Machining is an art which has been around for ages. If it wasn’t for this process, high quality precision metal parts would be almost impossible to produce. One of the most important tools for the machinist is a machine vise. The vice is able to hold the workpiece in place while it is undergoing milling, drilling and cutting processes. Machine vises are not only used in machining. These vital tools can also be found on the bench top in most woodworker shops. They allow for pieces of wood or metal to be held in place without clamps.
Since vises are so incredibly popular throughout both woodworking and metalworking, there are many styles available for purchase. However, it all comes down to whether or not you want a standard or a precision machine vise.
A standard one will not allow for precision movements; its’ only purpose will probably be to steadily secure your workpiece in place while you work on it. For this reason, standard vises are not used for machining applications where precision is extremely important.
However, if you are a machinist, then look no further than a precision vise. It will allow you to mill your workpiece, as well as move it along multiple axis’. You will also be able to keep track of how far you move your workpiece with built-in indicators that can be found on some higher quality vises. However, calipers tend to do that job just as well.
One very important thing when considering any vise is the material it is made from. Since vises are supposed to handle a wide variety of jobs, it needs to be well constructed and durable. The best material is a good cast iron, or even steel. This way, your vise won’t vibrate or rock as you work with it.
A machine vise can be a great addition to the workshop, so be sure to consider the materials and application before purchasing one.