Harold Hall

Many will have, when attempting to mount a vice onto a rotary table or drilling machine table, found it difficult to get the vice into the required position due to the fixed fixings on the vice and the limited slot positions. Whilst a Toolmakers style vice is not guaranteed to make it easy in most cases it will.  Photo 9 shows one being used on a rotary table and Photo 10 a drilling machine. These making it easy for the workpiece to be machined at the required diameter and the hole to be placed in the correct position.


Photo 11  shows how easy it is to fit a large vice (100mm x 100mm) to a small worktable, something that would be impossible, or at least very difficult, with most other vices of a similar size. This showing that when used on a mini mill it would expand the range of workpiece sizes that could be worked on whilst being held in a vice.


Unfortunately, for the trade, if larger, economically priced, vices of this style were sold, many would consider them to be Toolmakers Vices and complain about the lack of precision. Shame really, as what other design could make such a large capacity vice feasible for use on a small machine,(see note one below). Having emphasised the mini mill do not think though that these vices cannot have a place on a larger mill. Photo 12 shows the100mm vice seen in Photograph 11 as an example. This vice incidentally has a slightly larger capacity than the large vice seen in Photograph 3.


My pages elsewhere  on the site show how to machine four different sized drilling vices producing Toolmakers style vices of adequate accuracy for the majority of workshops. Whether they can be called precision remains to be seen, but I doubt it.


Some findings from the vices now received.

Having written the above before taking delivery of the vices for machining, I found some interesting facts on inspecting them on arrival that has some relevance to my above comments and the forum thread. The vices have been purchased from a large supplier to industry as can be seen from the details below and from which one would expect some consistency with regard to the items supplied.


Having purchased three of the sizes previously I was surprised when unpacking  then to find that this batch appeared quit different, I have to add non of the differences are that important. It does though illustrate a situation that is possible when purchasing budget items.                  


Workshop Processes

Vice, Toolmakers style, using on the rotary table
Vice, Toolmakers style, using on the drilling machine
Vice, Toolmakers style
Vice, Toolmakers style