Sunday, March 9, 2014



(This series of posts highlights the various HMH vises models since their entry into the marketplace in 1975.  The intent here is to enable those with older HMH vises to be able to name the model and otherwise get an idea as to its relative age.  This is especially useful in the event that you, as a vise owner, needs some repair, refurbishing, or you are interested in upgrades, new jaws, etc.)

Bill Hunter named the first HMH vise the 'Model Standard' (see last post).  This name stuck, but the conformation of the vise changed somewhat over time.

HMH vises began being built by a company called "Angling Products, Inc", or API, in 1981.  So, beginning in 1981, the Standard looked like this

 The HMH Standard ca. 1981 thru 1999.
Vise head rotated to show set screw that engages drawbar.
Shown with original, long style magnum jaw.

The API Standard had an adjustable head angle employing what we now call the 'two screw' chassis.  And the cam lever was imprinted with 'API'.  The Standard was typically shipped with a brass base. 

(I may have been in error in posting the image of the Original Model Standard vise in a black cast iron base.  It is very possible that those original vises were shipped with a brass base.)  Regardless, the "Standard" vise as built and shipped by API had the adjustable head angle chassis, a brass base, and two jaws, the original style Magnum (seen here) and the 'Midge'.  The midge jaw (not pictured) was intermediate between the current Omni jaw and Micro jaw.

By the way, a word about this particular brass base.  This brass base belonged to Dick Talleur for many years.  He sent it to me probably ten years ago explaining that he had more bases than he needed and he thought I might like to have this one.  Indeed.  In addition to the obvious importance of having been owned by Dick, this base is one of the very first HMH brass bases made.  In 1981, API re-drew virtually every part for the Standard, including the brass and cast iron base molds.  The dimensions on Dick's base above are a little different than the brass base marketed since 1981.  

By way of comparing and contrasting, look at this image taken from a 1994 catalog.  This is how the 'Standard' looked from about 1981 up until the year 2000.


API introduced a second full size HMH vise model, which they called the "HMH II".  

The HMH II differed from the Standard model in two ways.  First, the vise was shipped with the black cast iron pedestal base.  More importantly, the vise employed a one-piece jaw instead of using the screw-in/screw-out interchangeable jaw/drawbar system that was the hallmark of the HMH vise (remember - 'Hunter's Multiple Head'?).

The HMH II was in production from the mid-1980's until the mid-1990's.  If you own a black-base HMH Standard vise with 'API' on the cam lever, and you want to acquire a new set of jaws, you should determine if your vise has screw-in/screw-out jaws or whether it has these one-piece jaws.  

Next:  The Spartan "Mini" vise…

Get a grip.

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