A brief history of the vise
Clamping technology was initially developed in the Middle Ages with threaded screw clamps.
Around 1750, the breakthrough came with the development of the wooden parallel vice. That was a tool with sliding jaws that moved horizontally on adjustable slots.
The first cast-iron vise was made later, in 1830, in England. These vises were much more durable than the earlier wooden versions.
However, iron vises were not ideal during this time because they were made of molten iron, which created voids during casting and caused the cast structure to become porous and brittle. It meant that the vises often broke under pressure.
To solve this problem, high-quality, unbreakable vices were made of forged steel in the late 19th century until the quality of cast iron improved.
Modern vises have evolved considerably since the parallel vise’s early days due to manufacturing process improvements.
The concept is still very similar – vises still have two parallel jaws that can adjust to hold workpieces of various shapes and sizes, but the cast iron and steel used to make vises today are much stronger than in the early days.
What is a vise used for?
A vise is a tool used to hold objects securely during machining. A vise can hold large and heavy objects because its jaws have a handle that can apply significant pressure.
Most vises can be used for a variety of jobs. When choosing your vise, be sure to select one that is suitable for the task at hand.
For example, can use a vise for a variety of different jobs:
A vise is a valuable tool for metalworking because it can hold the metal in place while cutting, filing, or changing shape and size.
Like metalworking, a vise is a helpful tool in woodworking as it can hold the wood while you work.
Adjusting or screwing
A vise can also be a helpful tool when tightening or loosening a rigid object such as a bolt or nut. The vise can hold the bolt in place while a wrench is used to adjust the nut.
What is the difference between a vice for woodworking and vice for metalworking?
Vises for woodworking and vices for metalworking have different structures and are designed for different purposes.
The main difference between the two vises is the type of material they are designed for. Metal vises are primarily made to clamp metal, while wooden vises are designed to clamp the wood.
In addition, there are several other differences between the two types of vices.
Most woodworking vices are designed to be bolted securely to a workbench, similar to metalworking vices.
However, a woodworking vise differs from a metal vise in that it is usually mounted under the workbench rather than on it, with the top edge of the jaws touching the surface of the workbench.
Woodworking vices are mounted to hold workpieces in a low position to facilitate applications such as sawing or planning for the user.
That is because the vise is flush with the workbench’s surface, which is usually at the optimum working height for the user. That implies the user does not have to bend down when working on an object. This position of the vise also keeps the workbench’s surface clear, allowing the user to complete other tasks.
In addition, a lower vise position often means that the user can apply more pressure when working on more complicated wood in applications like sawing.
A critical difference between a metalworking vise and a woodworking vise is the size of the jaws. The jaws of woodworking vices are more expansive, which prevents cracks in the wood by distributing the clamping force over a large portion of the workpiece.
Metalworking vises have narrower jaws, often with serrated surfaces that can damage softer wood when clamped.
Woodworking vises differ from metalworking vises in that they do not have serrations. Instead, they have flat surfaces, so the wood is not damaged or dented when clamped. It is the main reason a woodworking vise is specifically designed for use on wood.
The smooth surfaces of these jaws also mean that the vise will not be able to grip metal tightly and, therefore, should not be used to clamp metal objects.
In addition, the main threaded screws in wood vices are often coarser than in metal vices, meaning the thread form is larger.
It helps prevent damage to the wood surface because less pressure is applied to the workpiece. That is because a coarse thread means the jaws are not tightened as much when the screw is turned.
Types of vices in the workshop
A vise, a typical mechanical device used to hold a workpiece, is an essential tool in many woodworking, metalworking, and other manufacturing applications. Vices (or workbench vises) are attached directly to a workbench to hold the workpiece during operations such as sawing, planing, and drilling.
Clarke 6″ vice is ideal for wood workers and hobbyists alike. Jaw Width – 150mm. Jaw Opening – 152mm. Jaw Depth – 61mm. Tough cast iron construction. Machine cut thread for smooth and rapid jaw opening/closing.
A robust home workshop and DIY use cast iron vice with a solid stable fixed base. Manufactured from solid cast iron it’s solidly constructed with a large square anvil fixed base and machined jaws. Firm grip and great value too. Jaw Width 100mm. Jaw opening 100m. Jaw depth 55mm. Solid stable fixed base.
A tough general-purpose engineering style bench vice of solid cast iron construction with a large square anvil, swivel base, and machined jaws. Firm Grip – Great Value. JawWidthh 100mm. Maximum jaw opening 100 mm. Jaw depth 55mm. Anvil at the rear.
Tough die-cast aluminum built vice with a powerful suction base with a locking handle for bench mounting. 360 Degree swivel head allows for various positions. Supplied with soft rubber safety jaw covers. Jaw width: 70mm. Jaw opening 70mm. Jaw Depth: 28mm.
Strong, cast aluminum. 100mm jaw opening. Quick-release drill vice with tough hardened jaws. For drill stand or workbench. Release button for quick clamp action.
Toolzone 2 – 1/2″ Drill Press Vice. Maximum Jaw Opening Size 55Mm. Jaw Width 63Mm. Overall Size 130Mm X 126Mm. Drop Forged Construction.