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A vice (vises in American English) tool consisting of two parallel jaws for holding a workpiece, one of the jaws is fixed and the other movable by a screw. When used for holding a workpiece during hand operations, such as filing, hammering, or sawing, the vice may be permanently bolted to a bench, which may be commonly names as a bench vice.
In vices designed to hold metallic workpieces, the active faces of the jaws are hardened steel plates, often removable, with serrations that grip the workpiece, to prevent damage to soft parts, the permanent jaws can be covered with temporary jaws made from sheet copper or leather. Pipe vices have double V-shaped jaws that grip in four places instead of only two. Woodworking vices have smooth jaws, often of wood, and rely on friction alone rather than on serrations. To conclude, vice tools are mechanic devices designed to keep elements in place during an operation, and is a useful tool to many different fields of crafting.
Vice tools can function as manual components or as a machining device. Many typical manufacturing facilities use machining vices for applications that have tight tolerances and require high precision. Although there are many merits associated with manual vices, machining vices are often more well-suited to holding a workpiece stationary during high-speed machining operations. Because high-speed machining can cause extensive vibrations, vice tools are equipped to dampen vibrations and provide excellent stability.
Fully hydraulic vices and hydra-mechanical machining vices are common variants, with hydra-mechanical vices offering the added benefit of clamping force without dependency on hydraulic lines. Fully-hydraulic machining vices often contain the hydraulic system within the jaw body, minimizing exposure of the spindle. Both types of power machining vices are relatively versatile, and can function with a variety of jaws, including standard flat jaws, down thrust, angular, swivel, and diagonal clamping jaws.
Typical machine vices are constructed from cast iron with replaceable steel jaws, and are designed to hold a workpiece stationary during milling, drilling, shaping, and grinding. A heavy duty machine vice is distinguished by its swivel base and smooth jaws, where as medium duty machine vices feature on smooth and one grooved jaw. Specific kinds of machine vices include any angle precision, ultra-precision, and self centering machine vices.
A so-called any angle precision machine vice is extremely flexible, offering up to 45 degree angle tilting capabilities in either direction, and 90 degree vertical tilt so that a workpiece may be positioned at a right angle to the surface of the working table.
Ultra-precision vices are typically used for grinding and inspection operations, and are often referred to as tool maker vices. One jaw is smooth while the other is grooved, and the vice body is typically made of steel. Ultra precision vices can be fastened to a workbench, feature a replacement for the movable jaw, which often has additional grooves to enable it to hold a rounded workpiece.
A self centering vice features two movable jaws that center themselves around the workpiece. In milling and drilling applications where an accurately centered workpiece is essential to the operation, a self-centering vice can save time. Both the vice and jaws are often made of steel, and the smooth jaws are replaceable.
Cross-slide drill-press vices are appropriate for processes where a workpiece must be accurately centered. Lighter applications, such as drilling and light milling, can benefit from a cross-slide drill-press, which moves on two axes. They are most made of iron, and feature one smooth and one grooved jaw. They are available in variants for lighter work and can be attached to a workbench as well as for applications that require variable-angle drilling and milling.
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