The Patented CARVEsmart quick-change vice jaw system from America is now available in the UK exclusively from workholding specialist, Leader Chuck Systems. Providing several benefits, the jaw system has been developed to simplify set-ups for production and toolroom vices. It uses a dovetail interface, proven in numerous industrial applications that require mating components to accurately join, to quickly and accurately locate and secure the jaws.
With conventional vices, the jaws attach to the face of master jaws via cap screws. However, the CARVEsmart system uses master jaws with a female dovetail profile designed to accept vice jaws with a male dovetail profile. So, the jaws can be front-loaded or slid into the side of the master jaws, and are secured via clamping elements accessible at the top of the master jaws. These provide downward pressure to keep the jaws in place.
Existing jaws are removed by loosening, but not removing, three channelled clamping elements in the top of each master jaw. As the clamping elements are located at the top of the master jaws, it is not necessary to open the vice as might be required to access cap screws in a conventional vice configuration. Then the jaws are removed from the front of the master jaws, or simply slid out of the side. New jaws are installed by reversing the process; a jaw can be changed in less than one minute.
Leader offers dovetailed aluminium soft-jaw extrusions that workshops can cut to length to suit the application. “A CARVEsmart jaw is around half the price of a commercially made jaw, or even one produced in-house,” explains Managing Director Mark Jones. “This lower cost means jaws can now be disposable or recyclable items. Workshops will no longer need to store jaws when a job is complete and then take time to find, assemble, measure and offset the machine control if the job returns. Instead, they can simply install fresh jaw blanks and cut the workpiece form into the jaws before the new production run.”
As the CARVEsmart system does not rely on traditional cap screws, the jaws feature an increased machinable clamping area; so, larger parts can be held deeper within the jaws and, therefore, more securely in the vice.
Dovetailed jaw blanks are available in many different sizes. Extruded aluminium jaw blanks are available in widths, 19 by 50mm, 25 by 57mm and 50 by 75mm, and lengths of 150, 790 and 2,400mm. Additionally, dovetailed 19 by 50mm EN32B steel barstock is available in 150 or 790mm lengths. Quick Change Hard Jaws and Knife Edge Jaws are also available.
A 6061 aluminium #20000 master jaw set is available, machined flat and perpendicular to +/-0.05mm and is hard-coat anodised. The jaw set uses pressed, stainless steel clamp screw inserts. It is suited for machined and knife-edged jaw workholding. While the EN19 steel #10000 jaw set is ground flat and perpendicular to +/- 5 micron and is for toolroom work using hard jaws or working above the top of the vice.