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What Is a Cross Vise?

C.B. Fox
C.B. Fox

A cross vise, which is also often called a cross slide vise, is a tool used to hold something steady while it is being worked on. Like other types of vises, the cross vise has two jaws that can be moved closer to or further from one another through the use of a vise screw. Unlike other types of vises, the cross vise is designed to slide back and forth on a surface so that an object can me moved along a work surface without taking it out of the vise. This feature of the cross vise makes it particularly useful for working with stationary machinery, such as drill presses.

Though usually made of strong metal, such as iron or steel, it is also possible to construct a cross vise out of wood. Metal cross vises are sturdy and can hold an object tightly in place, so that it doesn't move when a person is working on it. This type of vise is usually designed to be attached to the surface of a workbench by bolt holes on the bottom of the vise.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

There are two screws that are used to move the parts of a cross vice. One allows the vise to slide back and forth in a single linear direction, and the other is responsible for opening and closing the jaws of the vise. Though the cross vise can only slide back and forth along one dimension, it can be attached to a surface that allows it to be rotated, so that this linear motion occurs in a number of different directions. This type of vise is often used along with a stationary tool, such as a drill press, to make multiple holes without removing the piece being worked from the vise.

Like other types of vises, the jaws of a cross vise are moved by a vise screw. Turning the screw in one direction allows it to open, and turning it the other way moves the jaws closer together to tighten them around an object. Though most the jaws of these types of vises are made from metal, padding can be attached to them to allow them to grip an object tightly without denting or damaging it. A crank or ratchet can be attached to the vise screw of a cross vise in order to make it easier to open and close the device.

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      Man with a drill