Introduction: Holding Large Stock; Drill Vice Modification

Holding large stock for machining on the milling machine can be a real pain.

Here is an idea that I came up with that seems to work quite well.

Step 1: The Modification

When machining in my RF30 mill drill, I almost always use a drill press style vice to hold my work piece.

While I realise they are a significant compromise, I simply cannot justify to shell out several hundred dollars for even a 'cheap' knock off Mill Vice.

Recently I was trying to mill the top face smooth on a piece of Aluminium 'billet' that I had cast. The stock was approx. 170mm x 170mm x 60mm. Because I wanted to machine the top face smooth using a standard mill clamping kit was out of the question.

In this idea of mine you will irreversibly modify a drill vive but hopefully you will find the mod of such use that you don't regret it.

I did take some video of this project on a go pro style knock off but it was so appalling that I re shot the stills on my Canon SLR.

Obviously the 'before' photos are stock footage taken of the internet.

As you can see in the 'before' photos there is a notch conveniently located approximately halfway down the vice.

Using my band saw I cut at the notch (on either side), splitting the fixed and moving jaw.

To mount the new 2 piece vice on the mill I used a square to line up the fixed jaw section correctly and bolted it down TIGHT. I then sat my work piece on the vice bed and made sure the moving jaw was approximately halfway shut then bolted the moving jaw section down at a medium tightness before tapping it square with a mallet. I then tightened down the moving jaw bolts down TIGHT and closed the jaw down snug on my work piece.

While I am sure this wont work for every application I did find it excellent in holding down my aluminium billet for face milling.

One thing I did discover though (no surprises here) is you cannot do the bolts up too tight, Once I got them tight enough it started to work great

I hope this is of use to somebody.