Ball Vise Questions

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Mar 9, 2020
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Thread starter #1
Hi there, looking at getting into hammer and chisel engraving but on a super tight budget. Currently trying to figure out vise options- obviously I should invest in a GRS or a Lindsay but that's just not in the cards right now. I have seen some knock-offs on amazon that seem passable from the reviews am wondering if anyone has advice or might have an old vise laying around that they'd be willing to part with? Thanks!
 

monk

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#2
a cheap way: cut a bowling ball in half. mount an inexpensive vise on the flat. some where in the archive, a full ball was shown with a way to lock it in place in the desired orientation. try poking around in the tips section. lots of ideas there.
 

JOEYS CARVED ART

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#4
I mostly use a 6" 3 jaw lathe chuck with a lazy susan bearing under it. It has worked great for years and it is plenty stout enough to where you don't get any vibration when using air assist engraver. I placed it on a board that I can adjust the angle on. I got about $75 invested in the whole setup.
 

Chujybear

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#5
I think the way the hammer and chisel guys on here like to do it is just a plain old vice on a secure pedestal that they can walk around, as a-posed to rotate the vice. I’ve played around w hammer and chisel when my wrist was off.. disabled rotation in my setup and just chased my line
 

JJ Roberts

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#7
A women gun engraver in England works with a small bench vise and she had the avil cut off the vise making the vise easy to move around when engraving.I teach H&C with my Walk A Bout pedestal set up. J.J.
 

monk

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#9
llord, i almost forgot--- a lazy susan bearing and a sandbag can also be very useful-- even if you're a fully equipped pro.
 

monk

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#10
I think I can safely say that any $85 ball vise on ebay is a waste of money. Especially if they're from outside the US. Not worth the risk.
i did buy one of the 85 dollar mini vises on the bay. it was from india. mine ended up being a good buy. but as the man said, 'it can be a waste of cash". luck comes into playhere.
 
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#12
So I bought a $120 ball vise on Amazon after reading a bunch of reviews. Now I have not used a Lindsay or a GRS so I can't say anything other than the people who have those vises say they are very nice.

My import vise was not real usable right out of the box, the tolerances were bad, when I put a nickel in the vise, it was a struggle to get it to sit flat and stay in the vice. I reamed the holes out to 3/16" and used stainless dowel pins that helped. Then I used thin copper sheets to shim and "tighten" up the main jaws to the body of the vise. It works a lot better now that I put some time and work into it. All that said, I just getting started in engraving as a hobby and I hope to get a nice vise in the future. If you are willing to put some time into tinkering with it (I enjoy that type of thing) it might be okay but you might have a different experience.
 

JJ Roberts

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#13
Travis,I see your new to the forum we've been warning about engraving tools purchased outside America this is not the first time we've heard about someone purchasing poorly made vise and other engraving tools from China or India I'll get a call from a new student and the first thing I tell them do not buy anything until you talk to me. J.J.
 
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