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How To Mount a Post Vice?


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#1 AJAX

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:48 AM

Hey guys, Could anyone help me figure out how to mount a post vice? I just finished cleaning up the vice I got for free. It's an old Indian Chief with 4 1/2'' jaws. The Threads of the screw are in excellent condition, don't think the previous owner used it much. I used a process called electrolysis which works awesome to remove rust, look it up on YouTube if you need to clean up some old metal. If you need pictures of the vice I can post those. Alright, Thanks.

Once more into the fray,


#2 swedefiddle

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:23 AM

Good Morning,

Are you going to tie the post vice onto a bench or do you want it portable/moveable?

If you dig a hole in the ground and bury it, it will be VERY stabile (LOL), just kidding!! Find a short piece of pipe that will go around the end of the post (at the bottom), weld it to a piece of scrap plate, drill a couple holes through the plate and lag bolt it in position below wherever you are going to mount it (to a bench).

Don't overthink the mission. "Mounting a Post Vice"!! K.I.S.S.
Neil

#3 Yetti

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:35 AM

both mine are bench mounts and I had to reinforce the leg to the wall behind it so it wouldn't push in. I have mine sitting on a chunk of 6 x 6 timber with a large washer on top with a hole drilled under it so the leg pegs into the block though the washer. the block is glued to the floor with concrete adhesive. makes it real stable
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#4 Frank Turley

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:05 AM

Just a thought which I saw in "With Hammer in Hand" by Hummel. The wooden bench mounted plate was on the bottom of the bench, upside down, and out of sight. The bolt heads looked to be let into counter-bored holes. This kept the bench top clear.
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#5 SReynolds

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

My first encounter w/the leg vise was not a good one.

I took over a blacksmith shop (I was never a blacksmith unitll I took over a shop, I am a welder by trade) and the Historical Society had all the tools etc. This leg vise (I didn't know exactly what it was) was ONLY mounted to the table top. That long "post" aka "leg" was simply dangling there.

Needless to say, it did NOT operate very well and I couldn't understand what folks saw in a vice like this. Yes, everytime I grabbed ahold of that long bar to tighten/loosen (the jaws) the vise would tilt/swing and pivot on (bench) mount.

The odd thing was, this vice was installed in 1972 and in use since then by many a blacksmith whom operated this shop. That was almost FOURTY YEARS of operation.

So,,,,here I am, with ZERO smithing experience and I take a look at this stupid set-up and have to scratch my head. I am no mechanical engineer, and this stood out like a sore thumb.

So, my point is, how many of you experienced smiths operate your shop with that leg swinging around side to side as you operate the vice jaws????????

Apparently many do........obviously.
"Don't have such an open mind that your brains spill out"

#6 MLMartin

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:30 AM

I think you are making a bad accusation about many smiths using there leg vise the wrong way. I have been in a larger number blacksmith shops and seen pictures of hundreds more. I have only seen a few examples were people let the vise hang and wobble about. I believe most professorial smiths would understand that the tools is set up wrong if they tried to use one that flopped around.

#7 SReynolds

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:40 AM

My point exactly.

Fourty years of use and nobody had thought to correct this.

Makes you wonder.

Makes me wonder who installed the thing too.
"Don't have such an open mind that your brains spill out"

#8 Timothy Miller

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:11 AM

I would argue that if you use a vise set up like that your really not that experienced or you are lazy. I would think to my self this person is not serious crafsperson they are a dabbler with a shallow understanding of the of the craft. One needs a solid vise to do certan tasks.

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#9 VaughnT

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:13 AM

I have seen countless examples of people leaving things as they found them because they assume the person who set it up before them knew what they were doing. Psychology texts teach about this behavior trait.
When reason fails.....

#10 george m.

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

Dear Ajax,

When I set up my post vise I was faced with two potentially incompatible issues. The jaws of the vise are supposed to be at the height of your elbow to permit easy filing (forearm horizontal) and the post is supposed to be mounted to the floor to carry the force of the blows to an immovable object (the earth). I'm a fairly tall guy (6' 2 1/2") and the height of my elbow left the bottom of the post some distance off the ground. I mounted it to the wall of my shop at the preferred height and placed a 4x4 vertically under the post (with a large washed to spread the force) to correct for the difference in height.

One thing I have always wondered about is whether the elbow height rule is for machinists and may be disregarded by blacksmiths. If so, I don't know the rule of thumb for how high or low to mount a vice. The above described mounting has worked well since 1995.

Vertically,
George M.

#11 SReynolds

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

I have seen countless examples of people leaving things as they found them because they assume the person who set it up before them knew what they were doing. Psychology texts teach about this behavior trait.


Yes. That is the ONLY reasonable explaination I could come up with. Still doesn't explain why the original installer would do something like that, but I don't care. I have it fully operational now and shake my head at all forerunner smiths who operated from this shop since 1972.
"Don't have such an open mind that your brains spill out"

#12 yesteryearforge

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:13 PM

My vises are mounted at several different heights
Tall for filing and such ( im also on the tall side a 6' 6"
I hava a seven inch vise mounted low for striking and ground Vs in the jaws for firmly holding hardy shanks on some of my tooling.
All of the vises are mounted on 4 or 6 inch heavy wall square tubing somewhere between 4 to 5 feet deep in the foor in concrete.
When I hit them they DONT move.
I prefer dirt floors over concrete.
My floors are dirt ,covered with about 4 inches of rock dust ( granite dust ) which is like crusher run without the little pieces of rock
Give out before you give up. If it was easy anybody could do it.
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#13 george m.

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

Speaking of floors, a year or so ago I picked up some interlocking foam mats from Harbor Freight and they have really reduced any pain in my legs and back. They do burn if you drop hot iron on them but they are self extinguishing and go out as soon as you pick up the hot iron.

Even if you don't use them right around the forge and anvil you might want to consider them at the drill press, grinder, etc..

Comfortably,
George M.

#14 Judson Yaggy

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

To a blacksmith a vise is just an anvil that can also grab something. So like Yesteryear said, mounting must be absolutely rigid but hight is proportional to work, just like an anvil. For light work with mostly filing and an occasional blow from a 12 oz. ball pein hammer a tall, small, rigid leg vise is best. If you are hammering away with a sledge a lower, heavy, immovably mounted vise is required. Just like anvil size and hight and mounting rigidity.

SReynolds, keep in mind that in 1972 and for many years after blacksmithing in America was all but dead (excepting the farriers and industrial smiths and the lucky few who found ABANA in the early years). There was NO ONE who could tell your precursor the how and why of leg vise detailing. We have revived an all but dead vocation. Praise rather than curse your forefathers for swimming into the ocean of ignorance and coming back with a badly mounted leg vise.

#15 AJAX

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:43 AM

Thanks for all of the reply posts, I was surprised how many of you answered, It's a big help. Big thanks to iforgeiron for this awesome website. I'll try to take all your recommendations into consideration. Thanks again

Once more into the fray,


#16 PCornett aka Illmarinen

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

One more thought regarding the shop that SReyonlds moved into. Several mentions were made of putting a block or some such filler underneath the post to raise it. Perhaps the original smith had something similar placed but the museum or whatever it is that runs your shop removed said block sometime in that fourty years. No telling what someone may "steal" to fill another purpose. So it may not have been the smiths that worked there at fault.


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#17 picker

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

Hey guys, Could anyone help me figure out how to mount a post vice? I just finished cleaning up the vice I got for free. It's an old Indian Chief with 4 1/2'' jaws. The Threads of the screw are in excellent condition, don't think the previous owner used it much. I used a process called electrolysis which works awesome to remove rust, look it up on YouTube if you need to clean up some old metal. If you need pictures of the vice I can post those. Alright, Thanks.

The rule of thumb, or elbow as stated by George is correct. My work was accomplished on an 8" face railroad post vise.

 

You'll want to make sure the vise is mounted securely to a post that has a diameter large enoough to hold the vise, and the weight of the work you're working on. My vise could hold material weighing several hundred pounds (wagon wheel). You can buy treated telephone pole culls. They've been treated specifically to be placed in the ground, so they last a long time.

Make sure the placement is optional for the work you'll be doing. Prefereably, if your right handed, place the vise on your right, and far enough away from any work area or sharp eges of other equipment so the lever isn't impeded. But, close enough that your hot work can be clamped in without losing too much heat. You will have to dig, and if you have a mechanical auger, the better, or you'll have to dig, and dig some more to place the post. Anywhere from 3-4' is deep enough. You can go deeper if you care too.

 

Don't use concrete or cement to secure the post vise in the ground. You will regret it when you have to dig the post out. As it ages, weather conditions, humidity, and the torque which transfers from the vise to the post, it will eventually create weak points and the post will start to split and you'll have to replace it- which means...dig out the concrete or get the backhoe and chain the post and wrench it out.

 

To secure the post in the ground, use dirt and clay only, with a few pebbles and small rocks mixed in damp layers. You can add a little sand which will fill in any air pockets as the post settles. Tamp each layer down solid with the edges with a 2x4. Use a level to keep the post plumb to a degree. You can also wrap the post in scrap leather, wire (Piano wire is great if you can acquire some) or both to keep it from splitting prematurely. Especially, if you're using 1/2" or greater lag screws securing the vise 4" or deeper into the post.

I used this method, and my post vise was used daily for more than 13 years before the post had to be replaced.

 

Good Luck


just because no one understands you, doesn't mean you're an artist.

 

 


#18 matto

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

Here is how I mounted mine. It is on a thirty gallon oil barrel full of concrete. Attached File  image.jpg   36.42KB   179 downloads



#19 picker

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

Here is how I mounted mine. It is on a thirty gallon oil barrel full of concrete. attachicon.gifimage.jpg

That, is an A+ set up.


just because no one understands you, doesn't mean you're an artist.

 

 


#20 matto

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

i like it. it has pins to hold it to the floor so i can move it if need to. it also has a 2" receiver inbetween the vises. i have alsorts of tooling that can go in and out of the mount. then they store nice on the wall also.




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