slightly tighten the right nut (Figure 17). Again, only snug
the nut as you may need to make adjustments on the left
Move the X axis so that the indicator is on the left side
of the jaw as in Figure 18. The indicator should read zero
or near zero. If it does not, you will need to loosen the left
nut and adjust the vise slightly, then retighten the nut and
repeat steps 4-7.
Once you are happy with the readings on both sides of
the jaw, tighten both nuts more securely. Once tightened,
go back and check your readings once more to make sure
Your vise is now in alignment with your table and ready
for the stock. Figure 19 shows a piece of stock clamped
into the vise. While exaggerated, it shows that it is nearly
impossible to clamp a piece of stock into a vise without
some sort of aid.
Parallels Enter Stage Left
A particular accessory solves this problem. They are
called parallels. Figure 20 shows a small set of 1/4”
parallels. They are precisely machined pieces of steel used
to keep the stock parallel and raised for machining.
They are placed in the vise against each jaw as shown
in Figure 21. The stock is then placed on the parallels and
clamped in place (Figure 22).
In lieu of parallels, I often use thin neodymium
magnets like the ones in Figures 23 and 24. Magnets are
accurate enough, but will not replace a complete set of
parallels. Parallels are sized for use with vises of different
dimensions. You would not use a 6” long parallel on a 2”
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