Clone 4" Kurt-style Mill Vise Acquired

I recently bought a made-in-China knockoff of the Kurt D-40 4" mill
vice, this being a nice size for my Millrite vertical mill. What I got
is an Enco SR425-7241, which was on sale plus free shipping.
Price comparison: The same Enco catalog quotes $575.00 for the
plain-base D-40 and $86.95 for the corresponding import, so the price
ratio is 6.6 to 1.
I had been looking for a used D-40, but they are far from common, so
gave up and I got the import.
The import vice seemed to work just fine ex box, although the finish
isn't quite polished.
I took the vice apart, and all the expected parts are there, but some
are crudely made, and there was some gritty swarf in the cavities.
The half-sphere that goes between the angled driver and the back of the
moving jaw block was very crudely made, with a big machining center pip
that dug into the face of the angled driver. Cleaned up with a file and
some sandpaper.
The angle was left as cast, so I flattened it with a file, so the flat
side of the hemisphere can slide around freely. The spherical socket in
the moving jaw body was also as cast, not machined. Mated the socket
with the hemisphere using some Clover grit-in-grease and much elbow
grease.
The 8mm square key that fixes the stationary jaw to the vice body was
too big for the slots, and had been forced into the slots. Carefully
filed the square key down a bit, so it's still a push fit, but not a
press fit.
Deburred everything, even the hardened jaws. The burrs were not hard,
and there was thin decarburized layer, so I was able to ease all edges
and corners.
All this took two or three hours. The vice has a very firm grip on flat
stock, and the jaws do remain parallel, but I don't think that the
movable jaw will tilt from side to side much. I don't know how much
side-to-side motion the Kurt vices can manage, but this is a claimed
advantage with stock that is tapered.
Now, the long awaited perfect used D-40 with swivel base will turn up.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
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You did about $500 worth of work to it! But, well worth it.
Reply to
Buerste
I have a cheap imported 6 inch milling vise, and it works great without any alterations.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus11242
There's something about a hand fit that makes everything a bit better.
Reply to
Buerste
What's the comparison? Mine seemed to work OK as received, but I never had a Kurt with which to compare. One before-after difference is that it clamps up more abruptly now.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
Next time I will come across a Kurt vise, I will try to compare them.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus17892
Yes, 500/3= $167 per hour. Good work if you can get it.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
I've got an import and a Kurt vice in eight inch. The Kurt takes less force on the handle to hold the part tight in the vice and it clamps the part down in addition. You can't slide parallels under a clamped part out in the Kurt. They slide right out in the import.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
On Mon, 20 Jul 2009 02:41:35 -0400, the infamous "Buerste" scrawled the following:
FREUDIAN SLIP ALERT!
-- Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil, and still more the man who is indifferent to everything. -- Johann K. Lavater
Reply to
Larry Jaques
You're worth every penny that you pay yourself!
Reply to
Buerste
That would make sense. The import is more crudely made, so there will be more motion. I suppose the test would be to disassemble hand hand-fit the import. It should improve things, particularly the flattening of the angle and flat side of the hemisphere. But it will never be as good as a properly machined vice like the Kurt.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn

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