While the Kurt vise is awesome it is kinda big for the mini mill. The Wilton drill press vise on the other hand is just the right size for the mini mill. Problem is jaw lift. Not any more! While this does not remove all of the lift it reduces it to .001" or so. Not good enough for all milling but good enough for most. When I need perfect I use a machinist vise.
The fix is simple. Remove the "shoe" on the bottom of the moveable jaw and replace it with a monster sized one.
I have done this on two Wiltons and the results have been very good. Not as good as a Kurt but better than stock by a lot. I use blue locktite on the bolts holding the shoe in place and just get them tight enough that I have some resistance. Makes the lead screw a bit harder to turn but not too much. You can always touch up the setting as everything wears in.
Great idea and easy enough to do just as a general improvement to the vises. I have a similar vise for the drill press that could use this improvement. By the way, replacing the existing bottom clamping plate on a lathe tailstock with "monster sized one" greatly improves the tailstock lock-down capability and prevents any possible movement when drilling with large drills.
Here is an example of the large bottom clamping plate for the tailstock to a 12"x37" geared-head lathe http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/1...0208#post28903 . It works extremely well in locking the tailstock.
Paul, I was amazed when I tried my new clamp on the tail stock as you mentioned. The new one is twice as thick,twice as long, a little wider and rough finished, I also drilled clearance holes for access to the tail stock adjustment screws. The alignment is instant and the clamping is quite strong. One added benefit is easier alignment when placing the tail stock on the lathe bed. Before that square clamp would always rotate and would not fit properly without rotating it a couple of times.
Thanks for the great idea. If anyone wants to do this mod be aware that the mounting hole and clearance holes for the adjustment screws are not centered on the mini lathe tail stock. They are offset a bit but easy enough to get the hole right on with a few measurements of the lathe bed and tail stock itself.
JJR your vice mod is great and have a couple that could use that fix, Thanks. Really liked what Paul did a while ago for his big lathe tail stock and your mod for the mini's is nice and simple. Haven't gotten around to a larger one like yours or Pauls but I did a locking mod on mine way back that keeps it from spinning out of alignment when you R&R the tail stock...which I do a lot! One of the best things I did on mine. Here is the link to my build.
Thanks for sharing this! ~PJ
‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
Paul Jones (08-29-2016)
Good to know the "monster sized" lathe tailstock bottom clamp plate significantly improved your tailstock lock-down capability. In my case, the original smaller cast iron tailstock clamp plate did not go to waste. This morning before going to work, I wanted to finish parting-off a part and needed my steady rest but the bottom clamp plate was missing. I used the old one from my tailstock and the smaller size fit perfectly. I will keep it on the steady rest. Here is a photo:
The aluminum part is a temporary end-cap for machining 2" OD x 1.75" ID extruded acrylic tubes to size. I am working on an improvement to the pool ozone injection system (rarely used except after a big pool party).
PJs, I like your tailstock improvement and using the LMS cam lock. Ironically, I have not added the the "monster sized" lathe tailstock bottom clamp plate to my mini lathe and need to do it to improve the tailstock drilling. The mini lathe now has an ER32 collet chuck and used exclusively for small collet work. After "bumping and setting" the collet chuck to almost perfect TIR, there no reason to remove it for other work that can be done on the large lathe.
Thanks for the feedback.
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