Turn Table or Positioning Vise?

Turn table or Positioning Vise?

  • I use a vise on a turn table

    Votes: 88 60.7%
  • I use a positioning type vise

    Votes: 28 19.3%
  • My vise is stationary

    Votes: 20 13.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 6.2%

  • Total voters
    145

Tira

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Thread starter #1
Which do you prefer? I've gotten a couple of questions about this lately and would like to know what the community does for this one. Thanks!
 

sam

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#2
Turntable all the way! The positioning vise is fine, but lacks the travel that the turntable has and is slower to position.
 

fegarex

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#3
The advantage I like with the turntable is that you can move the vise "on the fly" and don't have to stop engraving to adjust the vise with both hands. Perhaps with smaller items it isn't an issue but working with firearms it is a must.
 

Mike Cirelli

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#4
I'm with Sam on the turntable. But you have to get the one GRS sells it's so much smoother than the home made ones. I made one from the directions from the air graver site. It worked but the magnablock is to heavy for it to spin smoothly. Just my experience, if you got a heavy block don't waste your time.
I personally didn't find much use for the GRS turntable attachment kit for the shelf. I use a magnablock it seems to big for that setup, but it probably would work better for the low profile or standard block.
Maybe Sam can elaborate on that.
 

Marcus Hunt

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#5
I'm in the other camp, for firearms I prefer the positioning vise. Don't get me wrong, for small flat stuff the turntable is great but I can't get along with it for the big stuff such as shotgun actions. Also, when it comes to engraving awkward angles such as the detonating having that extra bit of slide can mean the difference of having to refocus the scope for just one or two cuts or continuing ones normal cutting. The weight of the positioning vise is also a bonus for firearms. Like a lot of things to do with tools though, a lot is down to individual preference.
 

Idaho Flint

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#6
I'm with Marcus. I have used a positioning vise since the beginning. I finally got a chance to try a GRS turntable with a fixed vise. I have not done much, but I did not like it as well. It just was not as smooth.

Just my 2 cents
Mike
 

ARM

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#7
I'm with Sam on the turntable. But you have to get the one GRS sells it's so much smoother than the home made ones. I made one from the directions from the air graver site. It worked but the magnablock is to heavy for it to spin smoothly. Just my experience, if you got a heavy block don't waste your time.
I personally didn't find much use for the GRS turntable attachment kit for the shelf. I use a magnablock it seems to big for that setup, but it probably would work better for the low profile or standard block.
Maybe Sam can elaborate on that.
MIKE
What if the Block rested on a CIRCULAR Drill Press table and U could loosen the clamp of the table, Rotate the table to where U wanted it to be to re-position Your work in line with the objective lens of Your Scope ???
Would that not work also ???
The DRILL PRESS TABLE itself would now act as Your TURNTABLE.
Is this not practical or possible ???
We need to understand this bit, Please Folks.
ARM
 
Last edited:
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#8
Yip, I'm with the turntable and vise. It makes working under the microscope so much easier. Just centre the scope to the turnrable and push the vise around so the area you are working on always remains centered.

ARM............If I'm reading you correctley that won't work. The scope and the turntable remain fixed and centred to one another. The thing you move is the vise. The area you are working on (no matter what it's position in the vise) is centered to the centre of the scope and turntable..............that way when you rotate the turntable (not the vise) the area you work on will remain within view of the scope...............By constantley changing the turntable as you're suggesting your work will spin out of centre from the scope.

I have to agree with Mike that a home made turntable is OK at a pinch and will do the job but the custom made one from GRS works so much better and is designed to take the heavier weights.

Cheers
Andrew
 
Last edited:

fegarex

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#9
To answer more to ARM..
Yes and no..
As Andrew stated, as you explained it, it would not work.
HOWEVER... I do use a round drillpress as a turntable. I have installed a thrust bearing under the table to make it rotate easily. The advantage of the drill press is it allows easy up and down movement. It doesn's need to be a round table but it makes life easier. Not all drill press tables will rotate freely. The best solution is to put a GRS turntable on the drillpress table if needed.
 
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#10
I like the turntable style, sometimes I am engraving 4 to 6 inches away from the vice. My turntable is 2" thick and mounted to 14" shaft with double bearings for smooth rotation and zero vibration

joe
 

monk

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washington, pa
#11
i use the turntable, but it also supports a few hundred 1/4" ball bearings trapped within a 1/2" thick ring on the turntable periphery. this allows total and instant movement of the vise. if i need to do centering work , i simply remove the bearings, and work the normal way. i turned a ball soccket out of hdpe on my lathe. it offers the perfect resistance i like for reorienting the ball.
 
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#12
While doing small stone setting, I use a turntable under my scope. For most of my jewelry jobs I use just a standard vise on my bench and go really old school with the old leather bag (not my boss) for silver service and trophy work.

Tom
 

ARM

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#13
Learned People
Regret could not accord my full attention earlier.
Correct me again if I am wrong Andrew.
The workpiece is in the Vise.The VISE is on the TURNTABLE. The Turntable has been pre-centred to the Scope's objective Lens, prior to loading the Vise. Now the Graver Handpiece is NOT fed into the work but the Vise is rotated to feed the work into the Graver. Is my understanding now correct ???
Which now leads to my next question.
Does the Turntable need to be locked during the intervals that it is not moved whilst engraving ???
If it does not then we can now look at the very practical idea from THE KING of FEGA ( Fegarex ) :))
We have ordered our bench model drill press and we are sure this model comes with a rectangular Table, rounded obviously at the corners. Your idea is perfect to solve this problem.
(By the way, do consider our slumped currency when U mention acquiring some item from the States. Multiply the Dollar price by over 10 and add another 14 percent to that plus Shipping. Nothing is cheap anymore !!!)
Have already consulted with our Toolmaker Guru to have the drill press table centre accurately turned to fit, what FEGAREX has perfectly prompted - fit a nice heavy duty sealed bearing for the whole table to turn nice and smoothly.
Now could not the whole table be turned to feed the work into the Graver ???
One would reckon smoother curves could be cut that way ???
Tira, Sam and Guys, U know much better.
Experience is the best Teacher.
What sayest U ???
ARM
 

fegarex

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#14
KING OF FEGA, huh???
:)
Hmmm I know I will get all kinds of ribbing for that comment. I guess I never gave it any thought. My first name does mean king but also, here in the USA about 60% of all dogs are named Rex as well. So, I could be FEGA DOG as well....
Anyhow...
The turntable/vise thing is much harder to explain in words than it actually is. You are correct in that you center the turntable to the microscope. The actual vise is also centered at the start as well. You want to lock down the rotation of the vise and then only use the turntable. Then while working in an area the is out of the field of view, you slide the vise into the focal area. It works much like a 4 jaw chuck works in a lathe for turning something off center. I have some smooth plastic under the ring of my vise to allow it to slide easily. I can rotate the turntable, slide the vise and engrave all without stopping. It works well for me. In fact, I really don't like to have the turntable be "too free" so I can put a slight drag on it by slightly tightening the cinch nut.
I hope all of this made sense. It takes only about 30 seconds to show how easy it works, but much harder to explain it.
 

Tira

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Thread starter #16
ARM, This is one of those situations where if you could see how someone is using the turntable it would make perfect sense, but trying to explain it is difficult.

When you look through the scope you see a very small field of view somewhere between 1-3 inches (2.5 - 7.5 cm.) depending on your scope and how much magnification you use. Imagine you want to engrave an object that was a bit larger like a knife. Let's say it's 5 inches long (13 cm.) so you mount it in a holder (thermolock, knife vise, etc.) and then clamp that into the vise. Assume the center of the vise is already directly in the center of your field of view. Now, if you mounted the knife in the vise so that it was perfectly centered from left to right it would hang out of the field of view in your scope by 1 inch (2.5 cm.) on each side. This wouldn't be so bad if you wanted to work on the direct center of the knife which at this point would be in the center of the vise in the center of the field of the microscope's view.

Now, what happens when you want to actually engrave the bolster by the blade? It's hanging out of the field of view. The next logical thing is to move the vise so that the part you want to engrave is under the field of view. The only problem with this is that when you go to spin the vise (to move the part into your graver as you spoke about earlier) the entire bolster will move out of view. The farther away from the center of the vise the larger the swing area will be. Imagine concentric circles like when you throw a pebble into a pond. Each circle away from the original point of entry is larger. In this case the direct center of the vise rotation is our epicenter.

Moving the vise and the scope to compensate for this becomes old very quickly. To compensate for this by the turntable you do this:

1) Put turntable under scope
2) Use centering peg (this comes with GRS turntable) or mark direct center of rotation on turntable (can be with tape, etc.)
3) Look through scope and put center of rotation of turntable directly in the middle of your scope's field of view.
4) Lock the rotation on the vise so it is stationary.
5) Put vise on turntable under the scope.
6) As best as you can line up the part you want to engrave on - in this case the bolster near the blade - directly over the mark on the turntable.
7) Look through the scope and fine tune the bolster into the field of view.
8) To check that it is right rotate the part while looking through scope. If it is correct you will see the part rotate, but it will stay in the view. If it is still drifting slightly take notice of which part of the object (in this case the bolster) seems to be staying still. That area is over the direct center the "epicenter" of the entire set up. Move the bolster closer to that point.

At this point you will only turn the turntable for the rotation. The vise top is locked. If you look at the setup the center of the vise will be about 2 inches (5 cm.) off of the center of the turntable center and will rotate with the turntable, but will travel around one of the concentric circles. The bolster should be in the center and should be relatively stable.

Now as you start to work, the tilt of the vise may have to be adjusted slightly - maybe you have a slightly curved bolster, or perhaps there is a clip or something to work around. With this set up you can "nudge" the bolster into the field of view with your left hand as you change tilt, etc. You will get very good at moving the entire vise into the field of view so you can keep working and not be chasing the part.

This movement on the fly is one of the reasons I'm considering a slightly lighter vise. The magna block can be heavy after a couple of hours of movement. On the other hand, it works with this set up and is very stable.

Now, when you have a very small part that is able to be centered in the vise, stop the rotation of the turntable (tape, pin, GRS sells a clamp, etc.), allow the vise top to rotate and just work off of the vise rotation. I leave the turntable on my drill press stand almost all the time. Sometimes I work with the vise locked and sometimes I work with the turntable locked. Either way it's ready to go.

My drill press table also rotates, but I keep it locked with only slight movement. I only use it to position the entire set up under the scope. When I'm not using the above set up, I use a the small vise (I call it the baby vise) in the bottom of my lowest pull out drawer on my bench. The drill press stand is off to the side and I can swing it in or out depending on what I need or how large the part is. If I'm doing large motorcycle exhaust parts I swing it out in front of the bench and work there so the rotating parts don't hit the bench.

Hope that helps. :)
 

ARM

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#18
Doggone it !!!
First we gotta deal with U. Now we have to cope with Your pets as well :D
Heck Man REX, this is getting out of line. ;)
The bottom line to all this is, we have to do it ourselves, to learn and experience the difference.
We were also looking for direction on whether TURNTABLE or not also, and there too, U have obliged.
Your drill press set up is the way we are going, like so many others in the business. It makes simple good practical sense. Loosen the table, tighten the table, lock the table or just spin the table - Man it's versatile. One can't wish for better.
Thanks for the input.
The knowledge imparted by U Folks is a steal, like U would say.
LORD Bless and
PEACE be upon YOU, YOUR Family and Friends.
ARM

KING OF FEGA, huh???
:)
Hmmm I know I will get all kinds of ribbing for that comment. I guess I never gave it any thought. My first name does mean king but also, here in the USA about 60% of all dogs are named Rex as well. So, I could be FEGA DOG as well....
Anyhow...
The turntable/vise thing is much harder to explain in words than it actually is. You are correct in that you center the turntable to the microscope. The actual vise is also centered at the start as well. You want to lock down the rotation of the vise and then only use the turntable. Then while working in an area the is out of the field of view, you slide the vise into the focal area. It works much like a 4 jaw chuck works in a lathe for turning something off center. I have some smooth plastic under the ring of my vise to allow it to slide easily. I can rotate the turntable, slide the vise and engrave all without stopping. It works well for me. In fact, I really don't like to have the turntable be "too free" so I can put a slight drag on it by slightly tightening the cinch nut.
I hope all of this made sense. It takes only about 30 seconds to show how easy it works, but much harder to explain it.[/QUOTE]
 

ARM

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#19
Turntable

Ma'am TIRA
You a born teacher, good Lady :)
Have saved a copy just in case.....
The way U explained it in such fine detail Ma'am would only leave a duh with any confusion :)
Like i told the King, it would now only leave me to go and experiment with the equipment personally to learn exactly and apply the procedures which U have so simply elaborated.
Can't wait to get finalised on them tools. 'Tis taking too long.
Which reminds me, there is no one machine to do all the jobs.
Like no one caliber would suit all necessities.
Nor one rasp for all filing.
However, we have to decide at the beginning, without any prognosis or final direction, that we would eventually be working on such and such parts for engraving. This we don't know nor can we foretell. Yes, we say we are going to start out with knives, but who is to say that tomorrow mr Joe would come along and ask for his watch or his Harley exhaust engraved :confused: :confused:
It gets more complicated when trying to decide such contingencies. After spending numerous years at the craft U have found, as U developed and improved, that U needed to acquire more specialised tooling to suit Your work. And this came to U naturally over stages.
Now the question begs, what did U start out with initially ???
What one vise only would accommodate all jobs ???
Some folks have even used nine pin bowling balls to make vises. We are not that desperate, thank THE LORD ALMIGHTY.
The point is what Vise would one start out with on a fair budget ???
Having travelled the long road, U can confidently say today U have such and such equipment.
But that still does not answer our question of one single Vise.
A small vise can't accomodate big jobs. But a big vise can grasp small jobs !!!
So without confusing the confounded, what would U reckon U should have started out with, if U had to choose only one vise ???
Yes. Choose Only one Vise. Nothing else. No more. No less.
Now, what shall it be ???
That Ma'am, would finally give me our answer. :cool:
LORD BLESS and take Care.
ARM
 

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