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Anvils in America, THE book about anvils

Blacksmithing and metalworking questions answered.

Blacksmithing and Metalworking Tools Historical Preservation.

International Ceramics Products

Vise, Vice, Schraubstock, l'eteau, morsa, el tornillo de banco,
yellicans, bankschroef, satu, imadlło

Anvils in America, THE book about anvils VISE (Vice) Gallery

Tom Davis - a colorful colection
Somewhere . . over the rainbow . . . We're not in Kansas anymore Toto. . .

Vise, Vice, Schraubstock, l'eteau, morsa, el tornillo de banco,
yellicans, bankschroef, satu, imadlło

The screw vise is probably the world's most important invention yet it goes so far back in time that it cannot be attributed to any inventor, not DaVinci, not Aristotle (both advocates of screws). The first screw vises were made entirely of wood and the screws were cut primarily by hand or on primitive lathes from hand drawn layouts. The expanded use of the screw vise follows advances in screw cutting lathes and was probably one of the primary driving forces for the need for screw cutting machinery. For over three centuries turned metal screws were used with fabricated nuts made from coils of small bar brazed into a tube. The value of a vise being so great that they would not wait for the manufacturing technology to catch up. It was not until the 1860's that vise nuts (boxes) had machined threads.

The screw vice is one of the most used tools in any kind of workshop. Vises are used by watchmakers, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, machinists, blacksmiths and many others. In modern machine shops where very little is done by hand most machines have dedicated specialized work holding vises. In the lathe a derivation of the vise was developed for holding round work, 3 and 4 jaw chucks.

In the blacksmith shop one often thinks of the anvil as being the most important tool. But the blacksmith spends as much or more time at the vise, sawing, filing, grinding, welding and chisling. In a shop with one anvil you may see three or more vises. The hand held grinder has largely replaced filing but the vise is still used to hold the work being ground.

Today, with most bench vise manufacturing moving overseas where they use poor quality castings and cheapened manufacturing methods there has been a resurgence in interest into old well made American and European Vises. Bench vises that you could not give away a decade ago are now selling for nearly new prices.

More Vise Stuff, Shop value, setup, accessory tooling, use guidelines, maintenance.

Catalog Reference Material

NEW! Catalog of Vise Catalogue Pages   A lifetime collection of old catalogs and books. 72 historical pages featuring vises and metalsmithing tools.

Blacksmith Leg Vise Diagram

BLACKSMITH LEG or POST VISES   English and American Leg Vises, a standard for hundreds of years. Our original Vises article .

Includes weight and size table with proportions graphic, types of forged mounting bracket, how they are made and how best mounted. . .

Red Columbian Bench Vise

Columbian D33½ Bench Vise   A standard in many shops for decades.

Columbian Pipe Vise

Columbian Combination Pipe Vise  

A large industrial duty vise on heavy stand.
Found in an industrial blacksmith shop.

Champion Swivel Vise

Champion Swivel Vise  

Made by Western Tool & Mfg. Co. for auto garage use.
An emerging market in the 1920's.

Emmert Universal Vise

Emmert Universal Tool Makers and Metalworkers Universal Vise

From Steve Prillwitz of Matchless Antiques.

Keen Kutter

Keen Kutter  

A rare and unusual blacksmiths leg vise with a Keen-Kutter logo bench plate.

Woodworking Vise Installation

Woodworking Vise   Installation and improvements.

From the guru's wood working bench project.

My First Vise

My First Vise  

2-1/2" Simmons (Columbian) Vise

German Leg Vise

German Blacksmiths Leg Vise  

While these look like an English Vise they are very different.

Wilton Drill Press Vise

Wilton Model 1160 Drill Press Vise  

Large 6" x 6-3/4" machine vise. Previously listed as a 1460. Now includes parts diagram.

Reed Swivel Base Detail

Reed Bench Vise Swivel Detail  

Features that made them the best. . .

Very Large Blacksmiths Leg Vise

Very Large 270 Pound Blacksmiths Leg Vise

From Steve Prillwitz of Matchless Antiques. He says, "Its the largest I've seen".

Large Bench Vise

Row of American Iron [Featured Image]

Row of Heavy American Iron

Tom Davis Collection

Vanderman pipe or steamfitters vise

Vanderman Steamfitters Vise

Tom Davis Collection, includes catalog image.

Prentiss Bull DOg Chipping Vise.

Prentiss No. 58 Chipping Vise on Stand Also known as the Prentiss "Bull Dog" Vise.

Tom Davis Collection

3.4 in English Leg Vise circa 1800.

Antique Old English Leg Vise, circa 1800.

Frank Turley Collection (For Sale)

Blue Brooks Blacksmiths Leg Vice

Chamfering Vise

Chamfering Vise.

An auxilliary vice to be held in a larger vise.

Greenfield Heading Caulking Vise

Greenfield Type Heading Caulking Vise.

Wells Bros. and Wiley & Russell specialty foot operated vises for the blacksmith shop.

Fisher double screw leg vise

Fisher Double Screw Parallel Jaw Blacksmiths Leg Vise.

A rare vise, an advertisement and some stories.

Columbian Red Arrow Home Shop Vise

Vise as art or vise art?

Columbian Red Arrow Home Shop Vise with blue marble paint. Model 63½ catalog page from 1949.

Parallel Foot Adjusted Vise

Parallel Foot Adjusted Leg Vise

Unusual European import vise.

WILTON Offset Engineers Vise

Beautiful photos of a NOS (New Old Stock) vise. Plus Dawn Tool Co. the designers of this vise.

Reed 108

REED 108 on forklift

A great photo! A great old tool!

G&E Shaper Vise

Gould and Eberhardt Shaper Vise

The heaviest duty of vises.

Columbian Leg vise with Pipe Jaws

H J Boyce Vise

Convertable Boyce Farriers Vice

Patented 1896. Can be reversed to close on either side of fixed jaw.

Emmert Pattern and Wood Workers'

Emmert Universal Pattern Makers' and Wood Workers' Vise.

Patented 1891, 1905. Tilts and rotates, holds tapers.


Morgan Milwaukee 8 inch Chipping Vise.

Plus a shop still life with the Morgan, a Wilton "bullet" and a Jewelers' anvil.

Sawyers Leg Vise

English Sawyers Leg Vise

A beautiful specialty leg vise. You rarely see one of these much less one in so nice a condition.

Double Legged Vise

NEW! Heavy Double Legged Vise

From the collection of Emerald Koch,

Wilton Bullet Vise

NEW! Wilton C3 "Bullet" Vise

From the collection of Emerald Koch, Includes parts diagram and cutaway view. Links to other Wilton Vises.

Wood Working Vise

NEW! Champion Wood Working Vise

From the Blacksmith Tool Collection of Ted Mays.

Wards Bullet Vise

NEW! Wards Master Vise

Another fine tool from Ken Kohut.


Evil Anvil Thumbnail

Vise Safety Cartoon By The Great Nippolini.

Multi Tool Anvils
Mutli-Tool Anvils (and Vises)
Those strange Anvil Shaped Objects that were also vises and other things. . ..

All in one tool
Champion Combo Tool No. 30
Champion Blower and Forge Combination Repair Outfit No. 30 or Six-in-One with forge, anvil, vise, drill and grinder. Includes full catalog page and links to similar items.

The Engine Lathe  
The King of machine tools - an absolute necessity to make or repair screw vises. Should you have one in your shop? Buying old lathes, chucks and tooling.

Swage Blocks (62 Blocks)
The "other" blacksmiths "anvil". collection of over 50 swage block images plus articles on the history, design and use of swageblocks. Over 3000 years of blocks. Another web gallery by Jock Dempsey the anvilfire guru.

The anvilfire Anvil Gallery 500 images of hundreds of anvils
Anvil photos by the guru and others collected over a decade.
Includes foundry patterns, catalog page and more. . .

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