I have acquired a post vice that used to belong to my Grandfather, and great Grandfather before him. They were builders not blacksmiths and the vice was attached to a large wooden bench in an out building adjacent to the house my mother still lives in. I can remember the bench being cut up and burnt in the early 1980’s as it was rotting and no longer of any use, the vice was nearly thrown in the skip but ended up in the corner of the out building.
I was recently looking for something else and came across the old vice and dragged it outside for a better look, it was covered in cobwebs and seized up at the pivot bolt. I thought it was a shame that it had been left for so long so I decided to clean it up and make a stand for it so that I could use it again. I also wanted to try and find out how old it was so started looking up post vices on the internet where I quickly found this website.
To say how long it’s been left languishing, it’s in fairly good condition. It was easy to dismantle and most parts aren't too badly pitted. I've cleaned it up using a rotary wire brush and some gentle sanding (particularly around the pivot point). I’ve degreased and re-greased the screw and re-assembled everything, it all moves nice and freely. As for its age I was hoping someone here might be able to shed some light. The screw is machined not brazed, I can’t find any markings, the jaws are 140mm wide (5 ½”) and parts of it look handmade rather than factory made(see photos below). I’ve made the following assumptions:
1, It’s made of wrought Iron due to the light levels of rust.
2, It’s been made by a blacksmith copying existing designs (no chamfers on the leg). Could the screw parts have been bought in?
3, It’s more than 100 years old as my Great Grandfather probably acquired this prior to WW1 although I can’t prove this.
4, It’s of English origin.
The new stand has a 56Kg base plate made from 30mm thick weathering steel, the post is 150mm x 150mm x 5mm SHS and the top plate is 16mm thick weathering steel all are grade S355. The vice is fixed to the top plate using M12 bolts. I didn't realise that the wooden block I put under the foot had split until after everything had been assembled, I'll replace this with something larger. Does anyone think I should I treat the outside of the vice with anything to inhibit rust? Any information / speculation on the history would be gratefully received. Thanks for reading.