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#558590 - 11/18/19 08:54 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Good find. My auto play brought this up after the first video you linked to: https://youtu.be/POheZMmKJRo

Looks like the only vises used at perazzi are post vises.

As I understand it, the only disadvantage of a post vise is that the jaws do not move parallel to one another. Obviously not a prohibitive disadvantage.

Here is a sampling of British gun shops:

Holland & Holland:


Purdey:



Westley Richards:



Atkin, Grant, & Lang:



Boss:




And some Small (British) Gunmaking Shops:

Watson Brothers:


Stephen & Sons:



Bromley & co.


John Hogland:


Longthorne:


Edited by Woodreaux (11/21/19 11:13 PM)
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Jim

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#558591 - 11/18/19 09:19 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Mike Hunter Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 226
Not sure why they use post vises, aside from the parallel piece that Jim brought up, those vises have exposed leadscrews, I’ve always been under the assumption that vises with covered leadscrews are stouter, and it also keeps swarf/shavings/crap out of the leadscrew/leadscrew nut.

Also notice that they don’t have any swivel vises. I suspect that we may be looking at only one part of the operation, with very specific jobs. Very likely there’s another part of the shop with bench vises.

The only benefit I see here is that the fixed jaw is far away from the bench, allowing one to hang long parts from the vise… and ensuring that it doesn’t hit the work bench.
_________________________
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www.mikehunterrestorations.com

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#558594 - 11/18/19 09:45 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
craigd Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 6012
It has the look to me like they're mounted for somewhat repetitive hand work, the jaw pads seem to have taken sets. They look positioned higher up than if they might be used around a forge, and the craftsmen seem to be taking advantage of a wide working angle around them.

I see an interesting mounting feature, the vise leg looks to be support horizontally off of a bench leg, plenty beefy looking, but maybe an indication that these aren't intended for significant hammer work. I'd bet it's kind of nice not having a toe stubber down there, and lets the folks not have to reach or lean as much.

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#558602 - 11/18/19 10:17 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Interesting that the new purdey factory has gotten rid of post vises and uses only Record bench vises. The blocks under the vises are interesting as well.

Also, check out the swiveling post vise shown here in a picture from Stephen & Sons
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Jim

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#558616 - 11/18/19 01:24 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: craigd]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Originally Posted By: craigd
They look positioned higher up than if they might be used around a forge...



I agree. They are almost all mounted higher than I would have thought: elbow height, but only with the shoulders up and elbow raised a little. On the other hand, they are all also using at least a 4-5" vise, whether a machinist bench or blacksmith post type.

I think the take away is that a gunsmithing vise should be heavy and high to accommodate fine handwork (and the occasional heavier task) with complete steadiness.
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Jim

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#558617 - 11/18/19 01:38 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
gunmaker Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/17/13
Posts: 347
Loc: Mineola, Texas
I concur on the slightly high aspect.

Here’s what I said a few hundred pages ago:
“ I’ve got several vises in my shop, all at or close to elbow level. I do agree that as things get more detailed there is benefit to being slightly above elbow level, for normal work at elbow level, and for heavy work slightly below elbow level. While it’s a very personal thing elbow level is a great place to start, from there put some time on it and modify to suite or have multiple vises at varying heights. Typically we are talking a + or - 2” at most window. Comparing extremes look at the work height of a blacksmiths anvil and watchmakers/jewelers/engravers work height. As work gets higher you’re giving up mechanical advantage for a closer view, more control, and faster shoulder/arm fatigue due to upper body position and tension.

If a guy spends 40hrs a week at a workbench whom should tell him what works...after thousands of hours he’s figured things out.

My main vise is a vintage Rock Island No.52. 4.5” jaws with 9” opening, swivel base, and swiveling rear jaw.”

I’ll add that it is mounted about 1.5”-2” above elbow level with a relaxed stance.
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A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Mineola, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
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#558637 - 11/18/19 04:18 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: gunmaker]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Originally Posted By: gunmaker

My main vise is a vintage Rock Island No.52. 4.5” jaws with 9” opening, swivel base, and swiveling rear jaw.”


Not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but "Stephen and Son" uses a setup a lot like your throne-horse for stock work.
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Jim

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#558639 - 11/18/19 04:43 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Ted Schefelbein Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 7289
Loc: mpls, mn.
Both of the Record vises I can see appear to be swivel base vises, and both appear to be the Birmingham version, not the later Chinese version.

I looked at a Reed vise advertised on Craig’s List this past weekend, mostly because it was right down the street. One full turn of the handle before there was any movement on the jaw. Shot. There is a Parker advertised up in Isanti, that appears to have been beaten senseless, and has iron fractured off the back. Guy is convinced it is worth more than the $100 he is asking.

I have a smaller Sears vise, mounted higher on the bench that gets used when I have to get a loupe out to see things.

Happens more than I care to think about.

Best,
Ted

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#558646 - 11/18/19 06:42 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Ted Schefelbein]
craigd Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 6012
Originally Posted By: Ted Schefelbein
Both of the Record vises I can see appear to be swivel base vises, and both appear to be the Birmingham version, not the later Chinese version.

I looked at a Reed vise advertised on Craig’s List this past weekend, mostly because it was right down the street. One full turn of the handle before there was any movement on the jaw. Shot....

It's coincidental how you lined this up Ted. I have an England Record, one loosening turn releases the jaw to slide in or out, then a turn or a little more to cinch up the work, depending. One nice thing about a bigger than apparently needed vise is the mechanical advantage of the screw means someone doesn't have to really lean on it. It's amazing how beat some of these things can get.

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#558652 - 11/18/19 07:21 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Stan Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 9559
Loc: somwers in Jawja
Originally Posted By: craigd
I see an interesting mounting feature, the vise leg looks to be support horizontally off of a bench leg, plenty beefy looking, but maybe an indication that these aren't intended for significant hammer work. I'd bet it's kind of nice not having a toe stubber down there, and lets the folks not have to reach or lean as much.


Similar to how I devised a mount for my old post vise in my gunshop some 20-25 years ago. I realized the importance of getting it up to elbow level, so I just built the whole mounting island for it out of steel, cut floorboards out of the shop floor, dug a hole in the ground beneath with post hole diggers, and set the whole rig in the hole and poured concrete around it. Then I carefully replaced the floorboards around it. Didn't realize at the time how nice it would be to be able to work all the way around it and not stub my toe on the leg. Bottom of the leg on mine is at least 10" off the floor.

Doesn't require a lot of bulk to brace that long leg solidly. It's length works as leverage for stability.

SRH
_________________________
..................from my cold, dead hands.

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