Magnetic Parallel Holders to our Machining category,
    as well as to your builder page: Guy Marsden's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Plus the fact that unless you are cutting alum. or nom magnetic you will have a great amount of chips hanging on. But, it's an idea. Always thinking of a better or differant solution

  12. #8
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Not everyone's solution to a problem they are having will translate to a solution for everyone or sometimes anyone else.
    I used to have a mill vise that I had installed aluminum blocks on it to be soft jaws the vise was keyed to the slots in the table but I still would run an end mill down both jaws each time I put that vise back on the mill to true up the top notches in the jaws just a couple thou. each time gave me true tram and parallel height I had set the mill head at 45 then with a slitter blade cut a relief in the corners the relief was deep enough I could true it dozens of times before having to deepen the relief. It worked great for me but maybe not for everyone else.
    I can see times when these magnetic holds for the parallels would be handy, at other times a royal pain just like I find the solution Marv mentioned about using strapping folded into a U to serve as a spring as being real handy at times and have done just that myself



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