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What is a pattern maker’s vice?

Shop for Vices

bench with pattern maker's vice A pattern maker’s vice is a multi-purpose vice designed to rotate, tilt and pivot to allow the user to work at various angles. The vice is attached to the underneath of a workbench with both jaws sitting in front of the bench’s edge and their tops in alignment with the surface.
vintage pattern making Pattern makers make wooden patterns for sand casting iron and other metals. Patterns are templates replicating objects to be cast and, in this case, were made out of wood. The vice has its name because when it was first created in the 1890s, it was originally designed especially for pattern makers to produce extremely complicated wooden patterns.

What is it used for?

pattern maker's vice A pattern maker’s vice is a medium-duty tool, as it can be used for completing professional woodworking tasks, however, it is not suitable to hold extremely large and heavy workpieces, such as wooden beams or doors. It can be used for a number of tasks, including:
saw Sawing
woodwork file Filing
carpentry tools Carpentry and carving
irregularly shaped clamped objects Clamping irregularly shaped or tapered workpieces

Characteristics

rotated pattern maker's vice

Jaw rotation

The jaws of a pattern maker’s vice can rotate 360 degrees and lock in any desirable position to allow the user to work at the optimum angle.

locking lever The vice has a locking lever which is attached to the main body of the vice. To rotate the jaws, this lever simply needs to be released and then locked again when in the desired position.
tilted pattern maker's vice

Jaw tilt

A pattern maker’s vice can also be tilted up to a 90 degree angle to allow work to be placed horizontally into the jaws, rather than just vertically.

tilted pattern maker's vice The tilted angle makes the vice an ideal tool for clamping wooden objects that need to be sawed or filed. This is because the width of the back jaw gives the clamped object greater support when completing the sawing or filing action.
pivoted pattern maker's vice jaws

Jaw pivot

Another feature of a pattern maker’s vice is its jaws that can pivot to allow the vice to hold tapered objects firmly. The vice has a lever on the front of the sliding jaw that controls the pivot action and moves the vice into the most convenient angle for a particular workpiece.

pattern maker's vice with dog

Vice dogs

A major difference between a pattern maker’s vice and other woodworking vices is that it has four integral dogs incorporated into its jaws, rather than just one. This means the vice can hold irregular or circular shaped objects to be worked on, again adding to its versatility.

carver's jaws

Carver’s jaws

The underneath of the jaws also has a pair of carver’s jaws incorporated into the design. The vice can then be rotated to set the carver’s jaws on top to allow the user to clamp wood in a convenient position. The carver’s jaws are then opened and closed by rotating the handle, similarly to the regular vice jaws.

carving figurines They are specially designed to hold small and delicate pieces of wood for carving. The carver’s jaws allow the user to clamp objects which can then be carved or chiselled to create wooden patterns or figurines.

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