Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set (WVS)
Making angled assembly easy – and repeatable
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 9-12-2012
Metalworking would be much easier if we had but a few angles to deal with. The real world however is full of odd angles and situations that force us to hold pieces in those positions for welding or other attachment procedures. The Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set is the tool that tames the wild angles of metalworking.
The Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set is made in Germany from 23-lbs of iron and steel, formed into a dual vise jig with exceptional flexibility. Each vise has a clamping range of 4-3/8” with the moveable jaw operated by a copper-clad, Acme-threaded spindle that resists welding bb’s while producing solid clamping pressures without strain. A floating bar-type handle lets you operate the clamping spindles easily even when wearing work gloves.
Because the vises are independent they can hold different sized materials, yet secure them at whatever angles to each other are needed. The height of the jaws themselves is 1-3/8” which allows working with a huge range of material sizes with security. The pressure jaw of the vises has a U-shape that applies pressure evenly but keeps the immediate area around the joint clear for welding and other operations.
The iron base is independent of both vises and has slots around its perimeter to make fastening it to a solid work surface simple. The mounting flanges let you decide if the installation is permanent or a quick temporary setup to handle an immediate need.
Each of the vises can pivot 360-degrees which makes it easier to work with more material lengths. The overall angle range of the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set is 5° to 180°. The vises each have a locking screw that lets you secure each vise independently once a setup is perfected. Locking the vises in place is handy if you are working on one part because you can let the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set hold the pieces together and have both hands free for welding. In a production setting locking the vises in place lets you configure them to form a jig that allows building any number of parts accurately yet quickly.
In the Shop
The Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set has proven to be very handy in my one man shop because of how well it holds parts at the angle I need. That leaves me free to focus on doing the welding on stable pieces that are not sliding around. Locking the vises in place really is nice when you have more than one joint to produce at the same angle. I can get close just clamping things to the table but the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set lets me produce several joints that actually are identical and do it in far less time than when clamping things up by hand.
I also like how the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set actually grips the material. The U-shaped pressure jaws really do give you lots of room to do the welding, grinding or other operations without being hindered by the clamping fixture itself.
The weight and construction of the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set tells me that it will live for a very long time in even busy shop environments. As with other Bessey metalworking tools I use the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set is very tough and if anything might be a tad over built which is a welcome surprise these days.
The Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set is engineered to be very functional and easy to use. The Bessey tradition of using high-end metals and manufacturing processes lives on in the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set so durability is not an issue. I like that while this tool is definitely industrial-tough it is just as handy in the small professional or home workshops.
With a street price of $419.00 (9-12-2012) the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set is not cheap but this kind of quality and functionality never is. I have my doubts that you can build your own clamping jig that works like the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set for anywhere near the price. When you get tired of buying and re-buying “bargain” clamping systems, check out the Bessey Multi-Angle Vise Set. Getting real value for your tool dollars is a nice feeling.
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