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Making x-y vise more precise

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 10-13-2014 06:17 PM 1483 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


10-13-2014 06:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question mortiser vise

I asked this question in the midst of another thread, and it didn’t get addressed, so I’ll ask it as a forum post.

I put my Grizz mortiser on a stand with a cheap x-y vise from HF. It works well but has a lot of play in it. Someone mentioned in a thread that one can make adjustments to take out much of the play and make it more precise. How does one do that?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


14 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#1 posted 10-13-2014 06:21 PM

Not sure about your model, but some have brass dovetail ways. Usually there are some allen keys or screws to adjust the fit. It is very similar to how the mortiser itself works.
Hopefully your vise offers that type of adjustment.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#2 posted 10-13-2014 06:29 PM

I’m pretty clueless, Willie. I’ll look this evening.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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crank49

3981 posts in 2437 days


#3 posted 10-13-2014 07:32 PM

I looked at the HF x-y vise and as I remember it didn’t have brass dovetail ways.
I purchased a Palmgren X-Y vise off Amazon as the least expensive vise I could find with adjustable ways. Seems like I paid about $100.
I used the vise for building a mortising machine also and it worked very well.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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crank49

3981 posts in 2437 days


#4 posted 10-13-2014 07:33 PM

double post

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#5 posted 10-13-2014 07:36 PM

Now that I think about it, I don’t think I used a HF vise. I can’t seem to find a record of my purchase, but I think it was a ShopFox.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#6 posted 10-13-2014 07:47 PM

I had forgotten completely. This is my vise.
I changed the orientation per the ShopNotes plan, IIRC.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#7 posted 10-13-2014 08:07 PM

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#8 posted 10-13-2014 08:13 PM

I know it is a cheap vise. It was the one recommended in th shop notes plan.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#9 posted 10-13-2014 08:31 PM



I know it is a cheap vise. It was the one recommended in th shop notes plan.

- CharlesA

I probably would have done the same thing. Unfortunately good vices are expensive.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1117 days


#10 posted 10-13-2014 08:36 PM

Charles, in lead screws there are typically a few sources of slop.

One that you probably have no control over is the slop between the screw and the “nut” that the x-y tables ride on. In a ball screw you might be able to tighten the gibs to remove slop in the nut. However, I doubt very highly that you have this adjustment on your vise.

The other source of slop that is more difficult to understand is the slop between the lead screw and the frame of the vise. Basically, if you can grab the handle of your vise and push/pull it and feel it move, that is a distance that you have to turn your lead screw before the table will move. You can adjust this out by putting shims between the washer that the screw presses against and the frame of the vise.

Of course, there is also slop between the dovetail ways. This isn’t backlash like the two examples above, but will also cause the table to wobble/move. This can only be adjusted if you tighten the fit of the dovetails. In the photo above, it looks like maybe the three screws on the side of the vise can be tightened to remove the slop. However, I would be cautious of tightening those bolts because it looks like they will ride against the ways, which could gouge them.

I hope some of this makes sense.

-- -Dan

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Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3591 days


#11 posted 10-13-2014 08:39 PM

In machining, it seems like technique is far more important than equipment (although as in everything, good equipment helps).

When I try to find ways to get better accuracy out of my cheap Central Machinery (ie: Harbor Freight house brand) mill, I try to make sure I’m only cutting one axis at a time, and the other axis is locked down. I account for backlash by always approaching a cut from the same side (ie: if you’re moving your stock left, and then right, crank right 1/8” too far and then back, so the threads are always pushing on the same edge.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#12 posted 10-16-2014 04:16 PM

Thanks for all the help. One reason for the slop was that I didn’t have the collars on the x-y adjusters tight enough. That gook care of most of it. I also adjusted the three screws on the dovetails. Both of those helped a lot.

In the process I decided to raise the height of my vise a bit. Question: Since the chisel is in a fixed place, the vise doesn’t really have to be precisely placed, since all that matters is that the chisel be square to the vise, right?

Charles

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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timbertailor

1592 posts in 890 days


#13 posted 10-17-2014 03:04 AM



Thanks for all the help. One reason for the slop was that I didn t have the collars on the x-y adjusters tight enough. That gook care of most of it. I also adjusted the three screws on the dovetails. Both of those helped a lot.

In the process I decided to raise the height of my vise a bit. Question: Since the chisel is in a fixed place, the vise doesn t really have to be precisely placed, since all that matters is that the chisel be square to the vise, right?

Charles

- CharlesA

Correct. I set mine so I had the most adjustment I could acquire in every direction. I set the height by making sure the chisel can just touch the bottom of the vise on its full stroke.

And I remember now, the three screws in the side do take a lot of the racking out of the slide. My buddy also took a file to the edges that were galled, and some other things. I just do not remember the details but I think you are on the right track.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#14 posted 10-17-2014 04:55 PM

After all the adjustments, I did a test mortise. I made three full holes on the right, middle, and left, and then went back and cleaned up the small waste remaining between the holes. Much, much better. Thanks for the help.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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