Record’s 74 Auto Vices still show up fairly regularly in the UK – this one is a bit grotty but in otherwise good condition, the only minor issue being that at some point the pin that retains the washer/spring used to hold the handle against the moveable jaw had broken and the washer bent as a result.
Once extracted a few whacks with a hammer got it back into shape, and an old nail did as a replacement pin.
Having got it apart a bit of elbow grease to remove 80 years of accumulated oil and grease plus various layers of paint (not sure why it was partly painted green – perhaps to distinguish it from others in a shared workshop?) and it looked like this:
this version has the patent number on it so we know it was made made some time between the summer of 1929 and the late 1940s.
I am pleased to report that – as with all Record products of this era – the quality is excellent with very well finished castings and a substantial steel slide and screw.
There is an even larger version of this design (the model 75) which in its earliest incarnations was made completely of steel, but the 74 (and later versions of the 75) have a cast iron body.
It is simple to install – 1/2 inch hole through the worktop and secure underneath with the large nut and washer. Here it is installed:
owners of these vices who have lost the removable pipe holder attachment (which is to say, all of em!) can breath a sigh of relief since an enterprising ebayer has started making replacements.
once I cleaned the debris from the slot in the body of the vice it was a perfect fit. Ingeniously a magnet is included that helps locate it in the slot and also means you can attach it to the vice when not in use, thus never losing it again. Happy pipe holding everyone!
These vices are extremely useful in a small space (I am currently having to work in the cramped end of a garage) since they are removable and can be lifted of their base and twisted to allow the vice to be angled at different angles – very handy, for example, when you need to work on a long piece that has to be poked out of a near by window or door. Also, the anvil is big enough to be useful on a surprising number of occasions. The vice has some more unusual features – more on those in the next instalment!