How to Install Soft Jaws

Soft jaws are one of the most versatile and ubiquitous elements of CNC machining today. With the patent-pending Flux Workholding Vise, using them has never been easier.

Step 1: 

Slide the stainless steel shuttles and screw into the vise body. Since we're setting the vise up to work in a double-station configuration, we'll include the center shuttle in between the threaded shuttle on the left, and the counter bored shuttle seen on the right. If we were going to do a single-station configuration, we'd simply leave out the center shuttle.

Step 2:

Grab your center jaw. If you don't have locating studs installed already, go ahead and screw them in. Then place the jaw in the center of the vise. The locating studs will slide into the holes with plenty of clearance.

Step 3:

Now simply push the center of the jaw towards the dowel pins. It will automatically find it's true position, which is highly repeatable. While you continue to apply pressure with one hand, tighten the set screw on the opposite side of the jaw. Your jaw is now locked into its intended position. For fun, you can repeat this exercise a few times, and see if you can get more than 50 millionths of variation. Good luck!

Step 4:

Now you can install the moving jaws. Simply lower them onto their respective shuttles, on either side of the fixed middle jaw. You can tighten the set screws on the outer sides of these jaws to remove any potential for slop, but it isn't necessary. It's just a good idea to eliminate the possibility of a stray chip getting lodged under the jaws. If you are installing the vises into a horizontal machining center, then it is required, so that the jaws don't just fall off due to gravity.

Step 5:

Finally, you can now slip a sacrificial .125 inch thick aluminum shim between the jaws. Then torque the main screw to a level similar to what you'll be using when machining your parts.

Step 6:

You're all done! Go ahead and machine your soft jaws, and remove the sacrificial shim when you're done. Rest easy knowing that you won't have to cut these jaws again for a long time, because you can remove and reinstall them all in about a minute, and know that they'll locate to the same position every time.