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Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Bench Vice

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Bench Vice


00:01 - As you can probably appreciate, motorsport fabrication relies on a wide range of tools in order for you to be able to complete the individual tasks necessary to produce your finished product.
00:11 While there are an almost limitless range of tools that can be useful, it's important to begin with the basics.
00:17 As we expand our fabrication abilities, we may need to consider some of the more specialised tools but it's also important to appreciate just how much you can achieve by fully understanding your basic tools and what they're capable of.
00:30 While motorsport fabrication is a specialised form of fabrication, the majority of tools needed to perform these tasks are easily available and aren't that dissimilar to your regular fabrication gear.
00:43 Often when you're deciding what equipment you want to purchase, your workshop space will dictate how much room and therefore how many tools you can have.
00:51 Obviously your budget plays a part in this too.
00:55 Along with what specific tasks you want to be able to do.
00:58 We'll get started though with one of the most basic yet underrated tools you should have in your collection, the bench vice.
01:06 A bench or engineer's vice is a two piece cast, forged or fabrication steel vice that uses a screw thread to tighten the two jaws together.
01:15 This thread is called a buttress thread and is designed in a way so that it tightens and remains tight but then loosens very easily once it's undone.
01:24 The size of the vice is defined by its ability to open and hold a specific amount, for example a 100 mm vice will hold a maximum of 100 mm between its jaws.
01:36 These jaws will also have the same width as your vice's opening so your 100 mm vice will have jaws with a width of 100 mm.
01:44 There are a few variations of the typical vice and the first one worth understanding is the offset vice.
01:51 The term offset refers to the fact that the jaws are offset in relation to the screw thread rather than being mounted centrally above.
01:59 These offset vices benefit from increased throad depth which is measured from the top of the jaws down to the slide below and will usually be the same size as the vice itself.
02:09 For example, a typical 100 mm vice will also have a throat depth of 100 mm.
02:16 This may be an issue when clamping tall upright parts as the depth of insertion into the vice becomes limited.
02:23 In comparison, an offset vice theoretically has a throat depth from the floor to the top of your vice's jaws.
02:30 The downside to the offset vice is that over time the slide may wear and the clamp force will gradually become unequal, making it potentially difficult to get a good grip on the workpiece.
02:42 Another variation is the multi purpose vice which allows you to rotate the vice 360° on both axes and this means that you can clamp and hold just about anything at almost any angle.
02:54 Most of the multi purpose vices will offer two different types of clamping methods as the vice can be turned 180° for one method and 180 for the other.
03:03 Vice jaws are replaceable and are made from case hardened steel, most commonly cut with anti slip grooves or serrations.
03:12 This is great for achieving a good grip on your workpiece, however the downside is that they will end up marking the clamped surface.
03:19 To protect delicate materials when clamping them in the vice, it's a good idea to have what is referred to as soft jaws.
03:26 These are simply a soft piece of material that is placed between the hardened vice jaws and the workpiece to prevent marking or damage.
03:34 Polyurethane or aluminium soft jaws which attach to your vice jaws magnetically are a cost effective addition but the cheapest option is to make your own from a section of 90° aluminium angle.
03:47 When mounting a vice on a bench, it's worth considering what side you'll prefer to work on.
03:51 For example, if you're right handed, you may prefer to mount the vice on the right side of the bench.

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