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I've reached a point I'm my build where I'm going to need a pin vice and bits.

 

I see Micromark has several different styles so I'm looking for advice / suggestions.

 

Dave

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I would watch E-Bay for a used  Starrett. I own a few of these and they very accurate. Probably run around the same price as the Tamiya Richmond has mentioned. Good luck I just hate the cheap ones being made now, as it seems none of them are centered 

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Posted (edited)

Ditto on the Starrett pin vise, although the ones I've seen on FleaBay lately sometimes cost almost as much as the new ones! 

 

As for bits, I'd recommend starting with a Rogers bit set (about $25,) which comes in an indexed stand with a plastic protective cover. (Without the cover, if you drop the stand, I guarantee you'll be unable to find at least three of the bits that spill out all over the floor!) Thereafter, I'd suggest you subscribe to the MicroMark and Model Expo email catalogs. They will pester you to death with "sales," but if you keep an eye open, they sometimes have really good clearance deals on drill bits that come in tubes of ten or twelve of the same size. When they come along, stock up on the sizes you use the most. You can then refill your drill index as you break bits... any you will. You will. :D

 

lAddZDd.jpg

 

Edited by Bob Cleek

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My dentist gave me a few used burrs and I found they were far too dull after grinding tooth enamel when the smoke started rising from the wood on which I tried them.   He then gave me a few new ones and they were much better, but the range of sizes was small so I bit the bullet and bought a variety of cutter and polishing burrs with different sizes and shapes.   I am now trying a combination of burr carving for the initial shaping work, and chisels and gouges for the detail work and texturing.    

Allan 

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Dave,

For bitts for wood, the set Bob shows are great.  But, if you are going to be drilling through brass or even steel, they will not hold up very long.  McMaster Carr has bits in wire gage sizes down to 96 if I remember correctly.  They are a "bit" pricy but will not dull for a long time. They have steel, carbide and other materials, but the prices do get ridiculous for the super high end bitts which are probably never needed with the materials we use in this hobby of ours.  You really do  need a very good pin vice to  hold the tiniest bitts securely. 

Allan

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Posted (edited)

By the way speaking of other type of vise for holding parts down when drilling. I just picked up this miniature toolmakers vise from Lee Valley today. I checked it it is excellently made. I was surprised at its low price!

 

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=75613&cat=1,41637,41659

 

Edited by Y.T.

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Y.T....I went on Lee Valley's website to spend some $$$ and the vice is out of stock. Incredibly it indicated it would be available December 4th....Moab

 

 

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On 7/16/2019 at 9:16 PM, biltut said:

I would watch E-Bay for a used  Starrett. I own a few of these and they very accurate. Probably run around the same price as the Tamiya Richmond has mentioned. Good luck I just hate the cheap ones being made now, as it seems none of them are centered 

Definitely agree with used Starrett for E-Bay.  I work in the tool making industry and it is the "go to" brand for tools.  I have bought the cheap ones and you get exactly what you pay for.  I bought my existing pin vises as a used Starrett set from E-Bay and don't regret it for a second.

Tom

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Sure, old toolmaker's tools are the best, but I recently found quite good quality ones on ebay (disclaimer: I have no other relationship with the sellers then as a customer):

 

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Good-Quality-Slim-Brass-Single-Ended-Pin-Vise-Tools-Hold-Drills-Pins-Wire-Vice/281157809979?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

 

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Quality-Wooden-Handle-Single-Ended-Pin-Vise-Tools-Hold-Drills-Pins-Wire-Vice/281339713517?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

 

Stay away from double-ended pin-vices and those with collets. It is good to have a whole collection of them, as it is handy to leave certain tools in them for quick use.

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1 hour ago, wefalck said:

Sure, old toolmaker's tools are the best, but I recently found quite good quality ones on ebay (disclaimer: I have no other relationship with the sellers then as a customer):

 

Thanks for a tip Wefalck. I bought them both to check them out.

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The Starret ones are toolmaker pin-vices, meant to hold reamers or files and such things. Eclipse for instance would be European product of comparable quality.

 

The pin-vices or needle-holders I showed originate in biology and horology respectively, I believe. I like the slender brass ones for working in tight spaces, such as rigging. You are less likely to get hooked with the tightening screw. Also, the pencil-size diameter makes for comfortable handling.

 

For bigger jobs I also have toolmaker-style ones.

Edited by wefalck

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The one that I find most comfortable to use is a General Tools 92 Swivel Head Pin Vise

However,  it is an old version and I am fairly sure it was before China became the fabricator, so I do not know if the same tolerances obtain..

Compared to these others, it is like a kid from Dog Patch showing up at a exclusive boarding school dance, but it works for me.

 

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 The swivel piece on the handle end is very very important feature for drilling operation. This is why Starrett tools are good for holding but not well suitable for drilling. 

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3 hours ago, Jaager said:

The one that I find most comfortable to use is a General Tools 92 Swivel Head Pin Vise

However,  it is an old version and I am fairly sure it was before China became the fabricator, so I do not know if the same tolerances obtain..

Compared to these others, it is like a kid from Dog Patch showing up at a exclusive boarding school dance, but it works for me.

 

I purchased and threw away 3 similar cheap pin vise sets with swivel piece on end of handle. The one you recommend looks good but reading Amazon feedback on it reveals it now is not of good quality. I am afraid being disappointed again. Currently I am very happy with this one from Lee Valley. It is called Jeweller's drill.

 

 

33j6101s1b.jpg

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From the link that Bruce D provided - its is obvious that the Suits have altered the design - sacrificing quality for profit,  like that is anything but the rule.

The old swivel is significantly larger and I bet the collets are less precise, not that the originals were up to anything but wood as a target.

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Prompted by the discussion here, I did something that I had in mind to do for already a while: I created a page on my Web-site for hand-held work-holding tools from my tool collection. For this I took a couple of pictures:

 

https://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/tools/workholding/pin-vises-1-no-72.jpg

 1 - Archimedes drill for watchmakers.
 2 - Slender modern pin-vice with hollow fluted brass body.
 3 - Slender antique pin-vice with hollow fluted brass body.
 4 - Shop-made pin-vice with walnut body and head made from an insert drill-chuck; these drill-chucks are unfit for their intended purpose as they usually do not run true.
 5 - Eclipse toolmaker's pin-vice with knurled steel body; these come in different sizes.
 6 - French-style pin-vice; these are closed with the sliding ring and have usually brass inserts in the two jaws that can be adapted to special needs;
 7 - Dito, here the jaws are replaced in hard-wood for delicate parts.
 8 - Antique laboratory pin-vice with fluted wooden handle.
 9 - Modern pin-vice with fluted wooden handle; these come in different sizes and capacities.
10 - Antique toolmaker's pin-vice for very delicate work in confined spaces.
 

https://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/tools/workholding/hand-vises-1-no-72.jpg

https://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/tools/workholding/hand-vises-2-no-72.jpg

 1 - Toolmaker's hand-held vice that is closed with a sliding ring.
 2 - Hand-vice with parallel serrated jaws moved by a screw.
 3 - Antique american style hand-vice; the jaws are closed by screwing in the conical body; the handle and body have been replaced.
 4 - Hand-held collet-holder; this uses horological lathe collets; the advantage is that work can be transferred between the holder and the lathe when it has the nominal collet diameter.
 5 - Castrovejo surgical non-locking needle-holder; they come in various sizes, this one is for eye-surgery.
 6 - Antique surgical locking needle-holder; these come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
 

 

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I wonder just how many people on here know the difference between a Pin Vise and a Pin Chuck ?

 

Any toolmaker will tell you what each is used for and you can find them both on eBay both sides of the pond.

 

For those that are curious to find out what the difference is, then I shall inform you.

 

A PIN VISE is only for holding something ( think the word Vise says it all ) for you to do whatever you need to do to it, like file, whack or bend it.

 

A PIN CHUCK is what you should be using for any drilling operation that you require to do ( the word Chuck is a dead give away ).

Either by hand, or by inserting the small drill Chuck into a bigger chuck, so you can use very small diameter drills that the bigger chuck will not hold.

 

Now a Pin Vise of any brand is not recommended for drilling, as it's only made for holding something, the jaws are NOT truly concentric to the body and if you use it as a drill, you can and will break very small drills, because of the jaws not being concentric.

 

Now a Pin Chuck does have jaws that are truly concentric to the body and it has been made especially for drilling with small drills.

That is why a Pin Chuck has a small short handle to distinguish it from any old wobbly Pin Vise, it does not matter who's brand is on it either, if you contact anybody from any brand name manufacture, they will inform of these very same details.

 

If you want very accurate holes with virtually no drill stem wobble, then buy Pin CHUCKS and if you really have to, add a longer handle so you can use it by your fingers a bit easier.

You can make a handle very easily that will be just about dead nuts spot on for being truly concentric, add it to the Pin Chuck and then check for run-out on your lathe after you have fitted the longer handle.

 

Or, buy Pin Vise's knowing you are buying second best for attempting to drill accurate holes.

If you want to, check on eBay and just see what the difference is between the two different types.

Edited by greenie

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