In this post, Anthony Marangos the Chief Executive at Swindens reflects on the origins of the iconic yellow and grey revolving head vice that is used by engineers around the world. Mr Marangos has developed his grandfather’s original concept to make the vice even more relevant to the civil and military organisations that depend on it.
In 1928 my Grandfather, Claude Swinden, filed the Patent in the UK and USA for the Swindens Revolving Head Vice.
Every workshop in the world has a ‘Normal bench vice’.
The Jaws are Flat (smallest 1 inch to 8 inches) and parallel.
They are horizontal to the floor.
The operator unwinds the Tommy Bar (Cross Bar) to open and then close the jaws to insert the object.
Should the operator need to work on a Round Object, e.g. a Pipe, the operator must remove the Flat Jaws and replace them with what we call Pipe Jaws.
The Swindens has BOTH Flat and Pipe Jaws on the same Vice Head, which rotates 360°. The Vice Head can is lockable at ANY angle required.
The Swindens Heavy Duty Rotating Head Vice with a Heavy Duty Swivel Base features a pedestal with an Anvil and a Locking Handle.
Swindens simply rotating the Jaws to the angle required revolutionised the Vice. Access to work is much improved. Move
Since 1928, Swindens Revolving Head Vices were sold to such diverse organisations as the UK and U.S Military and have faithfully served in the harshest desert conditions.
During WWII, Swindens Heavy Duty Rotating Head Vice with a Heavy Duty Swivel Base had become the Vice of Choice for the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force.
All three services
had (some still have workshops full of Swindens enabling them to teach the new generation of Engineers in their Training Schools.
When NATO formed in 1949, NATO awarded Swindens three NATO Stock Numbers.
(For the 4”,6” and 8”).
Any NATO member can purchase a Swindens knowing that it has already passed Quality Control and No inspection is required.
Our customers vary from the Atomic Energy Commission to The Goldsmiths Training Centre in the City, where budding Silversmiths use Swindens.
Gunsmiths, Farmers, Hydraulic and many other engineers, Restorers, Ship Builders, Motor Cycle repair etc., swear by a Swindens.
In the 20th Century, I introduced the Swindens Heavy Duty Swivel Base.
I discovered that in the 1930s, some Swindens were manufactured incorporating a Swivel Base, but somehow it did not become standard.
Today every Swindens comes with a Heavy Duty Swivel Base as an option.
Now that technology has taken over, computer technicians are replacing the mechanic. But the, computer technicians have quickly discovered that not everything can be done by automation.
Human inter-reaction is necessary for many spheres.
To take Swindens to the 21st Century, we still supply the Military. They understand that every minute lost getting a gun, vehicle, and machine back in action is vital to achieving Victory.
We discover, almost daily, a new type of business that relies on Swindens.
One business that will resonate with the reader, and maybe surprise them, is Jaguar Land Rover.
Attached is an appraisal from Paul Smyth at Jaguar Land Rover. I quote…..
“Before we bought the Swindens the heavy object being worked on was re-positioned five times.
With the Swindens Heavy Duty Rotating Head Vice with a Heavy Duty Swivel Base we rotated the object.
A 180-minute operation was reduced by 30 minutes by simply using a Swindens.
We achieve more accurate work, faster work and safer* work).”
*(It seems using a Swindens on a Swivel Base practically eliminates Back pain).
Yes, the Americans and Chinese have copied Swindens, but they cut corners to make it cheaper. It didn’t work.
Once an engineer has worked with a real Swindens they won’t use another vice.