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Quick & Easy Soft Jaws for your Vice

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Quick & Easy Soft Jaws for your Vice

Post by nutgone on Tue Nov 13 2012, 22:50

Here's a little trick I like to use for soft jaws on my metal working vice. I know they're usually made from aluminium, but I like to fashion a pair from old lead flashing sheet.





It's very easily done, you can cut lead sheet easily with tin snips or just heavily score it with a sharp Stanley knife & bend it a couple of times along the line. All you need is 2 strips, about an inch to an inch & a half wide & as long as they need to be to cover the jaws, leaving a bit either side to bend round.

You place them in the jaws of the vice, as straight as possible, tighten it up nice & tight & beat it into place with a small hammer. Once you've done you can usually remove them quite easily for when they're not needed & put them back on when they are. You shouldn't need the hammer to get them back on.

I prefer these to aluminium as I find I can put threaded studs or bolts in as tight as I like & it won't damage the threads. You do need to remove them for heavier work though as they are quite easily damaged & you will have to make a new set every few months (I find I usually get anything from 3 to 6 months, maybe even more, with careful use).

I know someone with access to a scrap yard, so I can get small pieces of this lead sheet, as long as it's only small pieces & I always return the old ones back to the lead skip.

I suppose you could do the same with copper from pipe, if you annealed it first it would be easier to work with, but the lead is the easiest to fashion into soft jaws & I reckon works quite well.

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Re: Quick & Easy Soft Jaws for your Vice

Post by Biggusdannus on Tue Nov 13 2012, 23:18

Interesting use of lead flashing, I use aluminium angle (25x25mmx4mm) offcuts, quite handy as you have two soft faces.

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Re: Quick & Easy Soft Jaws for your Vice

Post by kevjhnsn on Wed Nov 14 2012, 02:27

nutgone
i like the lead idea matt
i use them cheap leather gloves off the markets with the tartan style cloth on the back
and if ive got any that cardbourd angle that they strap to the outside of electrical goods ect
kev

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Re: Quick & Easy Soft Jaws for your Vice

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