Block ball vice

Darrell

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Thread starter #1
another new guy question...

well don't holler at me, looks like I bought the oats that came out of the horse......again.

I have a ball vice that came over to this country on a boat, that works just fine, till you try and rotate while cutting and it stalls and binds up, ARggggg, is the standard vice from *** company smooth on rotating or do the all have some resistance in spots??
 

Ron Spokovich

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#2
Buying a vise more or less out of a rice field, or a back alley in Kowloon is always a mistake, it seems, by all these horror stories. GRS products, and others made here, are quality and the vises rotate as smooth as silk, unless you choose to lock them to do certain kinds of work. It should be a rule of thumb to NEVER purchase anything from a Pacific Rim country. It's too bad you didn't ask some of the forum guys before you made your purchase. We all make mistakes, and hopefully not a second time.
 

sam

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#5
Another bad engraving vise story. Sorry this happened to you, but that's often what you get when you buy cheaply made tools from China or India. Any vise that hangs or meets resistance is junk. However, as pointed out, if you use a microscope and a turntable you will lock the crown of the vise and turntable will be what's rotating, so you might be able to get by with it. But if you ever need to use it as a conventional engraving vise you're in trouble.
 

Bluetickhound

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#6
Darrell, you aren't alone... I bought what is probably the same vise myself. I must have gotten lucky enough because mine doesn't bind but the jaws have some slop in them. I have a GRS block coming my way though but it actually cost about $120 more than it should have, if you get my drift... Buy quality and only cry once.
 

Crossbolt

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#7
Bummer but not surprising unfortunately. As I say, I can't afford cheap s#$t. A way around that is to buy good quality used. Too late this go around but good items, I'm guessing even 60+ years old for vises, show up on the likes of Ebay.
Consider bargain hunting if you're tight for cash. It has worked for me on key items.
Jeremy
 

monk

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#8
so, another doorstop. all may not be lost in your case. take the beast apart. you might find a high spot here or there. if you do, take fine diamond or rifflers and smooth off the highs. what condition is the shaft? rough? if so, take some fine wet & dry and smooth it a bit. you'll not likely end up with super smooth, but better than hangups. if there are bearings, that could be the culprit. if bearings are at fault, they need replaced.
 

Darrell

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Someone once said, on August 5, "Sam, no more Chinese knockoffs for me !" , although I can't remember who it was. :rolleyes:
Boy you guys are on the ball, no pun,........I yai yai, YES I did say that on Aug 5th :rolleyes:, in defense, the vice and graver machine were bought at the same time, I had never really used the vice till my EnSet arrived a few days ago, and I do still mean it..... no more Chinese knockoffs for me:)

what persuaded me buy it, I read on one of these graver forums, might have been this one? someone posted that the Chinese knockoff vice was GREAT!................
 
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Mike_Morgan

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#11
I read on one of these graver forums, might have been this one? someone posted that the Chinese knockoff vice was GREAT!................
The Chinese vise is great if you replace a few things...

1) The Bearing
2) The Jaws
3) The Pin-Block
4) The Vise Screw
5) The Bottom Half
6) The Upper Half

You can keep the rubber donut if it came with one...
 

dogcatcher

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#13
Thee things are not rocket science. I use a bowling ball in a PVC floor flange with a machinist vise bolted to the top, no bearings etc.. As simple as these are, a little tune up of the moving parts should get you going. Take it apart, check the above listed parts, most likely you have a burr somewhere that is hanging it up. A little sanding will clean that up. Or the bearings have sat for so long the grease has caked in place. Mess with turning them for a little bit and see if they will loosen up.
 

Darrell

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Thread starter #15
Thee things are not rocket science. I use a bowling ball in a PVC floor flange with a machinist vise bolted to the top, no bearings etc.. As simple as these are, a little tune up of the moving parts should get you going. Take it apart, check the above listed parts, most likely you have a burr somewhere that is hanging it up. A little sanding will clean that up. Or the bearings have sat for so long the grease has caked in place. Mess with turning them for a little bit and see if they will loosen up.
Thanks DC, I found the problem, the top half pilot bearing is drilled crooked, spins very free when tension is backed off, but then it is so free as you might as well hold your piece in your hand, as soon as you apply pressure so you can grave and apply a little hand rotation it will be free then bind, I tried greasing the ball to stand contacts but then you lose you vertical axis......................on fleabay it goes, someone else need it more than I. arggggggg, I don't have any more doors to stop, and I won't buy a bigger house.
 
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Darrell

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I remember where it was...............it was the sellers site, a review of previous buyer, what a sucker! I fell into a trap probably posted by the sellers wife............PT Barnam was right.....................and it will live on forever.
 

Mike_Morgan

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#17
I've been thinking about your dilemma, and I have thought of several uses for a Chinese (or indian) Ball Vise...

1) A wrecking ball for a doll house
2) One-Handed weight training
3) A cannon ball for civil war reenactments (Black paint required)
4) After it has been painted black for the aforementioned application, you can then put a fuse in the jaws and for halloween dress up as a villain with one of those cartoon anarchist bombs that looks like a giant black Cherry Bomb... (Picture Snidely Whiplash and/or Boris Baddenov)
5) Tie a string to it and use it as a plumb bob to find the "approximate" point before using an actual plumb bob to find the "exact" point... being in range can be VERY helpful.
6) Practice engraving on irregular surfaces that somewhat resemble a sphere.
7) Kayak Anchor!

There must be more...

Personally, If you EVER intend on getting a scope, I would get a nice turntable and keep the thing... My ball vise is an antique that was given to me by the knife maker Mike Lovett, and it is a smooth as SILK... but... It's locked down and sits on a turntable. A Chinese or Indian ball vise would work just as well under a scope.
 
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superhawk

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May 1, 2017
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#18
I know this a old thread, but I bought a offshore 5" ball vice and indeed it did have a tight spot on rotation.
My solution was to install a short 1/4 inch diameter stiff spring under the adjustment screw about 1/2 inch long. Mine was a longer spring cut down.
The spring allows the plastic plunger to ride over the high spot. Mine is so much smoother now.
 

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