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Tool N2M engravers ball vice

Tool

darrin1200

Darrin
I just got this for a great price in a local auction. $50.
Slick and smooth operating. Needs a little wax on the wood base. Unfortunately, it did not come with the operating key. I figure I should be able to find something on Amazon, but I don’t know the proper name for a key if this type. It’s a 3/16” square piece set inside a 3/8” hole. The hole in the center of the square doesn’t appear to be for anything.
Any help in finding out what it’s called, would be greatly appreciated.

And if I am out to lunch in my understand of this, let me know that too. This is my first vice of this type.
 

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Susquatch

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Any help in finding out what it’s called, would be greatly appreciated.

It's an, automatic chicken watering dish. The feedline hose goes through the spinde. When the jaws relax from excessive chicken squawking the water flows through the hose to fill the dish. When the chicken stop squawking, the Jaws tighten and squeeze off the water flow.

The thing is covered by multiple patents and several hawks have bought the rights and cut off sales. You were very lucky to get it when you did.

My daughter has thirsty chickens. I'll give you $5 for it and cover shipping.
 

Susquatch

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Oh yes, just get yourself a 3/16 square drive socket and use a ratchet wrench to turn it.

Typically, they are call 8 point sockets. Here is a set. I couldn't find your size, but I know I have one. They do exist.

Gray Tools 25407 7 Piece 3/8-Inch Drive 8 Point SAE, Standard Chrome Socket Set, 1/4-Inch-5/8-Inch https://a.co/d/aYtYFwB
 

mbond

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
its a pin vise. The bottom section is a mystery to me, but it is some kind of pedestal. For the key, just find or make anything that fits the socket
 

darrin1200

Darrin
Oh yes, just get yourself a 3/16 square drive socket and use a ratchet wrench to turn it.

Typically, they are call 8 point sockets. Here is a set. I couldn't find your size, but I know I have one. They do exist.

Gray Tools 25407 7 Piece 3/8-Inch Drive 8 Point SAE, Standard Chrome Socket Set, 1/4-Inch-5/8-Inch https://a.co/d/aYtYFw

I never even thought of that. I’ll check my socket bin tomorrow..
My other thought was to make a brass thumbscrew knob and file a square hole in it.
 

darrin1200

Darrin
its a pin vise. The bottom section is a mystery to me, but it is some kind of pedestal. For the key, just find or make anything that fits the socket
It’s called a ball vice. It’s used by hand engravers to hold the piece being engraved and allow it to be maneuvered smoothly under the engraving tool.
 

mbond

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I'm sure that there are multiple names.

There are jaws that have multiple holes that allow the pins (jaws) to be positioned to hold irregular work more effectively.

I don't know anything about the bottom pedestal portion, but the top is a two jaw pin vise. There are three and 4 jaw versions too. All for small irregular work pieces in my experience
 

Johnwa

Ultra Member
I don’t know if you’ll find a 3/16” socket. Everything I’ve seen starts at ¼”
Clock keys come in a number of mm sizes that span 3/16”. Here’s a table of standard sizes.
 

RobinHood

Ultra Member
How about checking at a hobby supply store for 3/16” square tubing? It is probably the OD dimension, but might be able to use the next size up to give you the correct ID dimensions…

Like this:

 

Susquatch

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I don’t know if you’ll find a 3/16” socket. Everything I’ve seen starts at ¼”

I have an old Craftsman 1/4 in drive set that goes down to 1/8. Might be hard to find though.

If so, you could use release agent on the drive, and build a steel epoxy drive inside a 5/16 socket.

If you can find square brass tubing like @Mcgyver suggests, I think it might be better than epoxy. But I'd still make a steel sleeve for it to stop it from deforming under pressure.
 

Susquatch

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Unfortunately, it did not come with the operating key. I figure I should be able to find something on Amazon, but I don’t know the proper name for a key if this type. It’s a 3/16” square piece set inside a 3/8” hole.

Stop the presses!

I've got it! Get a set of tap drivers! Pretty sure they come in 3/16ths!

That way you have your key and another great tool for your shop too!

I like the clock key too - comes with its own handles!

I like the brass tubing, the square drive socket, and the epoxy. But the tap drivers is hands down the best solution! I have no idea why I didn't think of it earlier!

Lisle LI70500 Tap Socket Set https://a.co/d/9mQwB8l

The link gives choices for individual drivers if you don't want the whole set. The set is sometimes available at peavy mart and Princess Auto for much less too.

If you get the whole set, you will soon wonder why you didn't buy them earlier! Guaranteed to see more use than the pin vice ever will!
 

van123d

Well-Known Member
Can you just make one?

Weld up your own T-handle chuck key using four pieces of bar stock to create the 3/16 square then turn the outside to the 3/8 round?

I am jealous of the ball vise. I have been wanting to try engraving for a couple of years now. Bought a few books and have done a bit of practice drawing but haven’t made the investment yet. The guys that can engrave make drawing the scrolls look so easy but so far I haven’t found the knack for it.
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
mill a sacrificial mandrel to the same dimensions as the square. Then make the key, but drill a hole in the business end to take the same size as square mandrel across the diagonal. Heat the business end with a torch to orange heat, insert the mandrel, and forge it down over the mandrel. Might take a couple heats to get it right, but will be very doable even with the anvil on the back of a bench vise, and a claw hammer. No fancy blacksmithing tools needed (you can buy them if you want though....). Vise grips make great tongs for stuff like this, and in fact are the reason they were invented in the first place.

If the outside of the key gets deformed you can chuck it back up in the lath and turn it round again, or if it's too big to fit the hole.

Nice find on the vise, too. Always wanted one like that. I've got a 5 pin bowling ball, and a couple steel rings to make one, but that project hasn't percolated up to the top yet.
 

darrin1200

Darrin
Can you just make one?

Weld up your own T-handle chuck key using four pieces of bar stock to create the 3/16 square then turn the outside to the 3/8 round?

I am jealous of the ball vise. I have been wanting to try engraving for a couple of years now. Bought a few books and have done a bit of practice drawing but haven’t made the investment yet. The guys that can engrave make drawing the scrolls look so easy but so far I haven’t found the knack for it.

Ive decided to make a brass thumbscrew. I’ll drill a hole through, then square it with a file.
Engraving is exactly why I bought the vice. I want to add embellishments to my pen work.
This is en example from a buddy of mine in the US, Tim Cullen. He’s been doing it about three years now.
1710763070871.jpeg
 
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