Low Profile Vice

I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am looking for a low profile vice like a drill press vice that mounts directly to the waste boar to mazamize the z height which is compromised when using a drill press vice on the x carve. I want to use it to hold tall narrow pieces that cant be bolted to the waste board.

Maybe something like this but with a threaded rod to firmly clamp the work

You can try this:


I think that is what @AllenMassey uses for some of his projects.

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Thats a drill press vice. I am looking for something that does not have all of that metal to maximize the z cutting height on tall pieces.

How about this:


There’s another set of clamps that are similar to those that are made in Easel, but I’m having a hard time finding it.

Here it is:

If that doesn’t suit your needs, hopefully someone else can chime in with their thoughts/designs.

List of designs: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Workholding#Clamp_Designs

Let me know if anything can be added.

I wonder if something like the design of the StickVise could be modified to suit, I.e make it super low profile? http://www.stickvise.com



I’ve often thought that the stickvise would be much better if it had a pair of rods, one to each side of the material to be cut, and if the stock was placed on the wasteboard (or a sacrificial one beneath it).

There was a workholding scheme which used a pair of clamps mounted into the machine which worked thusly.

The concern about clamping from the sides is that one will collapse or distort the stock if one is pocketing — if one can afford the loss of Z-height, better to just use a fixture and screw or bolt into it.

I agree Will. I love the StickVise for its purpose, soldering PCBs. Very simple and wish I had one years ago.

Yes, my thoughts were the same, two rods on the outside, flat clamping faces and clamp it down to the wasteboard. The material can then also be clamped into the vise and sit down on the wasteboard too. As you suggest, it falls apart when a lot of material is pocketed out but I guess for say engraving/drilling operations (or similar) or when you have production level counts to do, it might work well and repeatable positioning could potentially be better too.

Might have a play with this when I get a few minutes. :smile:



Or, how ’bout this?

  • two bars like to the stickvise, on either side of the stock
  • the two jaws have projecting tabs w/ threaded holes a known distance from the center
  • place material on top of the tabs clamping w/ side pressure including a rectangular spoilboard
  • drill holes
  • remove stock, remove spoilboard, replace spoilboard w/ one which has notches cut out to match the tabs
  • fasten w/ nylon machine screws which match the thread in the tabs
  • clamp down the jaws — they could have tabs on either side which would allow the clamps to be lower so as to not interfere so much
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So, @RyanBell, I was just about to suggest the horizontal clamps I designed for exactly the same reason, but it looks like @Tarry_Brindle beat me to it!

Just wanted to offer up that I did modify it on my thingiverse page to have spacing for the xcarve, but since the model is parametric, I could change the spacing to whatever you want - it’s a very minor change in Fusion 360. Anyhow, the thingiverse page is here if you are interested: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:818842

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@FrankGraffagnino I think I would like to give this design a try to see if it will work for my needs. Do you think you would be able to make the jaws 1.5 inch tall and thicker (maybe even triangle supports to brace the jaws) for increased rigidity and spacing for the x carves waste board. At the moment I know nothing about designing in 3D and do the majority of my designing in Illustrator. Thanks for the help!

@RyanBell well, i’d love to do those things, but at the moment I don’t have enough time to redesign it. There is a version already up there for the xcarve spacing.

I’d suggest watching some Fusion 360 tutorial videos… Fusion 360 is a professional software package with world-class CAM functionality built in and it is completely free for hobbyists. Give it a shot! Or, if it seems overwhelming, try out Sketchup, or Tinkercad, or something along those lines (for 3d printing mainly).

@FrankGraffagnino thats fair! Do you mind sharing where hobbyists go to get fusion 360? I downloaded it but it only had a 30 day trial and it is now expired.

I believe one of the links at: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Commercial_Software#3D_CAD is the one you need — I don’t track closed source software that closely though.

@RyanBell see this link for how to activate startup licensing. You basically register for free and then keep renewing it as long as you want.

FWIW, if you need a small 2"x2" milling vice for metal, the Taig milling vice (http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=50249&cat=1,330,50260) is excellent and very low-profile. About $30 at Lee Valley tools.

For larger sheet stock, look at cam clamps. They are infinitely useful and usually shorter than the stock. Great for face milling.