Author Topic: A Most Unusual Vise  (Read 8899 times)

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Offline mikeswrenches

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A Most Unusual Vise
« on: April 15, 2013, 08:12:09 PM »
This may push the envelope a little bit.  But it is under 6 in. long and is operated by hand.

         Here is a neat little vise that forgoes the traditional screw operation for a side lever and serations on the slide to lock an object in place. In this iteration of this vise, a spring returns the moveable jaw back to its rest position against the fixed jaw, or against an object that may be placed between the jaws.  Pulling the lever forward causes the moveable jaw to move slightly rearward and lock it tight against the object. 

Another version, which may be earlier than this one, has no spring and is manually moved fore and aft.  Note that this vise has a small(approximately 5/8 in. square) raised anvil pad on the rear.  The other two I have seen, do not have this pad.  Since I know very little about these vises, I can only speculate that this model may have been marketed to jewelers, although the same could be said for the ones with-out the raised pad.

Vise is only 5 1/4 in. long, 2 3/4 in. high, and 3 in. wide.

The vise appears to have been manufactured for Tower & Lyon of NY as their name appears on the top surface of the main beam.  Along with this mark is the mark of the "Stephens Pat. Vise Co. NY", along with 4 patent dates.  It was patented by Anson P. Stephens of Brooklyn, NY on April 5, 1864, no. 42,236.  Another patent was issued Oct. 26, 1869 and a third July 19, 1870.  The forth date does not lead to any relevant patent.

The link below will get you to the first patent.

http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?number=42236&typeCode=0

Mike
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Offline scottg

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 08:25:53 PM »
 Wow!! That thing is atrocious!
Just stunning, I am drooling on my shoes.

 yours Scott
 

Offline Lostmind

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 09:19:00 PM »
The vise in the second photo of the patent link is much larger than yours.
Could be yours is a model  or sample , so the  sales person didn't have to carry the large one around?
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Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 09:38:05 PM »
Roy,That is certainly a possibility.  I noticed the same thing, yet I've never seen the bigger one.  I have seen 3(including mine) of the small ones.  I have a T & L catalog coming that may shed some some more light on these vises.

Mike
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Offline scottg

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 10:24:41 PM »
Clockmakers vise.  Perfect size.
 Tower and Lyon made the Gem wrench.
Beautiful little things? They were familiar with.
    yours Scott 

Offline john k

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 11:12:15 PM »
I have a couple of tiny vises, but nothing like that.   It is in terrific condition too. 
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Offline Branson

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 09:05:00 AM »
That's the most workman like small vise I've ever seen.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for one of these.

Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 02:47:48 PM »
What a WOW find, Mike.
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Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 12:08:15 PM »
This may make it a little easier to visualize how these worked.

Mike

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Offline Lewill2

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 07:45:03 PM »
A small one with 1 7/8 wide jaws is listed on ebay but one of the mounting holes is broken on it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171028834302?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 07:56:11 PM »
Thanks for the heads up on the ebay vise.  I put it on my watch list.

My so far limited research shows that the small ones seem to be more common than the large ones.  These also had some attachments so they could hold irregularly shaped objects.  I have never seen any of the attachments.

Stephens also made one of these little guys that had a swivel base.  Have never seen one of them either.

Mike
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Offline Lewill2

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 07:16:24 AM »
I saw one a few years ago at one of the Browns Auction dealer sales and if I remember correctly it had jaws that were about 4 inches wide. To this day I kick myself for not buying it when I had the chance.

Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: A Most Unusual Vise
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 06:43:55 PM »
My Tower & Lyon catalog came today.  It is a reprint from ca 1904 and It clears up, to me anyway, why you don't see many of them...they were expensive.

The one I posted was marketed "for Jewelry Manufacturers, Amateurs and Light Work".  It was available with the flat base, as shown, with and w/o the anvil, and nickel plated.  The base vise cost $3.75.  Add $.75 for the anvil, and a whopping $2.00 for the plating.  By contrast a swivel base only added $.75. 

The standard vise was available in 6 sizes, ranging from 2 in. to 6 1/2 in.  The 6 1/2 in. One opened to 11 in. And weighed 160 lbs.  Cost was $33.00.  A rather large sum back then.

The sizes were 2, 2 3/4, 3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2, and 6 1/2.  They were available in both fixed and swivel bases.

Mike
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