Monday, December 21, 2015

Pipe Clamp Vise

I received half of a pipe clamp at a garage sale for free since nobody else would buy it, and decided to make it into a vise.  I used a scrap block and a pipe nipple from the hardware store for $3.
pipe clamp half and some scraps
Just to make sure we're all on the same page, this is what a pipe clamp looks like.  One half (the half I got) mounts on the threaded end of a pipe, the other half can slide down the whole length of the pipe depending on the size of whatever you're clamping.  The second half is held on by some spring mechanism which I didn't feel like re-creating, so it turned into a vise instead.
a typical pipe clamp

I first threaded the pipe into the clamp.  In order to prevent rotation, I drilled a hole through both for a pin.
drilling anti rotation hole in pipe clamp
Here the 5/16" pin is in place.
pinning pipe clamp to pipe
I then proceeded to mushroom the end of the pin with a ball peen hammer so it wouldn't fall out.  My "anvil" in this situation is a scrap piece of hardened A2 steel.
forging pin to secure pipe to clamp
yay forging!
As for the block, it had a hole in the side to begin with, though not in the location I needed.  I drilled a hole in the other side.  My machine would stall when trying to go through the intersecting hole with a 1" drill, so I used a 1" end mill which did the job and got all the way through.
drilling hole in block for pipe
The pipe diameter was 1.060", which I don't have a drill size for, so I used some Criterion magic, and bored the hole to the finished size.
boring block pipe hole clamp to finished size
With the pipe in the hole, I drilled a hole through it and the block for a pin to secure the location.  The dashed lines show the hidden portions of the pin.
pipe inserted into block and pinned
And, as before, forging the ends to permanently secure it.
mushroomed rivet head
Oh man, what a cool looking vise.  I wonder where I should mount it....
the coolest vise on the block
Since the movable jaw was higher than the block, I went ahead and milled them both level in addition to facing the top of the mushroomed pin.  Since I countersunk the pin hole, the forged pin end still has presence.
finish milling vise jaw

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