Installation & Setup Notes Rock River Tools Adding Capability to the CNC Router Support Home Videos Forum Support Store About
© Rock River Tools All Rights Reserved 2012

Thrust Blocks

The Thrust Blocks are a key part of this vise.  Clamping forces are transmitted into the frame with them rather than through screws.

Acme Screw

The acme screw provides much smoother operation and is faster than an all thread  1/2 -13.  This one is 8 pitch. A screw provides a lot of clamping force, there is no need to over torque the hand wheel. A moderate amount of force will securely hold the part.
Vise Nomenclature


The vise will need to be firmly attached to your router table.  Four slots are provided on the sides of the rails to locate clamp bars.  The slots are 1 1/2 X 13/32 X 1/4 deep. You may also drill and counter bore mounting holes in the rails or stiles. Excercise caution if you choose this option.  Check that you are not drilling into operating areas of the vise.  Also make sure that the screws used to mount the vise do not protrude above the ways. The easiest method to mount the vise allows the Hand Wheel to be outside of the edge of the table.  If you want to mount it elsewhere, you will need to put riser blocks underneath the vise to provide clearance for the Hand Wheel.  Make sure you place blocks under the clamping area to prevent bending the frame. If you are going to use the Front Fixed Jaw to clamp parts you will need to remove the two knurled nuts that secure the rear jaw insert.  Remove the brass bolts and Jaw Insert.  Install them in the Front Fixed Jaw. Note:  When using the Rear Fixed Jaw it is easiest to program by setting the zero in your software to this edge.  Typically that results in all negative values when cutting.  We use the Rear Jaw almost exclusively and have not found this to be any problem.

Setting the Vise Up for Operation

When first mounting the vise only lightly tighten the bolts.  Lightly means just a little more than finger tight. You will need to “tram” the vise to your machine.  “Tram” is a word used to describe aligning one of the jaws to the travel of your machine.  You may use either the front or rear jaw. If you are using jaw inserts install them before tramming as this will result in greater accuracy. Insert a 1/4 or 1/2 inch dowel into the collet on the router and tighten.  It is recommended that a 1/2 inch square bar be used in the next steps.  We use a piece of 1/2 X 1/2 aluminum bar that is quite accurate.  Jog your machine into position near one end of the vise.  Lower the Z axis so that you can insert the bar between the face of the jaw and the dowel.  Use the machine jog step mode to move the machine in small increments until the bar slides between the jaw and dowel with a slight bit of resistance.  Jog the machine to the other side of the vise. Check the fit.  You will probably need to tap the vise a bit one way or another.  Do this gently and with a mallet, not a hammer.  After adjusting, jog back to the original position and check the fit.  You may need to repeat this a few times.  You may also need to adjust the amount of tightening on your bolts.  Once it is to your satisfaction, snug up the clamps/bolts carefully. Note:  Most people use too much force when tightening things up on a machine.  When the router is cutting there is not as much force as many think. If you used a 1/2 inch bar to do this your zero point will be .75 inches from the machines current location.  In Mach if you used the Rear Fixed Jaw, you would enter in the appropriate field -.75, for the Front Fixed Jaw it would be .75.  (the thickness of the gage bar plus one half the diameter of the dowel) That is it!  Your vise should be ready for use.

Traveling Jaw

Notice that the sacrificial jaws can be moved either side.  This allows clamping a part against the front jaw as well as the rear. All of the upper jaws can be easily replaced should they become damaged.