Milling Vise Recommendations?


Is the vise for projects that make cuts on the surface of the stock but do not cut all the way through? Do you still use the MDF washboard for projects that are cutting a shape all the way through the stock? I am trying to get a good feel for when to use the vise and when to use the MDF washboard.


Correct- you would not want to use the vise when you’re going to cut through your stock, our if you need to profile around your stock (since the jaws would be in the way).

The selection of work holding comes down to:

  • What method will be strong enough to hold the stock.
  • What method will give me enough access to the part to complete machining.


I think there are ways to cut through the stock and use the vice.

  • Instead of using the large waste board, you put in a smaller waste board into the vice (since it’s so beautifully long) and tape or fixture wax the workpiece to that. This way you can stage multiple parts, all with their own mini waste boards. In this scenario, the vice would be gripping only the waste board, so it would need to be somewhat thick.

  • If you need more z-travel, you’d have to grab the workpiece with the vice. Place a thin hardboard sacrificial piece underneath it. You have to ensure that there is enough material around the perimeter of the workpiece so that the vice is still gripping well after the part is cut out. Carbide3d’s youtube video with the Master Chief wax figure is a really good example of that.

any info on the intended use of the mounting hardware for the vise? I assume it is meant to mount to the centerline of the bare table, with the two center screws but what about the pins? just dropped in the outer holes?

The alignment pins should be inserted first, prior to screwing the vise down. The screws are going through clearance holes in the vise-base and then engaging threads in the table—so they’ve got some play to them. The vise wouldn’t be perfectly lined up every time you put it in if you just use screws, so that’s what the pins are for.

Why not use counter-sunk fasteners you say, so the screw-holes self-align? It’s much harder to precisely countersink the holes, and it provides less effective clamping compared to having flat-faces for the screws to rest on :wink:

(so use the pins!)

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Ordered the vise. Any chance of making the aluminum(?) alignment blocks with pins that sit inside the vise available? I am talking about the ones used in the video of the machining the Halo figure out of the round orange block.

@robgrz geez I know you guys are really busy - I received my Nomad last week (it is a.w.e.s.o.m.e.).

Is it possible to confirm my mega-pack + vice + flip-jig are still in the works to be completed and/or shipped out?

much appreciated, and thanks guys for working so hard to make such a capable and cool machine.

warren bailey.

I just received my Nomad today (my wife is going to wonder where I’ve disappeared to for the next few days ;-)…). I was wondering the same things when I unpacked it and came by to see if I missed something about the mega pack shipping separately. I knew the flip jig and vice was still in the works, just wasn’t sure about the mega pack…

Hi guys,

The Mega Packs ship separately, and the vises & flip-jigs also ship separately from that so that no part of the overall commitment holds up the rest, meaning you get everything as soon as possible.

I believe that Jorge has a master list of who’s been shipped what so far, so give it a week or two and if things aren’t caught up, shoot an email to and bug us about it, and we can give you an update :relaxed:


Is there any intention to manufacture another batch of vices? I know I’m a bit late to the party but I’d like to get one.

If I understand correctly, they’re still cranking them out for kickstarter people (I’m still waiting on mine). I assume it’ll show back up in the store when they get through those.

I just got my vise recently, and it’s great! Came with two screws and a hex wrench, and also a wax block and a dice (wondering what it’s for)! You mentioned the pins, and it makes sense since there is a bit of play for the screws in the whole, but I’m wondering where could you get the pins, or maybe something common would work? Thanks!

yes, I found a couple of I think it was 6mm drill bit shanks worked really well to locate it while I tightened the screws, they are slightly undersize where dowel pins would be a press fit so you can still get them out once it’s tightened up and you can just lift the vice off when you want to remove it. The dice is for milling into funny skulls or whatever you like, you can make a custom dice.

Just measured the holes and they seem to be right at 6mm. I guess I just need to find something that’s 6mm in diameter. Thanks for the explanation of the dice! It seems to be fun to make a custom dice.

yes, well you will find the shank of a 6mm drill bit is ever so slightly less than 6mm (I know surprising but true) where a dowel pin is spot on 6.00mm and will be a press fit. So two 6mm drill bits should be your best bet. Also a 15/64" drill bit is 5.9531mm so that might work too but could be tight with only 0.0469 of clearance.

Also, I don’t know how you measured the hole but as the faces of a vernier calipers inside measurement prongs are a finite width at the edge of the blade they always measure a hole dia slightly under-size of what it actually is.

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@ApolloCrowe pointed me at McMaster part #98432A206 awhile back; its a 6mm pin with internal 4mm threads, so in case the fit is very tight (like it was for me), you can insert a 4mm bolt into the top of it and pull it out.

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The measurement is actually around 5.95mm, so compensating for the error, I guessed Carbide 3D made them 6mm.

Thanks for the suggestion. It seems to be a very good choice.

BTW the specs of the bed are here so you don’t have to measure this stuff!