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Thread: Post Vise rebuild
07-31-2007, 01:41 AM #1
Does anyone have some closeup photos of mounting plates for post vises?
I've got one vise in hand, one on the way. Both are missing mounting plates and springs. The springs are not a big deal, I have plenty of stock to fabricate those, and some pretty good plans. But I'm curious about the way folks have rebuilt the mounting plates. The u-shaped bolt (not really a u-bolt) that connects the mounting plate to the vise body has 3/8"slots so I'm guessing 3/8" flat is adequate to make the mounting plate.
Qs are how many bolt holes, best pattern for them, overall dimensions. Seems like mild steel is ok, any reason not?
Any and all pics, patterns, thought greatfully received. . . .
07-31-2007, 08:30 AM #2
Mild steel is ok. I think it is Donald Streeter's book that shows how to make them and punch the slot with a special punch that has a pilot at one end. I fixed my small one a number of years ago. There are 2 wedges that lock the "U bolt" to the bolt down plate.
When you make the springs, make sure you put some ears on it so the spring can't slip sideways... think about where the family jewels are in relation to the end of the spring.
07-31-2007, 11:18 AM #3
Here are some pics of the post vise I just bought a couple weeks ago. ($20 off Craigs List in San Diego) Fortunately mine was complete when I got it except the screw is broken off and is a little short but useable. I haven't gotten around to making a stand for it yet. Also needs some cleanup. Sorry, I don't have any dimensions for the plate but I'd guess it's about 5 inches across at the widest point.
Top of the mounting plate
U bolt for plate and spring
07-31-2007, 12:09 PM #4
A U-bolt to a large piece of angle iron will work. Weld a plate to the angle if you want a bigger bolt hole pattern. Since you're building it, you can size the bolt hole pattern to your stand/bench. Some of these have u-shaped brackets that are held in place by 2 wedges instead of nuts. I'm not sure if this is what you describe because that would already have the bolt holes and probably just need new wedges. The one I just picked up is like this, but I haven't made the wedges yet. The only angle recommendation I can make is shallow, so they don't pop out.
Use mild steel for the bracket. I hear mild steel is good for the spring, also, but I've never rebuilt one. It's a long spring with little deflection.
07-31-2007, 12:27 PM #5
The ones I've seen also have a socket that bolts to the floor.
07-31-2007, 12:58 PM #6
Styles of mounting bracket changed through the years. Early vises with frames forged in open die forging hammers will have usualy have a forged mount bracket that attaches with wedge and key system. The piece is usualy 1.5 x 3/8 bar that wraps around the leg and spring, kind of a U shaped affair. The bar is pearced and has a pair of rectangular slots drifted in to accept the key and wedge. The wedge and key clamp the entire system together. After the key slot a deep notch is fullered in the bar and the bar is twisted 90 degrees. The twisted sections are given a curve out and punched for bolts or rivits. Pain in the but to forge by hand without a trip hammer.
Later vises that are forged in a closed die will have brackets like the one shown above that attach with a U bolt. This is the simplest system, and probably the best.
There are also transitional era brackets, that use a key and wedge to attach a u shaped yoke to a cast iron bracket that resembles the bolt on bracket shown above.
A perfectly acceptable and functional bracket can be made from heavy angle iron and attached with a U bolt.
I agree that mild steel should be used for the spring. I have also seen coil springs put over the screw, but that looks like hell and is far from authentic.
Box or leg vises are good for beating on will take a lot of abuse, so they are good for blacksmithing. The jaws are only paralell for one thickness of material, so they are impractical for most shop work.
Check the condition of the threads in the nut before investing a lot of effort in a post vise. The nuts are cast iron and usualy that is what wares out after a century of use.
07-31-2007, 01:57 PM #7
Here is a pretty good picture of a solid mount...
This is my #1 post vise of 4 that I use, I've packed between the saddle and the mounting plate behind the back of the vise with 3/4" worth of stock to get a little extension away from the bench it's mounted too...this tool take a licking as it's my #1...great mount, never 1 problem in 4 years of HEAVY use
let me know if you want a couple pics of the one here in the shop to better show the setup
07-31-2007, 10:58 PM #8
I'll sell ya the very mount in the photo.
it's a 'C'
can't help with a spring.
clue-less as to currant value $$ ??
08-01-2007, 01:14 AM #9
Hi all. Thanks for the info. Just past the full moon, so I'm working extra hours, no spare time until this weekend (full moon means extra big tides for a seafarmer, I'm not a werewolf )
I'll get some pics up this weekend. The vise in hand has the early type of attachment ahall describes -- I'm looking forward to making the key and wedge. The mounting plate looks like a good project for the die filer.
The vise on the way is a fleabay win and I haven't seen it yet.
08-07-2007, 07:24 PM #10
The busted screw is a challenge that could be met. Use the exisiting screw as a gauge to create a tool to single-point the square thread, which is probably non-standard due to the age of the vise. (This idea is not original with me. Somebody on this board used it to make replacement square threaded screws for an early lathe.)
You could just make a new screw, then cut the old screw off flush with the "head" or "knob" (cascabel?) where the handle went through, then drill the head and pin and braze the new screw to it.
We all have our vises.
08-07-2007, 11:12 PM #11
I don't want to step on anyone's toes but as a member of the New Jersey Blacksmith's Assc. we have a article on a post vise rebuild. just click here and click on the left hand link that says:Tim Suter's leg vise rebuilding. In it there are pictures and how to do it. While not the best, it should be of some help. Good luck, and happy metal pounding!
03-04-2010, 10:05 AM #12
Post legged vise 7-31 2007 sea farmer
I have a vise just like it. The problem is the rear part of the vise. Which the best way to describe it has a keyway that was secured inside the vise to hold the rear section on needs to be welded back or something done so it stays together inside the vise .any suggestions thanks vise man:
03-04-2010, 11:41 PM #13
Here is a picture on my stand. It's a little hard to see behind the punch off to the left with the can of brake kleen on it. I built in HS shop with what we had around. The base is a piece of 3/4" plate about 18" X 24". The column is (2) pieces of4" X 4" X 3/8" box tube welded together and to the plate. I cut it 1 1/2" short so that I could mount the vise on a piece of 2x4 for extra cushion. If it gets broken (it has already, my fault) it is easy to replace, and you can see where the replacements come from! The leg is stuck in a holder cup welded to the base plate. Nice vise, I have 3 leg vises, the one in the picture is a older Columbian. Greyson
03-05-2010, 06:30 AM #14
I bought a house and small farm in rural New England in August, 1976, lived there for twenty-two years until March, 1998--when I stepped down as town clerk of that town to move to the adjoining town--and still own it.
One of the attractions of that place--it cost $24000 with 22 acres of land in the center of the little town, was on the river, and had three barns and a hard used 1840's house--was that the previous family had lived there since 1938 or so and had saved a fair amount of stuff 'barn stuff' there and had left a significant amount of it. I thought I'd like this, and I did.
In a tractor garage metal pile was a leg vise, with a broken screw, no spring. I'd never seen one of these up close before, in 1976 (maybe it was 1977 or slightly later before I found it or got to it) but I could tell that I could do something with it.
The real question was the broken screw but my slightly younger brother-in-law, son of an internationally known critic of literature and culture--I had met my wife because I knew of and had read and admired her father's books in the late 1960's--had just started a career--which he continues to this day, about 20 miles from here--of welding, and we did a nice job of vee-ing out the break and filling in. This has held to the present day, approximately 30 years later. It's true this vise gets only sporadic use, but some has been as heavy as I can tighten it with the fairly long, original, vise handle.
I think the break in the screw was at the outboard end of the threads, if I recall correctly, so only a short amount of vise opening was sacrificed. I did have to renew the washer for the screw and a hand forged one from the same scrap iron pile was put on then and hasa sufficed ever since.
The vise had no spring either. I found a piece of flat spring steel and jammed it in and this has also worked ever since.
The vise had the taper and pin attachment already described (and tight when I found it, though clearly it had been worked on and parts substituted from the original). I have no camera handy at the moment but I have this vise in my little cellar shop at present. It's mounted on a 'stand' I made for this many years ago, a pretty good success, as the vise is moveable around the shop, and also pretty steady and pretty stout. For many years I hung heavy c-clamps on the stand, where they were also handy.
I think this is worth recounting as the vise 1), came with the house (in a junk pile) and 20, is still good and with me--though not used a lot, now--over thirty years later.
03-05-2010, 05:05 PM #15
The blacksmith shop at a nearby museum (Allaire State Park) has several forges with a post vise at each.
The post vises are not mounted to a bench, rather to a single timber about the dimensions of a railroad tie set into the earth like a fencepost.
I can see pluses and minuses to this. The plus is that you can approach the work from any angle. The minus is that there must be extra walking trips to the real bench.
P.S. Any good "I got it from a junk pile" story is certainly appropriate here. Who among us does not hope to someday find something great in a junk pile?
03-05-2010, 08:05 PM #16
Me bad. I started this thread more than two years ago and never followed up.
The fleabay vise I bought was a winner. $20 for a complete vise with 5" jaws, weight estimated at 80 lbs. The post was snapped off perhaps 3-4" from the bottom, no big deal. It had the attachment plate, and an interesting bronze screw box. I'm having trouble attaching a picture, I'll try in another post.
I now have 4 leg vises in various states of repair/disrepair; they should combine to make 3 complete vises anyways.
03-05-2010, 08:17 PM #17
Here's some pics. The bronze box is something I've not sen elsewhere.