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  1. #1
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Default Best metal work vice

    I'm about to start building a welding table and would like to put a vice on the table.
    Questions
    1) Is this a good idea or should I not put a vice on the table.
    2) If a vice is a good idea what is the best type for welding?
    I already have a 4" standard bench vice that I bought 43 years ago and it is still OK but I want to keep that on a small work bench that I use to work on Chainsaws.

    What about these Multipurpose Vices - any good?
    The other vice I like the look of is an offset fabrication vice like this.

    The sort of things I use a welder for are relatively small - ie not trailers or bigger stuff.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    I'm about to start building a welding table and would like to put a vice on the table.
    Questions
    1) Is this a good idea or should I not put a vice on the table.
    2) If a vice is a good idea what is the best type for welding?
    I already have a 4" standard bench vice that I bought 43 years ago and it is still OK but I want to keep that on a small work bench that I use to work on Chainsaws.

    What about these Multipurpose Vices - any good?
    The other vice I like the look of is an offset fabrication vice like this.

    The sort of things I use a welder for are relatively small - ie not trailers or bigger stuff.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks
    What are you actually going to use the vice for? Just holding things at a convenient height for welding? If that is the case, either of those would probably do the job.

    If however, you have a tendency like me to put a thick chunk of metal in the vice and then belt the living daylights out of it with a mash hammer to bend it over, or use a 6 foot piece of water pipe to bend it, I'd be looking (like I am at the moment) for a Dawn vice. I prefer cast, not fabricated, someone may disagree (would be interested to know why if so). You can get both the offset style and the regular style in 150mm cast, as well as fabricated.

    I have a cheap 100mm cast vice (probably Chinese) that popped the front clean off (straight line down from the jaw, only thing holding it on still was the screw) when I tried to bend a piece of 6mm x 30mm mild steel in it. Welded it back on with the tig, now don't try to bend or lever thick metal with it anymore!

    As far as whether you should put the vice on the table or not - that really is up to you. I keep my little one under the bench, and just drag it out and sit it on top when I'm using it to hold stuff for welding. Haven't bolted it down because its more useful having it mobile around the garage and other places (took it to a mates place the other day to fold some 1.6mm sheet), and because the only spot I would put it in is likely to get in the way of other things. However, no reason why you can't bolt yours down, and unbolt it if you need the space...

  3. #3
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    Default

    Vice Bench All Steel Offset Eng 150mm (eBay item 180602654281 end time 19-Mar-11 13:36:50 AEDST) : Home
    I bought one of these recently to replace a similar Dawn ,cant fault it at the moment,after getting it I think their 4" would also be suitable for a welding vice.

  4. #4
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Default

    Thanks for the info J&H.

    For that vice it would be mainly holding while welding, cutting and grinding. But the temptation for a bit of light belting will always be there.

    I do like the idea of a mobile vice.

  5. #5
    Dave J Guest

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    The offset vises are good for holding things vertical for grinding etc. I have had my standard 6 inch fabricated vise for 25 years and am happy with it, but sometimes I wish I never sold my old 8 inch cast offset vise.

    Dave

  6. #6
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    If you are building a steel welding bench think about an extension at the front of the bench big enough to mount the vice on, this gives you better axcess to the vice and allows you to grip longer items easier
    Ashore




    The trouble with life is there's no background music.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    I'm about to start building a welding table and would like to put a vice on the table.
    Questions
    1) Is this a good idea or should I not put a vice on the table.
    2) If a vice is a good idea what is the best type for welding?
    I already have a 4" standard bench vice that I bought 43 years ago and it is still OK but I want to keep that on a small work bench that I use to work on Chainsaws.

    What about these Multipurpose Vices - any good?
    The other vice I like the look of is an offset fabrication vice like this.

    The sort of things I use a welder for are relatively small - ie not trailers or bigger stuff.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks
    Hi BobL

    Vice design and mounting
    Its good you are giving thought to the vise abefore the table is built.At some stage for sure, on some applicatiions the vice is going to be in the bloody way of your job. For this reason you might give thought to a demountable jobbie as per as per a Hayman Reese towbar type drawbar connection. Thinking further,if its going to be a fabricating vice its very handy to have an offset jaw .

    With this vice one can drop along piece of pipe or tube to the ground and have extra support and stabilty for what ever operation is being being performed.
    Another variant is to mount the vice on a post and fit a quadrant arc allowing the jaws to move 90 degrees out of normal plane.

    Vice construction material
    Cast iron ,fabricated steel, fabricated stainless steel and cast steel are materials vices have and are being built from.

    Cast iron is generally fine for fitting type work but won't take to be beat upon and will break ,Chinese ones, sometimes even without being beaten upon. Nothing wrong the fabricated vices at all, the kids at school have made fabricated 5"vices and they are very robust.Fabricated stainleess are available for marine and oil rig work.We DIY mortals coudln't afford even the handle as a spare part -very expensive.

    The cast steel ones were available from the very early auto supply stores. Mine's a Russian jobbie built like a brick out house yet can rotate on a plate for 90 degrees.I can beat the snot out of whatever I like and suffer no damage.Cast steel behaves like fabricated steel.One could possibily bent given you were big and stupid enough,but it still would take a real effort.
    For welding I would make it a fabbed vice ,I have drawings but they don't scan well as the linework is to feint.

    Basically there are 75 x 40 x5 mm channel x 300L using 10mm thick side plates,12 mm jaw supports mounted on a 150 x 160 x 10 base plate.

    I am hoping to get better drawings complted soon ,but could do some hand sketches.if needed.

    Multi purpose vices look ok for pipe and r bar work but I have no experience on them.

    Grahame

  8. #8
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Default

    Thanks Grahame, some very useful ideas there. I like the idea of the removable vice very much.

  9. #9
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    Hi BobL,

    Grahame's idea of a removable vise would be handy if you are fabricating something that needs the whole table surface to set up. Nothing worse than having the vise sticking up and getting in the way!.. Being able to remove the vise and keep it out of the weather would be a handy thing too.

    Good idea!

    For that vice it would be mainly holding while welding, cutting and grinding. But the temptation for a bit of light belting will always be there.
    I realize that you're not necessarily going to be hammering on this vise a lot, but this is a good time to mention the blacksmith's style leg vise, as far as I know it's the best choice when you plan on whacking stuff with a heavy hammer.. I think it's the only vise that's designed to take that kind of punishment.

    Regards
    Ray

  10. #10
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    If its going on a welding table I'd go for a cheaper fabricated one preferably an off set type, the towbar idea for mounting is a good idea.

  11. #11
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    I agree the offset vice is probably the most versatile, and can take some punishment. The vice on the welding bench at work needs to hit with the grinder on a regular basis, to cleanup the jaws, especially after accidently welding stuff to it!! I also have made three of these holding devices, which aren't always the first choice, but often the best option! The last one I made is removable, so leaves a clear work space.
    Now I can't find the post I made about that

    Cheers
    Andy Mac
    Change is inevitable, growth is optional.

  12. #12
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayG View Post
    Hi BobL,

    Grahame's idea of a removable vise would be handy if you are fabricating something that needs the whole table surface to set up. Nothing worse than having the vise sticking up and getting in the way!.. Being able to remove the vise and keep it out of the weather would be a handy thing too.
    Weather won't be a problem as the welding table is going to be inside (under a vented hood connected to my new 3HP DC with a suitable spark arrestor in line). Table is going to be relatively small - maybe 1.0 x 0.5 m. - I'm thinking of having the removable vise able to be located either L or R hand side, and maybe also in the middle, of the table. I'm also thinking of fold out/away steel panels/wings that can come out from the wall to reduce spark/filings/slag spatter spraying too far around the shed. Also am install a sink nearby to have ready access to cooling. I've always wanted something like this and this will be my first chance to build something that incorporates all these ideas from scratch. Any ideas and criticisms welcome .

    I realize that you're not necessarily going to be hammering on this vise a lot, but this is a good time to mention the blacksmith's style leg vise, as far as I know it's the best choice when you plan on whacking stuff with a heavy hammer.. I think it's the only vise that's designed to take that kind of punishment.
    I love one of those vises - also wouldn't mind an anvil either. I have found a couple of big nice lumps of steep in the dumpster at work that will hopefully serve me in that regard in the meantime.

  13. #13
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    To paraphrase someone we all know.

    Those are not vices this is a VICE.

    150mm jaw width
    125 x 75 channel slide x 450 long

    one of my students made for his dad who drives his own truck.
    The vices in the shed were not big enough tohold stuff for repair.

    Grahame

  14. #14
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    I think you need a couple..... I have a commercial fabricated one very similar to the one Graham has a photo of above.... It is old and probably a Dawn...

    also have one that you can flip upside down and spin around for holding pipe.. Got it cheap at an auction.. like this http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA300_.jpg

  15. #15
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    I think you need a couple..... I have a commercial fabricated one very similar to the one Graham has a photo of above.... It is old and probably a Dawn...
    My 43 yr old 4" bench vice is a "Joplin" and it is still good despite a regular belting.

    also have one that you can flip upside down and spin around for holding pipe.. Got it cheap at an auction.. like this http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA300_.jpg
    That's the one I asked about in my first post, have you given it a good hiding and if so, how well has it stood up to it? I'd like to get one of those as well but I am fast running out of room.

    I have 3 wood working vices so I should have at least 3 metal working vices
    Wait . . . . I also have a little machinists vice that I inherited from FIL.

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