Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

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br549
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Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

Post by br549 »

I needed to drill some 1/2" and 5/16" holes in small blocks of wood yesterday, and it took 4 clamps and 9 scraps of wood to hold the pieces securely while I drilled. This started me looking at drill press vises.

I have a Mark V 500, so I don't have the T-slots at the miter gauge slots. But, I do have a couple of Rockler miter slot clamps that I have already sanded down to fit the Shopsmith Miter Slots and am wondering if they could be used to clamp the vise in place. The five lobe knobs themselves are about 2.25" in diameter, but I can get small diameter knobs if necessary.

If I put the two Rockler miter slot clamps end to end in one miter slot, the threaded knobs to secure the vise would be 4.75" o.c. I could get them a little closer if I cut or sand some off of the ends of the aluminum bars.

Can someone who has this vise measure theirs and give me some dimensions? Need center to center of the mounting slots. Would also like center to center of the two (2) 1/2" diameter steel guide rails (or clear distance between the rails), so I would know what is the maximum size through hole that could be drilled.

And, how do other users handle using a scrap piece of wood below the work piece to minimize tear out?

And finally, comments or criticisms of this vise, or other comparable vise(s) that might be recommended would be appreciated.
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RFGuy
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Re: Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

Post by RFGuy »

br549 wrote: Sun Nov 26, 2023 9:07 am And finally, comments or criticisms of this vise, or other comparable vise(s) that might be recommended would be appreciated.
I would NOT recommend getting the vise that Shopsmith sells (they don't make it). The one I purchased from Shopsmith was of such poor quality it was unusable and I had to return it to Shopsmith - there were similar quality issues reported by others on the FB Shopsmith group by other owners of this Shopsmith vise. See my post on this vise at the link below:

viewtopic.php?p=286704#p286704

P.S. The vise Shopsmith shipped to me was of such egregious quality that I came out of retirement to post this so be very careful if considering this purchase.

I really like the xy cross slide setup & alignment that Geoff Baker used (posted on FB). He has a Wilton 4" cross slide from Amazon:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/6844615 ... ch/?q=vise
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Last edited by RFGuy on Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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SteveMaryland
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Re: Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

Post by SteveMaryland »

Here is how I clamp my Harbor Freight vise to the table.
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I would ideally like to have x-y adjustability without having to loosen the clamps but I make do with this arrangement.
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BuckeyeDennis
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Re: Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

Post by BuckeyeDennis »

I have what I believe is an identical vise, but IIRC I found a better price elsewhere. It’s worked fine for me, for what it is. (Not to be confused with a machinist’s vise.)

The vise appears to be designed with mertic dimensions. The mounting-slot center-center distance is 125 mm, and the slots are 11 mm wide. The tops of the mounting slots are 12 mm above the vise’s bottom plane. The full end-end slot length is 118 mm. The rods are 14 mm diameter, and 77 mm on center.

If those dimensions don’t work out for you, you could always mount it to a piece of plywood, and then mount the plywood to your miter slots. That would give you a lot more positioning flexibility, in any case. As you can see from the Shopsmith photo, the far vise jaw barely reaches past the spindle centerline on a 510/520 table, so mounting the vise directly to the miter slot won’t work out unless you are only drilling holes very near to the edge of the workpiece.
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Re: Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

Post by edma194 »

SteveMaryland wrote: Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:46 am Here is how I clamp my Harbor Freight vise to the table.
C1.JPGC2.JPG
I would ideally like to have x-y adjustability without having to loosen the clamps but I make do with this arrangement.
I have that vice and use a couple of T-nuts and knobs to hold it down. That gets some x-y adjustability suitable for pieces that fit in that vice. I don't leave an insert in the table when I'm drilling either, just to avoid putting a hole in it. I guess I should make a blank insert out of wood to keep stuff from falling through.
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br549
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Re: Shopsmith Drill Press Vise 556416 Dimension Questions

Post by br549 »

Thanks to all for your comments, suggestions, and dimensions.

I chose the Wolfcraft 4" Vise from Rockler's. And, mounted it to a small sliding plywood jig I had made years ago, so as to get full range of drilling capability. I removed part of the wood strips that slide in miter gauge slots and used Rocker Miter Gauge clamps that I already had, so whole assembly can be secured to table without any bar or C-clamps. My first location for the Rockler clamps turned out to be too close to the vise, as the large clamping knobs did not allow vise to slide past. So, drilled new holes and filled first holes with dowels.

Presently using 5/16" carriage bolts to hold the vise to the plywood base, but have ordered some 7/16" carriage bolts which will be snugger fit in the 1/2" wide vise mounting slots. Couldn't find hand knobs for 5/16" carriage bolts that were small enough to not interfere with vise in all of its positions, so opted for wing nuts for now. With larger 7/16" bolts I plan on using a coupling nut cut in half which should be large enough to mostly tighten by hand, and may just have to use a wrench to tighten fully.
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