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What are the parts of a plate vice?

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Tri Vice

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Tri Vice frame

The main body of a plate vice is referred to as the ‘frame’. It is manufactured from a single sheet of low carbon steel, and may be either triangular (Tri Vice) or rectangular (Timber Lok).

frame, plate vice, vice frame, plate vice frame, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, The frame is the part of a plate vice which the user holds when positioning the plate vice, and which provides the necessary support for workpieces inserted into grip ports.

All other parts of the tool are incorporated into the frame. These are as follows:

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Tri Vice grip ports

The holes in a plate vice frame are known as ‘grip ports’. These are the parts of the tool which perform its main function – gripping and supporting workpieces.

Four types of grip port are featured on a standard plate vice:

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Square grip port

Square grip ports can be used to hold either square or circular workpieces of a matching diameter, or any other shape of workpiece with an area slightly smaller than that of the grip port (not too much smaller, or the grip port will not hold the workpiece tightly).

plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, A Tri Vice has three square grip ports, which are able to take diameters of up to 23mm, 28mm, or 33mm respectively.
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Pentagonal grip port

Pentagonal grip ports have five sides, and, like square grip ports, can be used to hold either circular or square workpieces.

plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, A Tri Vice has two pentagonal grip ports, capable of taking workpieces up to 58mm or 73mm diameter respectively.
plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, The incorporation of a fifth side allows a pentagonal grip port to house workpieces with larger diameters by increasing the interior area of the port.
plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, Were a square grip port with the same interior area as the pentagonal port to be incorporated into the plate vice’s design, the size of the frame itself would have to be increased.

A pentagonal design allows the shape of the port to align with the shape of the vice frame, so that the frame size does not need to be increased.

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Polygonal grip port

A polygon is any shape with more than two sides. Some of these shapes have difficult or hard-to-pronounce names, but the term ‘irregular polygon’ can be used as a simple way to refer to them.

plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, In this case, the polygonal grip port’s true name is ‘irregular heptadecagonal grip port’, as it has 17 sides of different lengths.

The polygonal grip port is the largest, and can take square-edged workpieces up to 100x100mm, or round workpieces up to 118mm in diameter.

plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, Were a square grip port with the same interior area as the polygonal grip port to be incorporated, the size of the frame would have to be increased to accommodate it. The 17 irregular sides of the polygonal grip port align its overall shape with the edges of the frame.
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Rectangular grip port

Rectangular grip ports are intended primarily for gripping sections of timber, but can also be used to grip box section ducting or other workpieces.

plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, A Tri Vice has two rectangular grip ports, but is able to take workpieces up to three dimensions of 145 x 47mm, 45 x 50mm, or 48 x 25mm.
plate vice, vise, plate vise, tri vice, tri vise, grip port, The additional dimensional capacity is provided by a small extension to the largest rectangular grip port – this feature makes it possible for an additional workpiece dimension to be catered for without the need for an entirely separate grip port.

Timber Lok

timber vice, timber lok, timber plate vice, plate vice, plate vise, lumber lok, A Timber Lok is manufactured and used in exactly the same way as a tri vice, consisting of a frame into which all other parts are incorporated. However, it differs in shape, being rectangular as opposed to triangular.
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Timber Lok grip ports

The Timber Lok features only rectangular grip ports, as it is designed primarily for use with timber. Six grip ports are featured in total, each of which incorporates a grip port extension. For more information on the grip ports on a Timber Lok, see: What are the different types of plate vice?

Measuring rules on plate vices

rule, ruler, millimetre rule, inch rule, Both Tri Vices and Timber Loks feature two measuring rules, one in millimetres and one in inches, which measure from 0-300mm or 0-12in.
rule, ruler, millimetre rule, inch rule, The incorporation of measuring rules allows the user to measure workpieces easily, without the need for an additional measuring tool. However, this is only possible when the workpiece being measured is not being supported by the vice.
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Nail holes on plate vices

Nail holes are used to store Tri Vices and Timber Loks by hanging them up.

nail hole, tool hanging, tools, plate vice, plate vise, On a Tri Vice, a nail hole is incorporated into the uppermost point, between the two measuring rules.
nail hole, tool hanging, tools, plate vice, plate vise, On a Timber Lok, two nail holes are incorporated at the top two corners, on either side of the millimetre rule. Incorporating two nails rather than one spreads the weight of the Timber Lok – which is heavier than the Tri Vice – across two points, reducing the risk that a nail may fail and the vice fall while in storage.
 The nail holes on a plate vice are not  intended to be used as an  additional grip port.