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Just got a leg vice


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I have one that's almost identical. I was wondering if mine was just a Peter Wright screw and Box put into a set of Columbian jaws because it doesn't have chamfered legs like you usually see on the forged English vices. Considering that yours doesn't appear to have chamfered legs either, maybe not all Peter Wrights have the chamfered legs?

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Yes the legs are chamfered. They have a little scallop at the start of the slight chamfer about 1/8" wide. You can just make it out in the third photo.

I have attached a full size photo to this reply so you can see the chamfer better.

Your post got me to wondering about this vice as well and I found this information at anvilfire.com.


Identification of Vises:

It is more difficult to find out about old leg vises than anvils, because there were fewer markings. When Peter Wright did mark their vises, they did so on top of the screw box body with P.WRIGHT PATENT SOLID BOX. These were in three lines, stamped in small, serifed letters and were often obliterated by wear and rust. The stamped letters were a matter of pride and the result of a break through in technology. The earlier boxes, I assume throughout Europe, were composites made up of multiple "rings" forge brazed around a forge welded tube. The square threads consisted of a coil brazed inside the tube. Normally, brass spelter was used rather than copper, as the brass melts earlier than copper. After brazing, the internal threads were cleaned and the external box was lathe turned. On close inspection, one can see evidence of brass and/or slight separations where the rings are joined.

The Peter Wright firm figured a way to eliminate all the composite brazing business, and was able to make a solid box with internal threads.

The Peter Wright vises exported to the U.S. most often had deeply chamfered legs. When I was in Australia, the PW vises most often had very slight chamfers on the legs. Some of the Australian PWs had the royal coat of arms stamped on them. I suspect that the Australian imports were made at a later date that the U.S. ones. In all other respects, the Australian and U.S. Peter Wright vises appear to have the same conformation.

Frank Turley - 05/29/08

Edit: Mine does have the royal coat of arms on it, so that leads me to believe that the one I just got was an Australian import version.


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I'm the guy who wrote the bit about the Australian vises. I have a hunch that some or all of the Peter Wrights that were exported to Canada had the slightly chamfered legs, as well. The ones imported to the U.S. had deeply chamfered legs. The question is, "why?" ¿Quien sabe?

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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I am a vise (vice) aficionado, but I have a difficult time dating vises. I am in hopes that someone in the UK can look up some patent information and find out when Peter Wright started making their solid boxes as opposed to the brazed composite boxes. I have four PW vises, two collected in the field, and two from eBay. They all have the deeply chamfered legs and no British coats of arms, so I am assuming they were imported into the U.S.

FYI, the jaw and height dimensions are:
6 7/8" x 38½"; my personal vise, eBay
5 7/8" x 39"; acquired at a ranch auction
5 3/8" x 39"; acquired near Perryville, Missouri
5 1/16" x 37" eBay

The two eBay vises were in good shape but had no mounting hardware nor springs, so I forged my own. The last listed vise was interesting to me because I could see from the photos, that it had a rectangular hole through the fixed leg. When it arrived, it proved to be a transitional vise. It had the solid box, but the old fashioned hole (3/8" x 3/4") to receive the mounting plate tenon. I had never seen a PW like that.

As to dates, I am guessing that the imported vises with the composite boxes from Britain date from about 1770 to 1850. These vises had jaw widths from about 3½" to 4½". It is also a guess on my part that the PW solid box patent started in the 1850's. PW vises were imported into the U.S. into the early 1900's.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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Well, I checked out my PW vice today and it is indeed a combo of 2 (or more) vices. The screw box and potentially the screw is a Peter Wright:

The rest of the vice appears to Buckworth. I actually have an anvil stamped buckworth. I've seen/heard of 3 Buckworth anvils besides my own. Note how there seems to be 2 X's stamped on each of the major components of the vice. I don't know if this is a factory stamping or if a previous owner did this.

Here's a couple of pictures showing my vise vice.

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