Drill press vise bushing, mill vise clamp stock, and chucks with tangs.

January 3, 2016
Yesterday I spent some time machining a bushing for the end of the drill press lead screw which tends to wobble quite a bit. I had some scrap of aluminum I thought I turn down to size and just get some chips going. Since I only had a piece that was about one inch in diameter, I spend a very long time just cutting it down. So I learned my lesson. I need to get some smaller pieces in case I need another bushing. I did another one for the mini lathe years ago and I guess I just haven't had a need to make many so that's why I haven't gotten any smaller pieces. Anyway, here's a picture of what I ended up with. It's a bit long because the inner piece was my first try and I was pretty tired of cutting this so I started taking larger cuts and cut it under just a tad. The good thing is that I had this other side, so I did the same thing until it got close and took that very lightly to get just the right amount of clearance where I could push it in but it would not be loose. So it's a bit of a press fit if you will and won't move.

My dad is the one who always uses the drill press and I finally got a chance to use it and found out why he was always telling me how bad this thing was. Well I lubed it up, adjusted things on the drill press and vise and now it works much better. I think the size was 19 mm OD and 16 ID. Well the inner was just over the lead screw size which was fine since it's just to guide it or keep it in place.




Now that I have been adjusting things on the machines so that they can be used I finally got a few more pieces of stock to make a few more parts.

Here's my new stock. I got some steel brackets because I want to make better vise hold downs on the mini mill. I just never got around to doing this. They do sell them but they are not cheap. I found these small brackets already bent with holes that already fit the mill studs. All I had to do was drill the second hole in each one and deburr the holes on the wheel. I still have the small two small ones to do. The small flat stock is for some new gibs. The originals are not the best although I did machined them to work on the lathe but I wanted to make some new ones for the longest time. I found these to be almost the exact size I needed. They where .25" thich x 1" thick.

The two round bars in the front are cold rolled steel. I'm hoping to make some dovetail cutters with those. It's what was there so that's what I got.


 The aluminum pieces are for what I hope will be a few more tool holders. I found some scraps that where just about the right size.

 Here are my new steel mill vise brackets. That small machinist vise is fine but they don't have built-in mounting clamps and they were not included which has always annoyed me. So it was time to get this fixed once and for all. Well that's the idea anyway. The good thing is that I don't even have to machine these to size. The long ones are already 3" high.

Now since this is something most people won't have, I wanted to do this as simple as possible in case anyone else needs some and wants to make their own too. The first thing I did was make a tranfer screw. Ok, the very first thing was to find the right size screw that would fit to the hole on the side of the vise. The machinist vise has two holes on the stationary jaw. The reason I wanted to use this now is that when I tried to make a cut on a very hard bolt, the tool kind of jammed and move the vise forward. I had that happen before and well using that to bolt the front should work perfectly and keep that from happening again.


 Here's the first thing I had to do. I was going to start machining the gibs but then the vise got to me so I said the heck with it, it needs to get fixed so I can cut without any problems. Found a metric screw that fit the hole which I believe was an M8.

 Parting the head with an HSS cutter. Cuts like butter after I learn to sharpen it. I thought they were crap at first since it would barely cut anything. You need to sharpen it when you get them. Just put it straight against the grinding wheel and let the wheel arc transfer itself onto the tool. It was sharper than a knife and I also learned to back it off since it was extending way too far out. It works beautiful now. Even with very hard bolts. Just take it easy when cutting anything.

 Trying to figure out how to make that nice tip on the end of the screw. See how the compound rest is towards the back. Well they say  practice makes perfect and until you do it, it's not as simple as it looks.
I usually keep my compound  rest straight to the front and the tool either on the left or the top as you see here. I used the side to cut this but that's not the correct way. I ended up breaking one side. No biggie as I was able to turn to a new side, but you still need to cut with the tip. It's the tool angle you need to get correct. This is where I prefer the lever of the original tool holder vs this hex screw on the top. However the quick release works much better than the other one. So these two just need to get merged and then you will have something that just works without too much fuss. Not a huge deal but there you go.

 Here's what I was aiming for. I know the pictures are blurry but I was using my swann camera which really sucks at pictures and my phones usb port is crapping out so it won't charge.

 The tip is on the side where I cut the head so that it could then be screwed into the hole. This will allow me to mark the exact area where I need to drill. I learned this tip from one of Mr. Pete's videos online. If there is anyone you can learn about machining, he is just a great person to watch.

 I then placed the bracket on the bed and slid it to the tip and used it to mark a line across. Usually you may tap the part against the screw to mark it but the brackets are not 90 degrees exactly. It's a bent piece of steel. So I just marked it, used the square to make the line across and divided the width by to to get my center and used the ruler to mark it again. I then used a center drill to make the starting hold in the drill press and then used a drill that was a bit larger than the hole. The steel is very hard so I know it will work here fine.

A top view of the screw setup. You can also see one of the old blocks I'm using on the other side. I used the same side to mark both brackets and that worked well. The first thing that will need to get screwed in is the top screw where I used the transfer screw, then the bed side. I did use the grinding wheel to deburr the holes. As you can see the large front clamps are not the best there. They are just a bit too big for the slots on the side. They worked, but the new clamps should be much better and are easier to use too. For the front ones I can just leave them tighten there and undo the bed side and lift them up. I may paint them to keep them from rusting, but it started raining pretty bad now.

January 5, 2016
I got a chance to see if I could use the same screw to mark the smaller brackets. The screw does fit the holes on the side but since there is no thread is a bit lose. I used the drawbar stop handle on the right side to give the screw a stop. While I held this in place with the tip sticking out, I went ahead and marked the smaller brackets.

Here's a closeup of the setup for the smaller front brackets.

A closer look at the screw tip.

The draw bar stop on the other side. It fits through it fine. I just had to back up the movable jaw back.

Here's what my mark looks like. I just moved it side to side to make a line. This gives me the height right where I need to be when drilling the holes.

Here I brought them back to my desk and used a square to make a line across so that it's easier to see. I then measured the width, divided it by half and made my mark. These were 38 mm wide. I just used that metal ruler you see here, so nothing special. I will be drilling and tapping these holes since there is no thread on the vise holes. This way I can get a bolt on the bracket that will go into the hole in the vise keeping it from moving to the front or the back. Plus the flat sides will also hold the sides. So this is turning out much simpler than machining blocks. These brackets are 4 mm thick cold rolled steel. They are super strong for this setup so I have no doubt they will work. Since the 8 mm transfer screw fits in the hole I will be threading for an 8 mm bolt unless I find that a 9 mm fits. I haven't checked yet. If forgot to mention that the reason the smaller brackets are wider is because that's all there was. I was hoping to get all the thin versions but after I got home I saw how well the wide ones worked too. The thinner ones still work but now I wouldn't feel bad if they were wider too. Again, these were the only choices so you use what you have. Now I have new clamps for a couple of bucks instead of spending like 24 dollars for the two that I have seen. And this is the reason I'm starting to make my own tools and parts more now.

January 7, 2016
Clamps work continued...
I've been working on these mill machinist vise clamps for a few days. I wanted to take my time to make sure I got them done right. So when I got to the smaller clamps I found out I needed a 17/64 drill bit in order to make a hole for an 8 mm thread. Unfortunately getting the correct metric drill bit here in the USA is not as easy as you think. Needles to say it's taken me about two days just looking and driving around trying to find this size drill bit. Trying to find this size was bad enough, I also wanted to get the cobalt version so that I don't have to keep buying them since I usually have to drill into very tough bolts and steel. In the end I found this craftman 17/64 black oxide that I decided to try since it was the only one I could find. The brackets are cold rolled steel and pretty touch but this managed to get the holes done. I'm only going through about 4 mm of steel so that helped too. I first used the center drill to make my mark. I probably didn't need to use it, but I'm really liking center drills.
http://www.sears.com/craftsman-17-64-in-black-oxide-point-drill-bit/p-00966179000P?redirectType=SKIP_LEVEL

 Here I'm using this 8 mm drill/tap/deburr bit from this set I found at HF. I have an 8 mm tap already but since it had the right size drill end I thought I get it just in case I didn't find the correct drill bit above. NOTE: I did NOT turn on the drill press for the threading here. I just used the chuck to keep it aligned while I lightly pull the lever to bring the tap to the work piece. I then used my left hand to rotate the chuck and get that threaded. Needless to say that it actually worked just fine this way. I didn't use the drill end from it since I had the other drill bit and my drill press doesn't have a tapping speed. If I had turned it on, I would most likely end up breaking the tap. I learned that lesson on my mini lathe a while back. So make sure to tap by hand and you will be just fine.
http://www.harborfreight.com/metric-drill-tap-deburr-bit-set-95529.html

 Testing my bolt here and as you can see it fits just right.

 Bottom view.

Here are both holes finished. I used the parallels to give me some height since the holes where right above the jaws of the drill press vise. The reason these small ones are threaded is to put a screw in them that can act as a stop since they will go into the holes in the back side of the vise. The hole size is 8 mm. The vise holes on the top of the other two clamps are already threaded so that's why there was no need to thread those clamps. I will just use the bolt to hold those together there. Pretty much the reverse of these if you will. So there you have it. All four brackets are now drilled. I just need to decided whether I want to mill the height on these small ones a bit since they stick above the edge a little bit which is fine, but they would look better if they matched the side of the vise.  I haven't decided to just paint them and install them or cut them down a bit. These will rust so fast it's not even funny so I need to find me some primer and I think we got some old paint around here somewhere.

January 11, 2016
I finally got the vise clamps all primed and painted. It's been cool and raining so I had to let these sit for a few days so the pain would dry as much as possible. They actually came out pretty good. I wanted to paint them because steel will just start rusting like there's no tomorrow.





I even cleaned and primer the bolts since they were pretty dirty too.

Here they are finally installed holding my vise. Much better now too. these are the original clamp nuts and bolts so I just used those for now. I decided not to mill the smaller ones since they were the exact height for the ends in case I want to turn this sideways.



The only small thing is that I used  random hole when the front clam was off to mark the holes and once I came to actually install them, I found that neither of the holes lined up with the clamp. So I had to use the front or rear hole on the vise.

The same thing for the other side. Not a big deal since the bolts fit lose so this actually really clamps down on the vise more too. maybe I'll get two more later, but it's fine. All in all, this basic thing is done.
Although this machinist vise works fine, it did not come with any mounting clamps which is not something you think about when you're starting with this stuff. The good news is that now you can get one of the newer 3" vises with the built-in clamping ears. I was thinking about getting one but decided to get the clamps since I found these that I could easily use. I did find out that this vise may not be the best one for larger part holding so maybe in the future I'll look into one of the others if they are not too much or if the need comes up. I do have a nice flat piece of aluminum that I want to make a tooling plate out of. I already dialed this vise in so that will be for another time.
Drill Chucks
 I finally got a chance to test out my keyless chuck on the drill press. As it turns out, that slight round at the end of the tang doesn't only screw things up on the mini lathe, but it won't even allow me to get much of the wedge to remove it from the drill press.  In short, I will need to finally make a flat on the end like the original chuck tang you see here in order to allow for the key/wedge to go in with any problem. I can barely get it in there now so I will finally fix this once and for all. I don't know if it was just this chuck, but man, who knew that little end there could be so much trouble. I was trying to figure out how I was going to do it, but I'm just going to stand it up straight and hold it in a vise and mill the top. In the mill if I can get it done, or the drill press even. The keyless chuck is a grizzly H8260 1/2" MT2 that I got a while back when I got my lathe. The chuck works great, but this rounded tang has been the worst thing ever. Of course I didn't want to mess with it, thinking why mess with it when it actually does need fixing.Well just that tang that is. You can see that even the HF chuck came with a nice flat on the tang. And now that I lubed it and adjusted things, it makes holes just fine.



January 11, 2016
I got a chance to test the new vise clamps. I finally mill the end of this keyless chuck that had an ark instead of being flat. That small rounded end has be nothing but a pain to use. Even in the drill press, I could barely put the wedge in to remove it so I'm happy I finally got around to doing this one.

 I tried taking the end off with the chuck straight up but found out this vise just didn't have enough of a grip. So I put it on its side and I was even able to use the left clamp bolt as a stop. I almost ruined another nice new end mill the other way.

 Well I didn't need any special setup in order to do this so that was nice.

 The edges were nice and sharp, but after running it through the wire wheel, everything is nice and clean and now it won't cut me.

 This is the way it should have been from the beginning. Now I should be able to use it in the mini mill or drill press if I ever need it. Don't ever try to make holes with a chuck that has a rounded tab. Trust me on that one. On a lathe that is.

Now it can even stand on this end.

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