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Working with Hands - James E. Price


Hand Vise/Bitstock Tool

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In my post on tool handles/holders I purposefully did not mention a very interesting and useful type that
at first glance appears to be a hand vise.

But it is also a bitstock tool that came with a set of tools, including a washer cutter, in a compartment in its handle.

It was made by Miller's Falls and appeared to be popular in the 1920's. It was referred to as "No. 1 Alford's Hand Vise" and catalog illustrations show it and its tools.

But wait, there's more! Several other manufacturers made similar tool holders that fit in a brace and I include photos of them in this post. Captions are with each photo.

If you have a Starrett or Goodell Pratt hand vise, pull hard on the handle. My guess is that there will be a bitstock tang inside that was there all along and you didn't know it.

This photo shows this tool as it is usually found. More often than not there
are no, or very few, tools in the handle and nothing is in the threaded
hole in the vise frame.

This is a detail of an illustration of this tool in a 1920's Miller's Falls catalog.

This detail of the catalog illustration shows the handle and tools such
as the washer cutter.

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