How To Attach And Disassemble A Bench Vise

All you need to know about how to install and, if necessary, disassemble the different bench vices according to their type and size.

Bench vices are accessories used in various fields, both at a professional and amateur level, and their types can change more or less substantially depending on the type of work they are required to perform.
Their common function is to clamp workpieces to be machined, but in some cases, instead, they are designed to clamp power tools; some are mobile, others are fixed, others are made to be oriented in different positions. Each type has its specific characteristics, both in terms of shape and size; consequently they can be composed of different structural parts that require different disassembly methods and different ways of fixing to the bench.

So let’s try to examine in more detail what are the specific differences between the various types of bench vises currently on the market, and how they affect the performance of these accessories.

The different fixing methods

As previously mentioned, the common purpose of the bench vices is to tighten and hold firmly in position the pieces to be processed; the type of processing, however, changes according to the material the piece is made of. The first important thing to establish, therefore, is that there are different categories of vises depending on the type of application: workshop, carpenter, precision and so on.

Therefore, there is no absolute and by definition best bench vise , given that some types of application require above all resistance qualities, while others require strength and others still require precision or mobility.

The workshop vices for example, also used by blacksmiths and DIY enthusiasts who work metal, must be extremely solid and heavy as their efficiency largely depends on their resistance and stability; Metals have different degrees of hardness and when they are processed, they must be hammered or subjected to the application of considerable force to be bent.

These devices, therefore, in addition to keeping the piece firmly still, also play the role of fulcrum for the application of force levers, for this reason they are prepared for fixing by bolting, in order to guarantee maximum yield in terms of resistance and resistance.

The carpenter’s vices, on the other hand, are designed to clamp pieces of wood that will subsequently be sawn, drilled or roughed, consequently the clamp must be firm but at the same time also more “delicate”, so as not to damage the surface of the pieces, and for this reason their jaws are not made of iron but of wood, like the material they will tighten.
Furthermore, many workbenches for carpentry already have integrated vices; other types can obviously be applied to the bench, according to need, but instead of being set up for fixing by means of bolts, they are equipped with the “butterfly” screw as in the desk clamps.

Even the mini-vices and those used for precision work are characterized by the butterfly screw fixing system, but there are also models that use the suction cup method; in this case the base is wide and equipped with a soft rubber coating that is placed on the surface of the table or workbench, the rubber is then raised by means of a small lever that activates an internal mechanism which creates a pneumatic vacuum in able to ensure an adequate clamping force to keep the vice still during the machining of the pieces.

Structural components and disassembly

The structure and the parts that make up a bench vice also vary according to its type. The structurally simpler models, for example, are precisely the workshop ones, as they must offer high qualities of solidity and resistance and therefore consist only of the main body and the movable jaw; also the carpenter’s vices are similar, but in this case the main body is reduced to the single screw structure on which the jaws move.

In this case, the disassembly of the accessory to carry out periodic maintenance and cleaning operations is much simpler, as it is sufficient to unscrew the movable jaw until it comes out completely from its seat in order to be able to clean it simply and accurately.

The bench vices with swivel base, on the other hand, add an additional component to the main body, which is precisely the base. Also in this case it is possible to disassemble it by unscrewing the appropriate screws, or bolts depending on the case, which hold the structure together.

Some specimens, instead of the swivel base, are equipped with swivel ball joints, also in this case it is possible to disassemble them, but you must follow the instructions relating to the specific model, taking care not to damage the surface painting if this is present.

Usually the structure of a bench vise is very simple, with the due exceptions relating to models equipped with ball joint or specific jaws for locking certain tools, such as multifunction tools for example; consequently the parts that can be disassembled are few. Among these, however, in some types of vises, there are also the bites, that is the areas of the jaws that go in direct contact with the piece to be tightened.

Some bench vices, in fact, are designed in such a way as to be able to use different types of grips depending on the type of workpieces to be clamped and the material they are made of. The mordacchie, being interchangeable, are standardized components both as regards the measures and the material with which they are made, and for the position of the holes where the fixing screws are inserted, therefore they are extremely simple to disassemble.

Regardless of the type of bench vise, furthermore, the disassembly operations only require the use of screwdrivers, hex keys or Allen keys.

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