Tormach Fab Lab: Toolmaker Vises

If you haven’t seen toolmaker vises before, then it might not be immediately clear why you might need one.  It turns out, however, that they are a very handy device to have in your work holding arsenal.  Small tool maker vises are designed to be held inside a larger machinist’s vise.  Bigger Toolmaker vises can also be held directly to mill table via strap clamps or a magnetic chuck.

Tool maker vises are excellent for holding delicate workpieces and also great for doing work on the end of a workpiece.   Since the sides of the vise are precision ground, they can be easily used to do parallel or perpendicular work on opposing or adjacent sides of a workpiece without the need to re-indicate anything.

Here’s a quick video we put together with some ideas about how you might use a tool maker vise with a Tormach PCNC or other milling machine.


Other tool maker vise applications include:

  • Working on the end of a pin or cylinder
  • Flycutting and/or facing of small cross sections
  • End Drilling
  • Cross drilling
  • Edge milling thin sections

We now have a whole family of tool maker vises available.  Make sure to check them out here:

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Andrew Grevstad

With over ten years of professional experience in advanced manufacturing systems, digital design tools, and applied software, Andy Grevstad has worked in product development and technical support for Tormach since 2008. Grevstad has received engineering degrees from Michigan Technological University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a regular contributor to Digital Machinist magazine and also blogs weekly about CNC milling and related topics on the Tormach blog, Milling Around.

Andrew Grevstad