Sunday, 23 June 2013
Antique Woodworking Vice
I have always been intrigued by the single arm vices I'd seen on old work benches, I'd always assumed they had a very course thread which allowed them to move a long way with the minimum of turn. Of course I am wrong.
This J Buck advert came from a 1914 magazine, almost 100 years ago.
It wasn't until I spotted one in The Tool Shop in Bosham (an Aladdins cave) that I realised just what a good vice it was. According to the very knowledgeable owner (on all tool matters) this was the earliest form of quick release vice dating from late Victorian times.
To operate the lever is turned to vertical and the jaw slides easily in and out. Once the item to be clamped has been closed down, a third of a turn downwards clamps it tight by virtue of a cam mechanism. It has no thread but works very well and it's big advantage is that it is completely one handed. Apparently Barnsley Workshops have two of these with extended jaws which they use for carving due to their easy operation. This one has a 9" jaw and a 12" opening which was about the largest size made. It weighs about 35 kg (75 lbs). I'll have to give some thought to how and where I use this vice.
Here's a shot from underneath, the only name I can see is Steel Rack, it has most of the original blue paint and no rust, it should clean up really nicely.
Here are some shots of the Macassar Ebony knives, I wasn't going to make any yet but a customer from Finland wanted one.
The colour is quite subtle, almost regal. I really like them.