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Glossary Index


Glossary Entries



All vices are composed of two basic parts: the stationary body and the sliding jaw, which exerts pressure on the workpiece. This pressure is transmitted by the handle (or tommy bar) through the main screw which is located by a long nut.

The nut should be securely locked and dovetailed into the body so that the body and sliding jaw are always in alignment.

All bearing surfaces should be accurately machined for smooth operation.

The body, sliding jaw and nut should be cast from high quality grey-iron while the handle, main screw and replaceable jaws should be of steel.

Record grey-iron vices are designed for strength under pressure, which can be as much as 3 tonnes between the jaws, but they should never be struck with a hammer or used as a part-time anvil.

When using a vice to hold a product which is likely to be struck by a hammer it is always best to use an unbreakable vice.

Record unbreakable ductile-iron vices are designed to withstand high pressure and shocks such as hammering.

Users should never forget the substantial pressure applied through vice jaws and it is customary to use fibre grips for mechanics and engineers vice jaws or wooden cheeks or soft inserts in other vices in order to protect the work.

Bench Stop

A bench stop is similar to a dog fitted through a hole in the bench top. Long workpieces can be securely held between a front dog vice and a bench stop.

Chain Pipe Vices

This has a bottom jaw which is in the form of two sets of ribbed jaws set at a 'V' angle on which the pipe rests. The chain is then hooked between the jaws and tensioned by handle and screw. This pulls the pipe into the jaws and provides a stronger grip than a hinged pipe vice.

Drill Press Vices

These vices are bolted to the base of a drill stand to hold material for drilling, boring, tapping and other press work.

Engineers Quick Release Vices

Heavy-duty ductile-iron vices designed to withstand the shocks of hammering, chipping and other tough applications.

High tensile body and slide castings guaranteed against breakage.

Fibre Grips

Soft faced slip-on jaws to protect delicate or plated surfaces.

Front Dog

The front dog is a block of metal or wood in the front jaw of a vice which can be raised above the level of the bench top as a form of bench stop.

Hand Vices

Hand-held vices for clamping or holding small workpieces.

Hinged Pipe Vices

This has hinged jaws so that the top jaw can be closed around the pipe when in position. When the top jaw is hinged forward a locking hook automatically engages. This provides a quicker action than a chain pipe vice but not the same tension.

Mechanics Vices

Strong and rigid in design, these most popular medium-duty bench vices are made in a range of sizes from 3in to 8in.

Plain Screw

A vice which is not fitted with a quick release.

Quick Release

A trigger mechanism which unlocks the main screw allowing the sliding jaw to be quickly opened and closed without winding the handle.

Swivel Base

Allows the vice to be rotated through 360° and locked in the desired position.

Table Vices

Small portable vices which can be quickly clamped to any convenient working surface.

Tail Vices

Woodworking vices with only one front jaw. The jaw is made from beechwood, bolted to a light cast frame. When the vice is fitted, the edge of the bench top acts as the back jaw. Fitted with a dog for holding long pieces against a bench stop.

Wooden Cheeks

Woodworking vices are provided with countersunk holes in the front and back jaws to facilitate the fitting of jaw plates or "cheeks" to protect the work and prevent damage to sharp tools. Cheeks are user made and fitted.

Woodworkers' Vices

Woodworkers vices are mounted under the bench top; the back jaw being fitted flush with the working top.

As with a metalwork vice, these can be supplied with either a plain screw or quick release mechanism. The main threads are often more coarse than on an engineers vice as lower pressures tend to be exerted on the workpiece.