If someone is going to give you a 6" vice, how big is it?
In another words, where is the 6" measured?
I'm guessing that it is either between the jaws when they are
fully open or the width of the jaws.
It depends, of course, on that someone's understanding. But it is common to
refer to the jaw width of the vise. A six-inch metal-working or machinist's
bench vise is a hefty tool. A six-inch woodworking vise would be on the small
This is a machinist vice.I use that term loosely. There is no floor post
so its not a blacksmith vice and it is not a woodworkers vice. I know
what they look like.
The jaws are 3.5" wide but I noticed that they open to a convient 6"
before I run out of screw. It seems like a good vice but then I dont
I was surprised at the replaceable jaws. They have a vee-shaped mounting
surface and they are held in by 2 pins. Its not going to be easy to make
if I want to put some agressive jaws on it. The jaws are smooth face.
There is no little points below the jaws for holding pipe and there is
no little anvil or pounding table. The jaws close square. It looks like
it has not been sprung or bent.
I was just asking so I dont sound so stupid if I gloat over getting a 6"
vice and it is really a 3" vice:-)
From your description, this sounds like what I would call a "bench vise". They
are usually measured by width of jaws, so that would be a 3.5" vise. In the
professional metalworking world (my area), when someone says "I got me a 6"
vise" or "6" machinist vise", we tend to immediately think "Kurt vise" (or
clone of the same). This is the type of vise designed to bolt (with 2 large
bolts) to the table of a milling machine. It has a large flat bottom, and
(usually) smooth jaws held on with 2 allen head screws each. The "Kurt" vise is
usually measured by jaw width also. 6" is most common. A 6" Kurt weighs about
Hope this helps,
"Custom Precision Machining
in all Metals and Plastics"
23 Pamaron Way, Ste. E.
Novato, CA 94949
Here is what I think I have learned.
I just picked up a 3-1/2" bench vise that should be good
for metalworking. The jaws open to 6" when measured to the hair line.
When this vise is viewed from England, the colour of the vice is black:-)
wrt vis(c)e jaws
One more go as straight man.
For a machinist's bench vise, you might consider a pair of liners to fit over
both jaws. Even though the jaws have a replaceable steel insert, a
brass/bronze liner on top of each jaw (Starrett, etc, makes commercial ones)
will act as "soft jaws," for most operations.
Unless you need to hammer on the part being held, there's no sense in looking
for "agressive" jaws.
Even if the liners are loose (the ones in my favorite bench vise are), they
will serve well.
Thanks for the help. The replaceable jaws are at a funny angle. Instead
of being L shaped at a right angle, the shelf they sit on is less than
90 more like 75 and they are held in place with what looks like a pin
instead of bolts. I have to clean it up and get a good look.
Most likily I will never remove them. I will just use your idea and add
liners when I need to protect the work. I have other vices with teeth on
I really want to good blacksmith vice for when I need to pound on
something. I always try to get the right tool for the job.
My liners are made from about 12 gage copper salvaged from a
transfomer IIRC, put one piece in the vice and hammer form it to the
back jaw, same for the front jaw but stamp markit front before taking
it out, then drill a hole in each to hang them on a nail near the
vice. Mine have lasted many years under moderate use. Opened up copper
pipe should work well,1/2" pipe will give you a strip over 1 1/2