Shipyards Trust the Swindens Vice

Heavy Duty Rotating Head Vice with a Heavy Duty Swivel Base

Shipyards are awe-inspiring. The size and weight of material and tooling alike are massive. Shapes are complex and curved. Plates of steel stretch upward from the keel and curve in supple gestures. Cranes carrying sections of hull hover to ease another section gently into place. This is where the benefits of the heavy-duty rotating head vice with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice plays such a vital role.

A History of Innovative Design that Shipyards Appreciate

The Swinden Heavy Duty Swivel Vice was patented by Claude Swinden almost one hundred years ago. The design offered the facility to position the workpiece at any angle and move it without removing it from the vice jaws.

The ability to alter the position of the workpiece proved to be a great time saver as it removed the necessity of repositioning the workpiece in the jaws of the vice. In addition, the heavy-duty rotating head vice with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice allows the workpiece to be accurately positioned to prevent worker fatigue.

Versatility across all Trades

Shipyards incorporate a wide section of trades. For example, Boilermaking, welding, sheet metal working, piping, and carpentry have vital roles in ship construction. The Swinden Heavy Duty Swivel Vice provides critical support for all these trades. The functionality of the vice design ensured a wide acceptance in the North Sea Oil and Gas Industry.

The vice qualities quickly led to the Ship Construction Industry embracing the superior functionality of the Swinden Heavy Duty Swivel Vice.

The ability of the swivel jaws to provide secure holding power for various materials, from heavy steel piping to delicately chromed hydraulic shafts, is a significant advantage for this vice.

A Superb Welding Assistant.

shipyards welding

Welders find the swivel function a great ally when having to complete three hundred and sixty-degree pipe welds. The heavy-duty rotating head vice with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice offers a full three hundred and sixty-degree movement both in the horizontal and the vertical plane.

Rotating the workpiece without removing it from the vice’s jaws provides an excellent service that speeds up production. In addition, access to equipment and components for servicing or repairs is made so much easier as the swivel function allows for unrestricted access.

Jaws for a variety of applications.

One of the most attractive features of the Swinden heavy Duty Swivel Vice is the ability to change the jaws quickly and effortlessly. The swivel jaw provides a set of jaws for conventional vice operation, and the other jaws can be used for pipework, or softer jaws can be fitted to handle delicate chrome work.

There is no need to remove jaws for different tasks. Instead, a quick swivel of the jaws does the trick.

A Vice to withstand the heavy demands of the Shipyard.

Shipyards are tough on equipment. The heavy workpiece demands call for a high degree of toughness from equipment. The heavy-duty rotating head vice with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice is built of superior materials to handle all the Shipyard demands effortlessly.

Traditionally vices were constructed using Grey or Cast Iron. The Swinden Heavy-duty Swivel Vice uses Ductile Cast Iron, sometimes referred to as SG Iron. (Spheroidal Graphite). Ductile Cast iron has a greater yield strength compared to Cast Iron.

Ductile Cast Iron is also significantly lighter than Cast Iron and has an impressive weight to strength ratio.

The heavy-duty rotating head vice design with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice ensures an accurate and easy action. In addition, the enclosed screw mechanism provides protection and ensures that no foreign matter interferes with the workings of the vice. This feature was critical in operations in the Gulf War when sand infiltration caused many alternative designed vices to seize up.

The enclosed screw mechanism design protects the vice from harsh sea conditions and corrosive sea air.

Vices are not high on the beauty stakes. The Swinden Heavy Duty Swivel Vice does, however, have an attractive and distinctive bright yellow and grey casing that does a great job of protecting the vice.

A Vice for every Project

The heavy-duty rotating head Vice with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice is available in three sizes.

The forty-four-pound (twenty kilograms) unit has a four-inch jaw capacity and can handle pipes up to two and five eights inch diameter.

Middle of the range is the seventy-seven-pound six-inch unit which can handle pipes of up to five-inch diameter.

The big guy of the bunch is the one hundred and forty-three-pound brute that can handle pipework up to seven inches in diameter.

All these models are built to withstand the heavy working conditions of the Shipyard. The cast steel body incorporates an anvil section that can withstand the harshest punishment.


Vices are seldom found at the top of the tools wish list. However, they are expected to withstand a considerable amount of robust treatment. Welding, grinding, and hammering are all part of the daily routine for vices. To add a little excitement to the job, often, a pipe is slipped over the screw handle to deliver a little more torque to the job, and the vice is expected to handle that without any negative consequences.

Vices are also expected to last a lifetime. The Swinden Heavy Duty Swivel Vice has proved its’ worth in countless situations. The military has relied on the strength and superior design in campaigns from Kosova to Afghanistan. From dealing in sub-zero temperatures to forty degrees plus Celsius sand storms,  the Swinden vice has risen to the challenge.

The Canadian Shipyard, Irving Shipbuilding, one of the leading Shipyards in North America, relies extensively on the heavy-duty rotating head vice with a heavy-duty Swivel Base Swinden Vice for a wide range of its activities.

The innovative design that has stood the test of time plays a significant role in making the job a safer and more comfortable one and speeding up production.

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