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GRIP 830 vice. Does anyone have any information?

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Craig Marsh

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Hello. I just bought three lovely old vices; a Record 6, a Dawn 100 and a GRIP 830. I know the Record is a beautiful sturdy old thing, and the Dawn is the Australian equivalent in a smaller size, but the GRIP 830 has me stumped.

The matchbox gives an indication of its small size. It looks to be 50 years old, or more. I simply can’t find any information about the vice, let alone the GRIP brand. Someone thought it was a British brand from the 1930s, but that seems too old for this vice.

I’d very much appreciate any information or even educated guesses about this wonderful little vice.

Craig
 

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ED65

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Grip as a brand or the name for a line of vices is really unfortunate for us now. It makes this extremely difficult to search for since the word grip will be used in relation to vices so much, plus there are Vise-Grips to further get in the way! No markings cast into the underside?

Craig Marsh":3ps6znml said:
It looks to be 50 years old, or more. I simply can’t find any information about the vice, let alone the GRIP brand. Someone thought it was a British brand from the 1930s, but that seems too old for this vice.
I wouldn't be too surprised if this did turn out to be quite old because of the pear-shaped knob, which is an early feature. From posts here and other forums (principally Practical Machinist and Garage Journal) I've gotten the impression this is exclusively an earlier feature, but we can't know when the cutoff point for this was across the board.

In the absence of any specific info on the make you can try to get a read on the quality of a vice from features and build quality. Open slots for fixing to a base and the lack of removable jaws are generally a sign of cheaper vices, usually of more recent Asian manufacture. But with very small vices both of these go out the window as even well-regarded vices at this scale can have one or both, as well as other cheaper features like an integrated anvil surface (instead of a steel insert).

FWIW to me it looks no worse and perhaps a bit better than many a dinky vice from known makers, and it seems to have led a useful life up to now which tells us a little bit about how solid this specific one is. On a vice this small it is hard to fathom how a previous user managed to bend the tommy bar :shock:
 

sunnybob

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Its giving off mixed signals to me.
the machining on the thread and square section definitely appears old (old = well made).
But the pitting in the side casting looks cheap and weak (cheap and weak = new), and that casting line mis-match on the horn is positively dire. It so bad that no one has ever tried to use it.
 

ED65

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I think if we bear in mind the scale the mould line and the casting texture are both well within the realm of acceptable. The mould line looks dreadful until you realise it's barely thicker than a bamboo skewer. Mould lines in production sand moulds are typically, not unusually, that size and can be much, much worse.

We just don't see the evidence of this a lot because the upper surfaces of better vices were ground smooth in the factory. I've seen plenty of name-brand vices (including but not limited to Wodens, Records and Yorks) where they originally had gross casting defects that were partially or completely removed during fettling.
 

Craig Marsh

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Thanks gents, I really appreciate your honest opinions. I want to love it, and if it’s an older piece I can happily embrace its flaws. On the other hand, if it is new I will be giving it away to my young nephew as nothing more than a cheap toy to play with.
 

ED65

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I think you should try it out before dismissing it as just a toy, small vices (including ones much smaller than this) are proper tools if built well enough.

And new, and of Asian manufacture, doesn't mean something isn't built well enough. It may not be the match of something cast in Sheffield or Birmingham by workmen who cared about doing a good job and had a decent QC department to back them up and ensure a quality product, that that doesn't at all mean it's junk.

BTW I could post a good few pics that would dispel the notion that quality name-brand kit didn't all come out of moulds that had perfect registration between their halves and didn't need much in the way of cleanup!

Here's just one, look how much had to be ground away on this Woden and the original casting texture in a few spots:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c180/ ... 2Vice3.jpg
 

Craig Marsh

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Thanks very much ED65, I’ve really appreciated your thoughts. You’re right; I’ve tried it out and it functions exactly as it should, so there is no reason why it can’t rightfully take up a small corner of a bench for any small jobs that really don’t require the brute force that the larger vices are capable of.
 

sunnybob

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WHAT? WHAT?, you have jobs that do NOT require brute force and ignorance? :shock: :shock:

:roll: :D 8)
 

Trevanion

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Cheap doesn't necessarily mean unusable and worthless, I saw this video where they were testing a really cheap Chinese made bench vice and it put out 4.5 tonnes of force before the casting began cracking, the tommy bar bend completely 90 degrees before even getting close to 4.5 so was replaced with a nice, chunky high tensile bolt. The vice was only rated for 2 tonnes I believe. I honestly would've expected the threads to strip or something else to fail way before the casting.

[youtube]20-cK1hqNRI[/youtube]
 

sunnybob

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In my ignorance, 12 years ago I bought a Silverline 4" engineers vice. While tightening it (with one hand !), the centre casting snapped in two and I was very lucky not to get injured.
I wont ever buy that make again, and I wont buy any cheap chinese vice again
 
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