All About Vises and Clamps

A vise is a simple and solid set of adjustable jaws that holds materials in position. It must be attached to a stable surface such as a workbench whereas a clamp is portable and can be used to hold together a variety of items.
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  1. Hand Tools
  2. Tools

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Workshop Vise

This heavy-duty vise is meant to be secured to the top of a fixed workbench. Its hardened jaw plates can grip all types of square and cylindrical materials.

Woodworker's Vise

This should be attached to the underside of a fixed workbench so that its jaws sit flush with the top of the workbench. Place offcuts of wood against the jaws' large surface area to protect the material you are working with.

Portable Vise

The C-clamp fixed at the base of this vise is used to fix it to the surface of a work table. It can be attached to any surface, though the maximum thickness of that surface will depend on the dimensions of the C-clamp. The central bar is turned to adjust the jaws of the clamp.

C-Clamp

Available in many sizes, a C-clamp is a very versatile tool. Adjust the threaded bar to the required jaw size, placing offcuts of wood between the material being clamped and the jaws to protect it from being damaged.

Band Clamp

Use a band clamp on awkward pieces of material. Its jaws are threaded together by a length of nylon band, which is released to make the jaws separate. Once placed around the material, it pulls the band and tightens the jaws. The tension on the nylon band is adjusted by a lever.

Corner Clamp

This clamp is designed to hold corner pieces. It applies pressure to each side of a right angle.

Ratchet Clamp

The ratchet mechanism in this clamp offers you greater control over the pressure it applies. Once you have gripped the material, apply a little further pressure and you will feel the ratchet's pincer-like jaws tighten up until it has an adequate grip. A button on the side of the clamp releases the tension.

Spring Clamp

Thanks to its very simple design, this clamp can be used with just one hand. Open the jaws by gripping both handles, and release the handles to apply clamping pressure by allowing the jaws to close around the material.

Bar Clamp

A bar clamp is a type of elongated C-clamp, with one fixed jaw and one adjustable jaw. The adjustable jaw slides along the serrated central bar and is secured in position by using the threaded section with its easy-grip handle. For fine adjustments when securing the clamp, the movable jaw is equipped with a threaded bar that may be tightened.

Large Bar Clamp

This bigger bar clamp is designed to hold larger materials in place. Fix one end of the clamp in position and adjust the other as required. On some models the central bar is serrated to grip the movable jaw. On others, the bar has a series of holes through which a pin on the movable jaw is inserted to hold the movable section in position.

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