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What is a cross slide vice?

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cross slide vice A cross slide vice is an adjustable vice, whereby the jaws can be placed in different positions without removing the base from the machine table. It differs from other types of machine vice in that it has two mounts instead of one. This means that, when clamped, a workpiece can be moved in various directions during machining.
donkee with x and y axis A cross slide vice can also be referred to as an XY axis vice. This is due to the direction that the vice mounts move in.

The top mount moves to the left or the right (X axis) and the bottom mount moves forward or backwards (Y axis).

 Donkee says 'remember: x to the left, y to the sky'

What is it used for?

cross slide vice in machine The double mount allows for versatile clamping and machining abilities, as the vice can adjust the position of a workpiece without having to remove it from the vice’s jaws.
milling wood Its sliding feature means it is an ideal vice to be used for light milling. Milling is a material removal process which involves cutting features and shapes into a workpiece.

The cross slide vice can gradually slide a workpiece along the machine’s cutter, whilst keeping it secure and steady.

keyway Due to this, it is an extremely useful tool for cutting keyways on a milling machine.
knife It is also commonly used within specialist trades, such as knife making, where products are often made by hand.

Characteristics

x and y mount handles A cross slide vice has two mounts. The upper mount of the vice is often referred to as the X mount. This mount can be moved from left to right by rotating its handle.
rotating a cross slide vice handle The lower mount of the vice is often referred to as the Y axis and is the part that is attached the the machine table. This mount can then adjust the upper mount by moving it forwards and backwards when its handle is rotated.