Author Topic: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise  (Read 2599 times)

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Offline mikeswrenches

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This arrived at my door yesterday.  When the mailman handed me the package I was surprised at how much it weighed. 

The vise was patented by Charles E. Billings on August 28, 1894(no. 525,311) and produced by the Billings & Spencer Co.  The DATAMP link is below.
http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?pn=525311&id=18791

When I bought it I thought it was just another good quality unusual clamp on jewelers vise.  After I bought it I looked up the patent and also searched the internet for any information.  One of the old magazines had an article about the vise showing both parts.

It took a bit but the light finally came on and I realized that what I had was an extremely well made hand vise and a holder for it that could be clamped on the bench.

The captive thumbscrew on the bottom of the long tube turns a screw that threads inside the body of the hand vise,thus  locking it at any position you choose.

The hole below the 1 1/2in. jaws allows a wire or rod of any length to pass all the way through, since the thumbscrew that tightens the hand vise in the holder is also drilled. 

The jaws are self centering as are most hand vises.  What is unusual is the offset position of the actuating threads that then allows the hole to be drilled through the jaw supports.  A very unusual solution.

I have a number of small vises but this is one of the highest quality I have seen.

This must have been very expensive to produce because it is forged rather than cast.  Even the thumbscrews are forged and nicely finished!

Total weight is 3 lb. 2 ozs., with the vise weighing 14 ozs. And the bench mount at 3 lb. 2 ozs.

There are a couple more variants that I want to show but will leave it fo another day.


Mike
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 03:40:42 AM by mikeswrenches »
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Offline oldtools

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2015, 09:34:46 PM »
Very nice vice!!..
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Offline Lewill2

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 03:56:14 AM »
Wow, I can see why it came to your house, Nice catch.

Offline Branson

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 07:52:53 AM »
That's the most incredible looking vise I've seen.  Beautiful, beautifully made!

Offline HeelSpur

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2015, 12:57:04 PM »
That's pretty wild looking, nice vise.
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Offline Plyerman

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 07:14:09 AM »
Well ain't that just about the coolest thing ever!
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Offline Charles Garrett

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 07:05:08 PM »
ThisVise is listed as Starrett hand vise on P157 of 1930 Ducommon catalog.  Vise $5 and clamp $4

Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: Things are not always what they seem...a very unusual vise
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 07:47:56 PM »
Here is the only hand/bench vise that Starrett made...and still makes for that matter, that I am aware of.  The link to the photo is from the current Starrett catalog.

http://www.mytoolstore.com/starrett/86.jpg

It would be nice to see the picture in the Ducommon catalog as I think they may have identified the maker incorrectly. 

Charles Billings was the inventor of the one I posted and The Billings and Spencer Co. manufactured them.

Mike
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