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anvilfire.com Vise Gallery

anvilfire Vice Gallery - Very Large 270 pound Blacksmith Vice

Side by side comparison of heavy 6 inch Columbian vise with huge English Vise.
LEFT 6" 120 lb. Columbian Vise next to Huge English Vice

Very Large 270 pound Blacksmith Vice

Photos by Steve Prillwitz of Matchless Antiques. Digigital processing by Jock Dempsey

MONSTER SIZE 270 lb. Blacksmith Post Vice! This vise is so big it can hold an 80 lb. anvil in its jaws with no problem. It's the heaviest post vise I've ever seen. On top of being HUGE, the vise is in Excellent condition. The screw threads look like new and the heavy duty spring is STRONG. The mounting plate is extra BIG and tightens up tight. The handle isn't perfectly straight.
- Matchless Antiques

Distinctive to this vice is the extra heavy and beautifully hand forged bench plate and the gracefully curved leaf shaped spring. Compare those to the cast bench plate and the plain bent spring on the Columbian vise.

Huge blacksmiths Leg Vise with jaws fully open.


THE SIZE: When Steve commented that this was the largest post (Blacksmiths) vice he had ever seen he did not know how close he was to the definitive size. According to our math (see article to come), these vices start at 30 pounds and are almost directly scaled up in every dimension as they are made larger. The major exception is the height (to fit humans) and thus the length of the leg is shorter as the vise is made larger. A vise double the dimensional size of a 30 pound vise is 8 times the volume (Wt * 2³), thus 240 pounds. At this size the cheek plates and pivot are a comfortable 4 inches off the ground.

On this vise at 270 pounds the leg is only 1-1/2" or so. Just long enough to keep the cheek plate and pivots out of the dirt IF on a hard surface AND IF the shop is kept clean. Room is also needed to leg the jaw move. THUS this is the largest traditional English leg vise that could be made. Of course the dimensions can be fiddled with, the jaws made wider, the frame thicker and run the weight up. But somewhere in forgotten history a British Blacksmith with a degree of mathematical skills defined the tables that were followed forever to become a both a tradition and global standard. Such were the oportunities and genius of the Industrial Revolution.

Huge blacksmiths Leg Vise from side with jaws nearly closed
  • Dimensions:
          8" Jaws (203 mm)
         41" Height (1041 mm)
         27" Handle 1" Diameter (686 x 25.4 mm)
         3.5" Wide Spring (89 mm )
         1.875 Dia. Screw (47.63)
         11 x 18.5 Bench Plate. (279 x 470 mm)
  • Weight: 270 pounds

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