The Record Imp Vice

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The Record Imp is the brilliant tiny cousin of the Record #74 Auto Vice.

I use my Imp frequently – they really are very useful indeed, despite their small size (the jaws are only 2 1/4” wide). If you are in the UK then you can still get them for around 20-30 quid on eBay and this is excellent value. 

Here is some information that I found out when I got mine a couple of years ago:

In 1928 C&J Hampton ltd, who manufactured Record tools until the 1970s (when they merged with Ridgeway to become Record Ridgeway), took out a patent for the tube bender incorporated in the vice (GB310723). 

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the patent drawings are of the larger 74 vice, although the vices share some features.

The patent number is marked on the steel slide of the original models. It is likely that they stopped marking the slide after the patent expired in 1948, although the drawing in Planecraft from 1954 still shows it (perhaps because they did not get round to changing the picture).

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There appears to have been at least one other model revision, where the boss on the handle is changed from round to square. The same cosmetic changes were made to later versions of Record’s bench vices in the early 1960s so it is fair to assume these date from this period also. The other main difference is that the thread on the jaw screw thread is finer than the original version.

Record Imp
several flavours of the vice oldest (1930s/1940s top left ), slightly later version (top right) and the bottom left show the versions from the 1960s onwards

the unique feature of the vice is the pipe bender:

pre bend
post bend – apparently the way to avoid this issue is to fill the pipe with sand or to use a plumbers pipe bending spring

Don’t be deterred by my incompetent pipe bending, these are incredibly handy vices. Every workshop should have at least one!

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