locking pliers

Vice-Grip locking pliers

Locking pliers – pliers whose jaws are connected at a sliding pivot, permitting them to be temporarily locked in a fixed position.

Locking pliers – pliers that can be locked into position, using an over-center action. One side of the handle includes a bolt that is used to adjust the spacing of the jaws, the other side of the handle (especially in larger models) often includes a lever to push the two sides of the handles apart to unlock the pliers.

Locking pliers are available in many different configurations, such as needle-nose locking pliers, locking wrenches, locking clamps and various shapes to fix metal parts for welding. They also come in many sizes.

  • “Mole” and “Vise-Grip” are trade names of different brands of locking pliers.
  • The first locking pliers, named Vise-Grips, were invented by William Petersen in De Witt, Nebraska in 1924.

Patent application – A lockable pliers comprises a fixed assembly comprising a first handle supporting a first jaw. A second jaw is movable relative to the first jaw between an open position and a closed, locked position.

What’s the problem?
Better locking pliers – Pliers that can be easily operated with one hand and that automatically size the jaws to the part, but still provide the quality and clamping force of the standard locking pliers, would provide an advancement in the ease of use and utility of the pliers.

  • Ask – Several problems have been encountered in the use of previous tools and improvements could prove beneficial. One such problem is that while the tools must be sized to fit the work piece, the sizing is usually done by a thumbscrew mechanism that requires both hands to operate the mechanism. One hand is needed to hold the locking pliers onto the work piece while the other hand is needed to turn the thumbscrew adjustment.
  • Imagine – It is a primary object of this invention to provide a locking pliers type of hand tool that automatically sizes the jaws of the locking pliers onto the work piece.
  • Design, Build – Many different systems have been designed and patented. The tools must be durable so most are made from metal. The locking mechanisms vary but most use some fixed components, an adjustable component and a pivot.
  • Improve – Making locking pliers that can be adjusted with one hand would be really useful. What changes would be necessary to adjust the tool with one hand while using the other hand to hold the object being worked on?

That’s engineering

  • turning
  • regular pliers
  • locking mechanism – over-center action
  • unlocking

Engineering ideas

  • over-center action, adjust, locking mechanism, moveable, pivot, assembly, torque,

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