Better Ball Vise Hex Key/Wrench

DakotaDocMartin

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I think it was Mike Dubber I saw using a T-handled hex key to tighten up his ball vise. That's a WAY better way to go about it. I never could really give my GRS Low Profile vise a good tightening with the regular key that came with it.

So, I bought a 1/4 in. T-handle hex key and cut it off. It's easy to grasp and easy to turn. And, when you really need to tighten it up you can easily do it. :thumbs up:

 

tim halloran

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Doc: I Have A Magna Block That's Over 20 Years Old. It Came With A Wrench Similar To The The T Handle You Showed In Your Post. I Think GRS Went To The Smaller Wrench To Help Keep People From Over Tightening The Jaws On Their Blocks. I Just Recently Bought A New Threaded Screw Replacement Kit From GRS. It Took The Slop Out Of The Jaws That Came About From 20 Years Of Thread Wear, From Tightening The Jaws.
 

Crazy Horse

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Believe it or not, most people want to put the death grip on a vise. I've seen engravers hitting the handle of an engraving block with a hammer. If a vice is to be abused in such a manner butress threads would be required.
 

Mike Dubber

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T Handle Wrenches

Yep, as Doc and Tim said, I use "T" Handle wrenches for all the above reasons. GRS used to provide T Handle Wrenches that were hex stock bent to a T shape. They work well, but I do like to make up my own, like the one shown here that's been in use for 20 years or so: large, heavy and comfortable to use.
It provides a good grip. Like Crazy Horse said - I would never hit it with a hammer! :beat up:

 
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Fred Bowen

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Sorry Mike but I can't believe this is YOUR wrench. 20 years and you haven't engraved it yet. Not the Mike I know. Maybe the cuts just wore off? Are those just scratches?
 

Mike Dubber

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Non-Engraved Wrench?

OK Fred, so I slipped up on this one. I still have a few good years to go, so I'll put that nn my "things to do" list:(
 

DakotaDocMartin

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I Think GRS Went To The Smaller Wrench To Help Keep People From Over Tightening The Jaws On Their Blocks.

I don't really need to over tighten the jaws. But, the T-handle tends to give me more control and it's easier on my hand. I can snug the vise without having to give the knob on the GRS key a "death grip".

I have some ortho/neuro problems with my hands combined with some arthritis that's coming on. Maybe this T-handle is sort of like a Good Grips can opener with the big fat handles. It's nicer for us old folks. (Or at least those that feel old.) :shock: :big grin:
 

Zhyyra

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Thanks for posting this Doc. You've helped me decided to go with a T-wrench on the ball vise that I'm about to make.
I'm thinking about a mini ACME thread of some high tensile steel for the LH/RH screw.
Gotta love over-engineered rugged tools that last approximately forever :)
 

KCSteve

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I must have gotten lucky - when I got my GRS vise I got both wrenches - the small knob and the big T handle. It's good to have both. :big grin:
 

pilkguns

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Interesting, I don't think I have ever seen that black X handled thing. Must be somethign new from them in the last 3 years since I ceased working with them. It looks awful small and awkward to use frequently. All I have ever seen or known GRS to provide was the solid bar T type.

This wrench is an option, which is actually my preferred Ball vise wrench. Its big enough to easily tightened to necesary holding strenghs, but its shape and size allow it stay in place most of the time so I don't have to go chasing around the bench to find the T handle when it has gone hiding. Are mine the only ones that do that? :eek: Actually I normally have a couple of T handles and a normal L allen laying around in additon to the pictured round one, just because its eaiser to find 1 of 4 that you need instead of 1 of 1
 
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Jane

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I must have gotten lucky - when I got my GRS vise I got both wrenches - the small knob and the big T handle. It's good to have both. :big grin:

I to must have been lucky, I received both as well. :thumbs up:
 

Peter E

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My vise also came with the small plastic one that Doc showed AND the "T" shape one from 1/4 hex stock.

The "knurled" one like Scott showed was an optional one that was around $15 - $20 if I recall.

The knurled one is REALLY nice, but I figured it would be easy enough to make, if I found the others inadequate, which so far I haven't.
 

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