What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

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SteveHGraham
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by SteveHGraham » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:59 pm

The problem with Sears honoring the warranty if it breaks is that Sears may break soon. Very depressing to see great old companies dry up.
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:52 pm

Nobody seems to know why a machinist's vise is especially well-suited to machining, so my guess is...it's not! Not even Harold has flown in with the answer.

All this being said, some guy not too terribly far off has a brand-new 4-1/2" Wilton C-1 for sale very cheap. It is not an official machinist's vice. It has pipe jaws on it, which would seem to make it somewhat better than a plain old bullet vise. Machinists grip round things sometimes.

I do like the idea of having stronger iron, not to mention parts that line up better.
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by Harold_V » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:44 am

SteveHGraham wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:52 pm
Not even Harold has flown in with the answer.
That's because Harold doesn't really know. He does know that a vise worthy of being used on a mill is far and away different from the common vises known to the masses, however, and that not using one is a huge mistake if one expects reliability. Even many of the vises sold for use on mills aren't worth the price of admission. Been there, done that--with a Bridgeport vise. Nice, heavy duty vise so long as the work you do isn't critical, but mine let me down in a huge way when I had to hold small parts square. Do keep in mind, the vise was purchased new, and was only a couple years old. It just couldn't do it. That's when I sprung for my first Kurt, which was one hell of a long time ago---like 1968 or so. Never been sorry.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by SteveHGraham » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:13 am

Okay, but we were talking about machinist's bench vises.
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by whateg0 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:51 am

I thought I had read somewhere that at one time the presence of an anvil made it a mechanics vise. I don't know where I read that, though.

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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by whateg0 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:52 am

whateg0 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:51 am
I thought I had read somewhere that at one time the presence of an anvil made it a mechanics vise. I don't know where I read that, though. It does seem that in today's terms, a machinist vise is thought to be a milling vise instead of the bench vise you are asking about.

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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by whateg0 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:10 am

Found this on PM.

"Richard,

The term 'machinists' vise' goes back into history....sometime in the 1850-1880 period, more or less, in which that term evolved to denote a cast iron or cast steel vise with jaws which remained parallel when opened/closed, as compared to a 'blacksmiths' vise' or 'leg-vise', a forged steel vise which had the outer jaw on a pivot-bolt, and swung in a radius.

It would appear that 'mechanics' vise' is a quite modern term, used by some sellers of vises to denote a vise of the 'machinists' pattern, generally, but more lightly and cheaply built.

I would imagine that the Wilton Co. would use the term 'mechanics vise' for one very good reason.

They sell a lot of their product to the armed forces and other governmental agencies, and are required to meet a 'mil-spec' Federal specification for any 'machinists vise' they sell to government.

It would be 'bad business' for them to let a cheaper vise, which could be serviceable for light-duty 'mechanics' work, but didn't meet that mil-spec, be offered in a catalogue under the term 'machinists vise'.

For the small-shop person, the term 'mechanics vise' would have the same general purpose as the yellow or orange colours on some venomous insects...a warning to avoid it.

cheers

Carla"


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John Hasler
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by John Hasler » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:02 pm

I think that to the marketing people a "machinist's vise" is any vise that says MACHINIST'S VISE on the side of the box.

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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by Harold_V » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:22 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:13 am
Okay, but we were talking about machinist's bench vises.
Which proves my point. I didn't know. :-)

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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by Ray Wangler » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:38 am

WOW! I never get to provide input because I know so little. Furthermore, I NEVER get to say anything if Harold doesn't know, and I mean that with the respect he deserves. On this topic I think I know! I agree with Dave, the presence of an anvil makes it a mechanics vise and without makes it a machinist vise. The issue of parallel, straight, square and sound have to do with quality of design and manufacture. I have a Wilton machinist vise and a Wilton Mechanic's vise. I have a Craftsman mechanic's vise that's about 100 years old (really maybe 50 or 60) that is heavy as a lead pig, a nice 4" Columbia mechanic's vise, one of those cheapy Chinese 6" with jaws a half mile wide and a bent ram (or whatever you call the square part that moves in and out with the movable jaw) and a 4" Columbia mounted to a square tube that fits a receiver hitch. I also have a bit of a vise for vises.

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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by Downwindtracker2 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:40 am

In the rest of the world they used the English made Record vise, In fact I've only seen a few American vises in person, and none of them were in maintenance shop. I've been in a lot of maintenance shops, as a relief millwright. The ones I've seen looked wimpy. Irwin has the Records made in China, now,BTW. One of my tool buying regrets was not buying a Canadian RAE , they looked like a HD Record only they were cast steel.
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Re: What Makes a Machinist's Vise a Machinist's Vise?

Post by larry_g » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:03 pm

I'll have to disagree on using an anvil surface as the differentiation. If you go here, https://www.mile-x.com/vises/ you will see a few different brands and including the Wilton machinist vise with an anvil surface. There is no set definition of the difference between the two but to me it seems that the pipe jaws are one of the bit things. Also check out the different classes of vises and the material strength and the actual weight of the vise. Some are near a 3x weight difference between the heavy and the lighter vises of the same size and brand.

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