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XBDWX (Mechanical) (OP)
17 Dec 02 4:48
Hi,

 How would you go about designing a bench vice?  I'm doing some design developement for a part time HND course, and was looking for tips. I'm doing a design that will first be made in a tool room (Small job no more than 5 of) then to be produced on a mass scale in a purpose built factory.
 Any ideas or tips? I've been doing design for a few years now, but as I need to approach this from all angles, your input would be appreciated.

ornerynorsk (Industrial)
17 Dec 02 13:57
First you buy an existing bench vise, make a few cosmetic changes that are insignificant to its function, paint it a different color, apply your own label, and apply for a patent.  Then you . . . . .  oh, sorry, I was daydreaming. For a minute there I thought I was talking to our industrial designer.  .  Have a good day everyone. Just thought I'd throw in some humor to shorten up a looooooooong day!
dugal (Nuclear)
20 Dec 02 20:02
Buy a half dozen small (3 to 5 inch) vices that are all different designs.  Put a steel pipe on the vice handle and and a 1/2" copper pipe in the jaws.  Tighten the handle until each vice breaks.  Note what component failed and roughly the force you used to make it fail. The amount the copper pipe was reduced in thickness relates to the force the vice created.  You will learn a lot about poor designs by doing this practical method.
gbent (Agricultural)
21 Dec 02 9:38
Where do you want your product to fit in the market?  IMO, you have two choices - either the best or the cheapest.  If it is to be the best, get one of the round ram Wilton vises, and figure out how to deliver a better vise for the same money.  If is to be the cheapest, find several of the Chinese imports, and figure how to make them cheaper.  (lots of luck)  Whichever way you go, use dugal's idea on the testing.

A pet peeve of mine for all vices is always the swivel on the base.  I wouldn't buy one without it, but they never lock solid enough to resist turning when you do serious work.  Even my 6" Wilton had to be rebuilt.  (It doesn't turn now!)

One area that isn't served now is the old-style blacksmith's vice (or post vice).  They are not very pretty, they are manufactured crudely, and they take up alot of room.  However, if you are hitting something with a hammer with great regularity, you will ruin even the best vice quickly.  The post vice was make to hold metal while it was hit with a hammer.  As such, they are almost indestructible.  If you redesign one, however, the sloppyness in all features was intensional.  It allows movement without breaking, and allows tightly clamping surfaces that are not parallel.

As for onerynorsk,  some of my past employers thought that  R & D stood for ripoff and duplicate.

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