"The Vise"

You can't cut metal accurately without some basic accessories. The most important item that you need to invest in is a quality machinists vise. The one pictured on the right is a 5" Chinese made Kurt clone that's imported by just about all the suppliers (HF, Grizzly, Enco, JTS, etc.). It's heaaaavy!! About 75 lbs.

We'll never forget !!!

but is a real joy to use. You can literally feel the force of the vise when you clamp a work piece into those massive jaws. I setup the vise with a test indicator to make sure that the jaws set square. I took the run-out measurements from the back jaws ...

i.e.,the stationary jaws -- in order to get a more accurate reading on the indicator. To help with the fine adjustment I bought a couple of plastic mallets to gently tap the vise into position until I get a variance of ~+-.005", that should do for "government" work. Actually that's quite good.

"The End Mill Chuck"

End mills fascinate me to no end, they are amazing tools that, when properly applied, can cut metal with ease. This process is what attracted me to machining in the first place and has brought much joy and amazement to me. However, among machinists, you can start a pretty heated argument as to how an end mill should be held in the spindle.

Mostly the controversy revolves around the end mill holder vs. the end mill collet. I've seen enough debate to say that for the hobby machinist -- you use what you feel comfortable with. Since the HF44142 has an R8 spindle taper I opted for the HF R8 Collet Chuck kit that comes with (8) collets sized 1/8" - 3/4". It's an inexpensive add-on and fulfills my requirements completely.

Here is the R8 collect chuck with the end cap removed and a 3/8" collet ready to be inserted. I'm not an expert on end mill holders but a machinist friend states that the individual end-mill holder stays "true" longer in a production environment. Take it for what it's worth. I don't run a production environment and have found no problems with the R8 chuck/collet system.

-- Cheers !!

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