Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Super Fast Vise Handle

One day I found this 19mm socket in the street thinking, "When am I ever gonna need a 19mm socket?" It didn't come to my attention until I remembered that at work I had used a 19mm wrench to tighten the draw bar on a milling machine which is usually 3/4".  After measuring the socket and realizing that 19mm is just so slightly larger than 3/4" I realized this would be an excellent opportunity to make a "speed handle" for a milling machine vise.
The story: when having to open the vise up a lot to accommodate a different sized workpiece, the original handle takes forever since it is so cumbersome.  Several people and companies have offered an alternative called a speed handle, but they are usually made of CNC'd aluminum and look lame. >So what are you saying Todd?

My original idea was to make my handle look like a steering wheel on a pirate ship, but I remembered that I had this extra handle for my machine from when they sent me a replacement after Fed-ex messed it up, and figured, might as well be lazy since 90% of the work has already been done for me!
For aligning the socket and handle on center, since being a machinist has caused me to develop O.C.D., I decided to machine an arbor of aluminum to hold the two pieces together for welding.
The square in the end of the socket was .375", and the bore in the handle .475".  I machined the aluminum to fit these.
The handle fits.
The socket fits.  Obviously, this is on backwards, but I just did this to see if the sizes were correct.
All put together and ready for welding.  I thought this looked like one of those wind speed measuring devices that go on roofs.
After welding, the arbor was removed since it was no longer needed.
Another advantage of a speed handle is for milling operations where not much clamping force is needed, like when machining aluminum, or doing some light drilling.

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