This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
The old-fashioned form of hand-vice is shown in Fig. 275; in size and price it ranges from 3-in. and 2s. to 6-in. and 6s. Steer's patent hand-vice, as sold by Melhuish, Fetter Lane, is represented in Fig. 276; cost 5s. The improved American hand-vice, as sold by Churchills (Fig. 277), is of metal throughout, the jaws being of forged steel, and the handle of case-hardened malleable iron; price 6s. 6d. The 2 last forms have a hole through the handle, and screw for holding wire. An ordinary wrought-iron parallel vice is shown in Fig. 27S.
Great improvements have been made of late years in vices, more especially in the American forms sold by Churchills. The one shown in Fig. 279 has a 3-in. jaw, with swivel base; and beckhorn and swivel-jaw attachment, allowing it to take hold in any position that may be found convenient; its price is 20s. Fig. 280 illustrates Parker's saw-filer's vice, made with a ball-and-socket joint, by which the jaws may be turned to any position; price 7s. for 9-in. jaws. Hall's patent sudden-grip vice is shown in Fig. 281. To open the jaws, lift the handle to a horizontal position, or as high as it will go, and draw it towards you. In this way the sliding jaw can be moved to any position, and the vice swivelled if desired. In order to grasp the work, push in the sliding jaw till it presses against the work, then depress the handle, which causes the jaws to securely grasp the work and at the same time lock the swivel. If the handle should not go low enough for convenience, it can be made to go lower by depressing it just before it touches the work to be held. If the vice swivels too easily, drive in the key W in the bottom plate; but if it does not turn easily enough, drive out the key a little. If the handle fails to remain in a horizontal position, the screw S can be tightened to hold it.
Care should be taken that the screw N is down, so as to keep the rack H from lifting with the clutch G. The sliding jaw can be removed by taking out the pin at the end of the slide, keeping the handle horizontal. If grease or dirt gets on the rack H, the slide should be withdrawn, and the rack and clutch thoroughly cleaned. Sizes and prices vary from 2-in. jaw, opening 2 in., weighing 61b., cost 22s. 6d., to 5-in. jaw, opening 6 in., cost 95s.
A very handy little "instantaneous grip" vice, sold by Melhuish, Fetter Lane, is shown in Fig. 282; the size with 9-in. jaws opening 12 in. costs 16s.
The picture-frame vice illustrated in Fig. 283 is a useful novelty, sold by Churchills. It is operated by means of a cam lever attached to a treadle, thus allowing entire freedom to both hands of the workman. It is easily and quickly adjusted of mouldings of any width and frames of all sizes; and holds both pieces, whether twisted or straight, so firmly that perfect joints are made without re-adjusting; price, 22s. 6d.
Stephens' parallel vice, as sold by Churchills, is shown in Fig. 284. The working parts consist simply of a toggle G and toothed bar T, held together by a spring S, and worked by a cam C, and hook M, on the handle H. Pressing the handle hard back, the tooth M is brought to bear under the tooth m, on the left joint of the toggle, thus disengaging the racks by raising the tooth bar t away from the rack T. The movable jaw B can now be slid in and out, to its extreme limits, with perfect ease, and an article of any size be held at any point between these limits, simply by placing it between the jaws of the vice, then pressing the movable jaw B against it and pulling the handle out. At the first start of the handle outward, the tooth M slips from under the tooth m, and the spring S draws down and firmly holds the tooth bar t against the rack T; as the handle is pulled farther outward, the cam 0 is brought to bear against the ridge n, thus straightening the toggle and forcing the movable jaw B against the article to be held. The parts are interchangeable. The racks and all parts where pressure comes are made of steel. There is no wear to the racks, for they merely engage without rubbing.
Great solidity and strength are added to the movable jaw by a projection from the stock strengthened by two upright flanges Occasionally put a drop of oil on the cam C and tooth M.
Fig. 285 represents Stephens' adjusting taper attachment, for holding all kinds of taper or irregular work; and Fig. 286 illustrates the pipe attachment for holding gas-pipes or round rods. The width of jaw varies from 2 to 6 1/2 in.; opening, 2 1/4-11 in. price 14-150s. with plain base, or 18-176s. with swivel base; taper attachment costs 6-32s., and pipe attachment, 12s. 6d.-36s.
Vices also form an essential part of the carpenter's bench, and will be further noticed under that section (p. 261).