Cradling Steel Shafts in the Winn Speedlock 6″ CNC Vise

These photos are of a steel shaft we machine on our CNC equipment at Winn Mfg. The raw material is 3″ diameter 1141 CRS. The first operation, the material is loaded into our Winn Speed Lock 6″ vises with a set of custom vise jaws. The custom jaws are made from 1″ X 3″ X 10″ long CRS that we machined two slots with a 3/4 ball endmill. Then two pieces of 3/4 CRS were bolted into the slots. We did this to create four points of contact to cradle the 3″ diameter material and felt this was an easier solution then milling a large “V” into the jaws. The main design element of the jaws was to hold the 3″ stock consistently and securely, and they worked extremely well.

The two vises were mounted onto our Makino A55 horizontal CNC with a twin pallet changer. The ends of the shaft are machined, then the 2.500 +/-.001 Hex, and a 3/4 diameter hole is drilled and reamed on the other end. (Which is not shown in the photos). The extra effort that was put into the custom jaws mounted on the Winn Speed Lock vises paid off, because the material was held so well that we were able to get aggressive with the machining and still hold the drawing tolerances without any issues.

I don’t know if a set of custom jaws like this could have been built using a quick change jaw system that uses a master jaw, like as the Kurt vise Dovelock system does. The fact that the Winn Speed Lock system bolts the jaws directly to the mounting blocks “without” the addition of a master jaw plate, means that the jaws held stronger to the vise. Also the jaws are 3″ tall, which can put a lot of torque and pressure on the mounting system of the jaws.

Custom Soft Jaws for our CNC Lathe

The next operation was machined on our 10″ Methods CNC lathe. We chucked onto the 2.500 hex with a set of soft jaws with milled flats and a live center in the 3/4 diameter hole in the end. The tolerances for this are not that close. The larger diameter is held within .003 and the long smaller diameter has a .002 tolerance. This operation runs very well, the only issue we ever had with this operation was the mist coming off the coolant and that was solved a while ago by installing a “Mistaway Mist Collector” earlier this year.


The last operation is a simple 12MM keyway on the long small diameter. A different set of custom jaws is mounted into one of our Winn Speed Lock 6″ vises. The keyway is milled on one of our CNC vertical milling machines. The parts will be packaged at the machine using a paper cap on the threads and a plastic mesh over the whole shaft.