Evolution of the Record 52 1/2 quick release vice


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Early line up (pre 60's)

P = plain screw
A = Quick release + patent screw and nut cover
C = combined vice and cramp to attach to bench
no letter postfix = Quick release

Post 60s:

P= plain screw
C= combined vice and cramp
D= adjustable dog with QR (available as plainscrew too ('DP' although I think the castings were only marked D)
no-postfix = lightweight plainscrew, 'amateur ' and junior range

Not sure what the E stands for!
With apologies to Vann for further delays to actual info on the 52 1/2, I shall now warble on about the beginnings of the Record woodworker’s vices.

We know that both C & J Hampton ltd (aka Record) and Steel Nut & Joseph Hampton ltd (aka Woden) copied the original Parkinson pattern quick release vice:


http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/article ... oden63.gif


The Woden advert is apparently from 1918. When did Record start making their Parky copies, I hear you cry?!

Tony Hampton told Scott Landis (c.f The Workbench Book p144) that when Charles and Joseph jnr left Woden to set up C & J Hampton in Sheffield (1898) they took the Woden tool line with them and began making vises patterned after Woden's.

It is very unlikely that Woden had started producing a Parkinson's pattern vice at this time as Parkinson's patent was still in force until 1904. More likely I think is that Woden and C & J Hampton independently chose to make copies after the patent expired.

We also know that the C&J Hampton registered the 'Record' trademark in 1909 (c.f David Lynch http://www.recordhandplanes.com/history.html) and they chose to name their woodworker's vice the “Record” model 23.

http://taths.org.uk/ have made an early C&J Hampton catalogue (June 1910) available to members, and the model 23 vice gets a full page spread.

Interestingly the trademark ‘Record’ seems to have been taken out specifically for their vices, which were a signficant part of their line-up (they also advertise wrenches, spanners, cramps and tube cutters, holdfasts and a few breast drills)

As we will find out later, C&J Hampton started production of the more familiar Record 52 1/2 and siblings only a few years later, thus I think it is safe to say that the picture above of a Record model 23 is an example of the earliest type of Record vices ever made, and that it was made some time after 1909. Any more info on these vices greatly received!


C&J Hampton, having created their first quick release woodworker's vice (copying the Parkinson pattern) in 1909, soon released a new version of the woodworker's vice. They retained the 'Record' trademark which, at the time, they had reserved for their QR vices, presumably with a view to distinguish them from Parkinson's well known 'Perfect' brand.

The new version improved on the previous by the use of steel rods rather than the cast steel slides used in the Parkinson pattern. The cast iron sliders were comparatively fragile and the polished steel rods afforded a smoother mechanism - a much better design and all manufacturers switched to it (including Parkinson) by the 1930s.

Record take credit for introducing this improvement (see catalog entry below) but can't claim to have had the original idea (as we saw previously, WC Toles, a US maker, was using steel rods in his vices 20 years earlier).


Record pocket-edition no 16 (1950)

The likely launch date was 1918, which is the date of the Registered Design that is cast into the front jaw of their early vices. Since there were no original inventions to patent, a registered design would have been the best C&J Hampton's could have done to get some protection for the new model - the RD reference is 664709:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... r/C1741112 (note that this publication covers RD for the period between 1918 and 1919, but since the Record RD is early in the sequence it would most likely have been filed in 1918).

I am assuming C&J Hampton would have been ready to start production as soon as the RD was filed with GB patent office, but the earliest evidence of the vice being for sale that I could find is this 1923 catalogue:


nabs":396bky2v said:
A-ha, that's what I was trying to describe when I wrote "...These vices have five ribs on the front jaw (one vertical; two at 45deg; & two almost horizontal); "RD 664 709" toward the top; and an elliptical boss on the screw where the handle passes through...". A picture is worth a thousand words (well, more than my 35 words anyway :roll: ).

Keep it coming nabs. I'm following with great interest.

Cheers, Vann.
eventually C & J Hampton (I'll just refer to them as "Record" from now on) came up with a couple of improvements that they considered worth patenting.

The first idea is actually rather good, but the second, described in the next post, is a bit of a duffer (it does at least help with constructing a timeline for the vices).

A weakness of Parkinson's quick-release design - perhaps the only serious issue - is that the screw is exposed when the vice is opened and sawdust and shavings falling on the screw can be carried onto the half-nut. If enough debris builds up in the half-nut it can start to ride up the screw thread causing the mechanism to slip, potentially damaging the threads in the process.

In August 1927 Record took out a patent (GB292381) for a "Screw and Nut Cover" - this is a metal cover that extends the length of the screw, preventing sawdust and shavings dropping on the thread. An excellent idea - they gave vices that included the cover an 'A' post-fix, which is stamped on the face. The As were about 10% more expensive than the standard model.

Glenn MacLeod - flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/35604059@N03/7070272571/ :


https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publica ... 2381A&KC=A

Parkinson's catalogue of 1940 (which is a reprint of their 1937 catalogue but with updated prices) shows they have dropped their old steel slider design and now make the 'Record' version. They also licensed the "Screw and Nut Cover" from Record:


The GB Patents and Designs Act 1907 granted Record a monopoly on their registered design for up to 15 years, so in theory from the end of 1933 other manufacturers would be free to copy the design (confusingly the Record no 14 catalogue, first published Jan 1934 still mentions the registered design, although I suppose the copy was most likely written while it was still in force).

Since the design was so good it is not surprising that copies soon followed. For instance, the Buck and Hickman 1935 catalogue introduces their own-brand (Toga) version of the vice and mentions that Parkinson have also made the same design available.

There is a version of the Record front jaw casting where the registered design number is removed, but the raised box that originally contained the reference number remains. I think this is a transitional design used after the RD expired and until the next significant design change later in the 1930s (this casting is uncommon so the period of use may have have been short).

so all in all a slightly unclear picture, and difficult to be precise on dates - I think the best we can say is that it is likely that the transitional casting was probably introduced around 1934/1935 and that it was used for a short period until a new design was introduced later in the 1930s. to be continued...

Early copy (Buck and Hickman 1935 catalogue):

Transitional design (~1935):
in November 1932 Record applied for another vice patent, this time for a "sawduster excluder plate"

This innovation was so mysterious that they put a sticker on the said plates to explain what they were for:


some of the plates were engraved with the patent number (just about visible in the example above).

You may well wonder how a part of the vice that is fixed to the underside of your bench could be the cause of sawdust falling in and clogging the working parts - the answer is in the patent:

The nut housing is usually provided with external flanges, lugs or the like by means of which the vice is secured to the under surface of a bench, the bench itself closing the housing. There is, however, often a passage from the bench surface to the housing between the back of the plate like portion of the fixed jaw and the bench mortise in which it is let and this passage, especially in the case of faulty or careless work in erecting the vice on the bench

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publica ... 9804A&KC=A

I leave it to the reader to decide how much of a problem was caused by all this careless vice fitting that was going on in the 1920s and 30s, but suffice to say Record go on to acknowledge (in the same patent) that the problem was already solved by their 'screw and nut cover' (see previous post) which they invented 10 years earlier.

The second claim (about the nut being easily removed for cleaning) although stamped on the 'sawdust excluder plate' actually refers to a modification to the housing for the half-nut (the excluder-plate being of course useless for this purpose, since it is inaccessible when the vice has been fitted to the bench):

old housing:

new housing (the metal cage can be removed and the half nut extracted - the more complicated casting above gets in the way):

At this stage you will note that the 'excluder plate' is rendered even more redundant, since it is no longer necessary to get at the nut from the top (thus you don't need a removable plate at all and can simply create a casting without a gap in the first place - and indeed, this is what Record eventually did just that with the 'E' model). I am sure Record would have patented the new nut housing if they had thought of it - my guess is they copied it from Parkinson who used both style of housing in their vices.

Also of note is the different mechanisms for holding the half nut to the screw (in the original design there is a spring directly beneath the half nut - the new housing design would have necessitated a different solution, and a flat watch spring was added to the QR lever instead)

The first mention I can find for these improvements are in the 1938 catalogue (although it is possible that they could have been produced after the patent was filed at the end of 1932, there is no mention of them int the 1935 catalogue):


My first thought about the 'sawdust excluder plate' patent was that it was a rather lame attempt by Record to extend IP protection for their vice given that their Registered Design was due to expire a few months later in 1933, however, I have started to question my original conclusion about the 'RD' model dates.

The first problem is that 1938 catalogue still shows the RD number stamped in the casting and, although this could be explained by the use of out-of-date drawings, the fact is that most of RD model vices I have looked at also have the sawdust excluder plate, and this is not so easy to explain. We know they must have been sold after the patent application for the sawdust extractor plate at the end of 1932, but it does not seem at all likely they were all made during before the RD protection expired (which should have been a period of less than a year after the daft sawdust excluder patent was filed).

I think it is therefore more likely that Record continued to stamp the Registered Design on their vices after 1933, but this is not something I am not currently able to explain.

to be continued - try and contain your excitement if you can!
nabs":3rtggvu3 said:
...to be continued - try and contain your excitement if you can!
I'm really enjoying your "series", and I'm impressed with your research. Keep it up.

Cheers, Vann.
apologies for the delay but I was awaiting inspiration.

We left off with a conundrum where the Registered Design taken out by Record for their new QR release vice design in 1918 ought to have expired no later than 1933, but the RD number continued to be shown on the vices literature after that point.

Although this could be explained if Record simply never got round to updating their catalogue pics, the catalogue entry above (and indeed many extant examples of the vice) shows the RD number on a vice with a patented improvement (the saw dust excluder plate) which can be dated to 1932. This in turn would imply that all the surviving examples with both the RD number and the 'sawdust extractor plate' were made between November 1932 and some point in 1933. Hmm

I contacted the National Archive to get a copy of the design registration records to see if it offered any clues (search and copying fee of £9.10 - no need to thank me!)

as you can see the date it was filed was July 1918 and an extension was noted in July 1923 (the 1907 Patent and Design Act granted you 5 years copyright with the option to extend for two more 5 year periods: http://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/ ... b228en.pdf)

... so not very helpful.

My best guess is that Record did renew for the third and final term granting them copyright until July 1933, but that they had enough old stock of the 'RD' casting to carry production through after it expired.

The best we can say is that any of the vices with an RD stamp were made between July 1918 to 1933 or thereabouts.

Not very precise I'm afraid!

one more bit of trivia about the RD models - there is a version that does not show 'made in England' on the face. Pressumbably the sequence of production is as below.

Also, is it my imagination or do the steel rods look smaller on the first one?



nabs":28bnv4vo said:
...Not very precise I'm afraid!...
I've been doing a lot of research into Wadkin machines - and I'm finding the same thing. Conflicting or illogical results :? In the end you can only show what you've found, and propose a theory or two about why it doesn't stack up.

nabs":28bnv4vo said:
...Also, is it my imagination or do the steel rods look smaller on the first one?


To me, it looks like the second (and third) ones have the ends of the rods peined or riveted over, which would expand the ends - but I don't know if that accounts for all the difference.

Nice work and thanks for being prepared to cough up some cash.

Cheers, Vann.

Note: Archives New Zealand don't charge if you do your own search through the files. They provide the files if you pre-book (I had to register) and you can photograph what you find. If they have to photocopy it costs you. No pens allowed, only pencils.

Oh, and New Zealand Railways ordered 452 vices from Record in 1926 - but I think these are engineers vices

Record vices.jpg
Prices in NZ £.s.d.


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the later vices have a distinctive rippled surface on the ends of the rods which I always thought might have been from them being peened over, but I wonder also if that would have been sufficient to stop them moving both backwards and forwards? Is there some other way to attach the steel rods to the cast iron face?

Incidentally, having looked at hundreds of pictures of these vices the first picture above is the only one where a rod has come loose, so presumably whatever they did to stick them in was quite effective!
I had a closer look at the rods on mine and the first thing I noticed is that they are not flush with the surface - one is slightly recessed and there is a thin edge of steel that seems to have been raised along one side of the hole which might be an indication that it was somehow peened to fit. I suppose they must have had some clever way to stop the rods bending/case cracking when they did this.

Fascinating thread, thank you for posting your research.
A quick pic of my instanteneous vice, no makers name but patented..


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thanks squib - that's an interesting one. it might have been made by Smiths Marks and co - Can you make out a patent number on the handle?
reminded that I need to get on with concluding this thread I now need to confess that I am stuck. Please let me know if you can help with the dates for the next version of the vice:


given all my warblings about the registered design model I am convinced this later version must have been made from the 1940s, but the earliest catalogue I can find showing this casting is the Record no 16 pocket catalogue (1950).

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) by the 1940s Record had perfected their vice design and, having ran out of ideas to improve it, filled no more patent applications for us to refer to. Unreliable as they may be, I think the only clues we can get at this distance of time will be from old adverts and catalogues - has anyone come accross any earlier pictures of the vice that has this casting?