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Twin-screw vise

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Jake

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I posted a while back on my search for cheap record vices, well I struck gold and now have rather a surplus - four to be precise.

I could sell on the extras, but then I got to thinking. One of the disadvantages of the record type vice is the inability to hold pieces vertically except off to one side, partially supported if the piece is of any width.

So, I began to wonder whether I could tie two together in twin-screw vise fashion. Have a thick wood outer jaw, or possibly aluminium with a wood facing for rigidity without losing too much depth, set them a foot or two apart, and link them together somehow. So I looked at the screw thread, and lo, it sticks out of the back of the main guiderail casting at the rear of the vice. It even has a ready bored hole in the end. So is there any reason why a gear can't be screwed onto the end of the screw of each vice (enlarging and tapping the hole as appropriate) and then link the two together with chain? RS do all the chain and sprocket bits, the mounting spacers between vice and bench should give adequate room for the sprockets below the benchtop.

Any thoughts?
 

AndyBoyd

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Interesting Idea!

I have a veritas twin screw vice (with linking chain) but I must admit I hate it - I've ranted here before about this.

Think about these issues:

The veritas vice has fixed wooden handles and thus you can guarantee they always stick up above the bench top and snag wood/power leads etc. So if you make your s with handles that slide down as normal vices have this won't frustrate you

For some reason a weak fail pin in put into one of the screws (the one without the 90 deg handle), my son (2.5) always turns the wrong one and snaps this pin. I've given up replacing it. (should stop him from eating too many Shredded wheats!)

It does have good points though (no racking of the vice when a thing is place t one side, nice and long- but they do not overcome the above for me I'm afraid.

I remember an article on the back of Fine Woodworking about a bench built by Chris E??? for a instrument maker (forgotten his name). His bench had a raise and fall device so the working eight could be adjusted and a home made twin screw vice with chain - that would give you a few hints - I think it had a chain tensioning device in there, and only one drive handle.

I'll dig out the article for you and let you know which issue.
 

AndyBoyd

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It was built by Chris Erpelding for Gary Blaise and is featured on the back of FWW 131 August 1988

It has 2 twin screw vices and a board holder that I copied for my bench, and as for the up and down movement - well (if it remains stable) it's just the bee knees.

My scanner is bust any other kind sole got this issue and can scan it?
 

Alf

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There are sketchy details of a chain-drive end vice in The Workbench Book, which seems to be on the same sort of principle. The chap put his gears on the front and made one sprocket that could be put in "neutral" to allow skewed clamping, like the Veritas one, but I don't see why it wouldn't work at the other end of the vice screws if you didn't want that feature.

Cheers, Alf
 

beech1948

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I have a spare Record 521/2e that I was thinking of using to make an extended vice across the front of my bench.

I have seen before a set up of two Record vices with one at each end of the bench front. LH one was outside the LH leg. The RH one was insiode the RH leg...if you get me. Vices were flush to bench apron.

They were used with a 1 in x 6 in board ( mahogany think) which could span across the two vices. It was then possible to clamp the piece being worked on anywhere on the front of the bench. The guy who used this used it mostly for cutting dovetails where he wanted more grip than the vices could provide.

Maybe this helps...maybe not.
 

Jake

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AndyBoyd":g1c2qsce said:
Interesting Idea!

I have a veritas twin screw vice (with linking chain) but I must admit I hate it - I've ranted here before about this.
Yes, I read your post with interest while this idea was forming

The veritas vice has fixed wooden handles and thus you can guarantee they always stick up above the bench top and snag wood/power leads etc. So if you make your s with handles that slide down as normal vices have this won't frustrate you
Yes, this idea wouldn't involve any changes to the business end of the vices (except perhaps to provide a linkage between the two quick release levers, if I can work out something simple and workable).

For some reason a weak fail pin in put into one of the screws (the one without the 90 deg handle)
To stop people from snapping the chain? I hadn't thought of that and it sounds like I'll carry on as I was...

It does have good points though (no racking of the vice when a thing is place t one side, nice and long- but they do not overcome the above for me I'm afraid.
Should have even less chance of racking with four guide rails to add to the two screws. Length, no problem, and neither of your drawbacks should apply.

I remember an article on the back of Fine Woodworking about a bench built by Chris E??? for a instrument maker (forgotten his name). His bench had a raise and fall device so the working eight could be adjusted and a home made twin screw vice with chain - that would give you a few hints - I think it had a chain tensioning device in there, and only one drive handle.
There's a bit on it in one of the workbench books. Super flash. I'm no metalworker, and my bench is going to be much more practical than elegant. I wouldn't be bothering to consider this if it was going to take more than a couple of evenings work. It was only the apparent simplicity with which it could be achieved that stopped me from dismissing the idea out of hand as an idealistic flight of fancy.
 

Jake

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Alf":2ytbi9po said:
There are sketchy details of a chain-drive end vice in The Workbench Book, which seems to be on the same sort of principle. The chap put his gears on the front and made one sprocket that could be put in "neutral" to allow skewed clamping, like the Veritas one, but I don't see why it wouldn't work at the other end of the vice screws if you didn't want that feature.

Cheers, Alf
Prompted me to look at that again, thanks. Much more effort than what I'm proposing, if much less robinson. I'll forgo the skewing, as having the gears at the front would require more metal working than drilling a hole, tapping it and screwing in a machine screw. I have confidence I'll be able to do that...

beech1948":2ytbi9po said:
I have seen before a set up of two Record vices with one at each end of the bench front. LH one was outside the LH leg. The RH one was insiode the RH leg...if you get me. Vices were flush to bench apron.

They were used with a 1 in x 6 in board ( mahogany think) which could span across the two vices. It was then possible to clamp the piece being worked on anywhere on the front of the bench. The guy who used this used it mostly for cutting dovetails where he wanted more grip than the vices could provide.
Interesting - I wouldn't have thought that 1" would have been thick enough over the length of a bench. I wasn't aiming for that much separation (between the two vices), as I'd also want to be able to hold wide boards against the apron, which the limited depth of the records would prevent if they weren't reasonably close together at one end of the bench. I also imagine the number of 6' dovetails I'll cut in the lifetime of this bench (or indeed in my lifetime) will be pretty much nil.

On the other hand, the chain link would be a lot more convenient than two entirely separate vices. With a "two vice" vice on the front and another on the end, this could be a great, relatively cheap and simple way of getting more vice on this bench than I'm ever going to need. Else, the chain might snap, sprockets bend, or threads strip on day one and I'll be cursing myself forever as I struggle to do up two vice screws simultaneously while holding the workpiece with my other hand...
 
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