A vertical or horizontal vise by John Barraclough

John B.

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Nov 9, 2006
Los Angeles area, California.

This vise has many uses in the engraving, gunsmith or tool making industries.
It was originally designed by Lester Brooks, a fellow instructor at the Trinidad college gunsmith school.
Lester made a prototype and I did the rough drawing of the plans for the students to make their own copy of the vise.
The vise can be made inexpensively from simple, stock materials with a minimum of specialized machining.
The drawing was made very quickly in the classroom, before computers were available.
It is not to scale, just graphic and became one of my class handouts.
When the rotary vise is used in a horizontal position, held in a bench vise, the addition of a modified aluminum bar clamp allows long items to be swung in a vertical rotation.
While seated in a “side saddleâ€￾ position it enables one to engrave or work on a rifle or shotgun barrel or even a long gunstock without having to “duckâ€￾ the rotation.
Adding center points in custom ends to the bar clamp allows a barrel or any hollow item to be rotated on both axis, avoiding having to work over the “hump.â€￾
Changing the center points to padded wooden cups allows the bar clamp to hold a gunstock in both axis for carving, checkering, inlaying or engraving of metal ovals or shields.

1. The bearings should be a light drive fit into the inside square steel tube.
Grind out a short section of the seam weld inside the tube.
Federal Mogul 11949 & 11910 trailer wheel bearings were used in my original.
Any bearing of an equal size that fits the tube will work.
2. It is easier to make the brake blocks from one solid block of aluminum.
Drill the rebates for the set screws. Drill the center hole the same size as the shaft and then saw the block in half down the length of the shaft hole. The thickness of the saw cut reduces the diameter to allow the two halves to grip the shaft as brakes when the set screws are tightened.
3. Milling out the channel stock to hold the drill press vise can be avoided. Use a
Drill press vise with side ears and bolt it to the top of the center plate.
4. Weld the top plate to the shaft as straight and vertical as possible. Then hold the
shaft in the center jaws of a lathe and face off the top to be 90 degrees to the shaft.
5. The tube on my vise is 9 1/2 inches long with a 10 inch long shaft.
This size may changed to suite individual needs.


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John B.

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Nov 9, 2006
Los Angeles area, California.
An additional thought.
It goes without saying that this devise does not work with a normally mounted microscope.
I do have a long boom stand post mounted on a very heavy floor standing base.
This was made for my old B&L scope, now sold, and is not the correct diameter for the GRS or Acrobat boom.
I will cut it off and make an adapter to join to a 1.125 inch GRS post at a later date.
Until then I use a pair of medical optical loupes or an optivisor.
John B.

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