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Hello everyone, I've been lurking here once in a while since the spring, and I thought it's time to introduce myself. I'm from the Sudbury area in Ontario, and I'm new at blacksmithing. Over the last year or so I have been collecting the required tools and equipment. The collection process has been a unique journey, that has taken me to various towns in the region, where I may otherwise never have visited. This spring, I completed my work bench, which has liberated me to do more forging and metal work. I thought I'd start by showing some photos of the new bench. Here it is: The bench surface is a plate of 2" thick AR100 steel, roughly 21" by 26". The protrusion where the leg vise is attached is about 12" by 8". The whole piece weighs about 240lbs. I picked it out from the back lot at a local steel fabrication place. The vise has 5" wide jaws. I picked it up in Toronto, on the way home from a work assignment. The mobile portion of the vise has some letters stamped in it: TM JWcoDASTON?? STOVEBRIDGE (STONEBRIDGE?) WARRANTED Some of the letters are hard to read, but if that sounds familiar to anyone, then please let me know as I'd be curious to know more about the origins of this vise. It is in fine working condition, and the faces of the jaws still have good knurling. However, the jaws are out of parallel by just under 1/16", something I'll have to look at later if it becomes an issue. On the floor is 1.5" thick, 15" diameter steel disc, in the center of which I drilled a 1" hole to receive the leg of the vise. It weighs around 75lbs, and I put it there to avoid damaging the floor. The idea was to add some more mass under the vise, and to spread the hammering forces evenly over the floor. On second thought, it may be a little bit overbuilt. The frame construction is very simple, 18" by 18" square, welded from 3" by 3" square tube and 3" C-channel. It is bolted to the floor at the corners using 1/2" bolts. Prior to building this bench, I had tried some twists and other work with a regular bench vise, that was bolted to a wooden bench, that wasn't attached to the floor. Usually the whole bench tended to move around. Needless to say, bench movement is no longer an issue. The disc is bolted to the frame with a bracket made from 1" by 1" square steel. As for the paint scheme on the disk, there is no good reason for it other than rust protection, and my whimsical mood that day. ;-) That was about it for now. I'm very glad this community exists, and I'm looking forward to more forging and more learning. All the best! Markus
I picked up this leg vise from ebay for $35.00. The seller said it worked great but was ugl,y rusty, and may be a good working tool. I got it home and it was better then I hoped. I can't find any info on the type and age. Does antbody have an idea on the maker and age of this 4" vise? It has a 1X on the side of the screw box and on the front and back of the upwrights it has 5 tiny holes in a pattern of 2 over 3. The bolt nut is missing and the bracket is homemade. It has red paint under the years of dust. Thanks for any info you can provide me, I like to know the history of old tools thats half the fun of having them.
Hello to all. I have another repair related question that I wanted to throw out here, to see if my thinking is right. Recently, I bought a used post-vise on ebay. It seems to be in good used shape, except for the leg. It is ever-so-slightly bent at the bottom. My guess would be that it is out 5 degrees or less. I am thinking that I should secure it, try to heat the bend with a torch, and then use a "cheater bar" to try and true it up, but I wanted to get some more experienced advice before I went and did something that I will regret. I will try and get a picture posted on here tomorrow if I need to. Thanks in advance for the help.
I want to start by saying that most of what I'm about to post has already been posted in another thread. I just wanted to add my own idea's to it, or take multiple ideas and put them together. To see where I got a lot of my ideas see the original post on how to "Build Your Own Leg Vise" So my take on this is simple. This vise doesn't require a spring as it opens with the screw and due to the design of the vise, the vise face is always parallel to one another. It still allows you to build interchangeable faces for different applications and allows the bottom to be either mounted to a plate and onto a base or to have a "quick mount" like the one suggested on the "Vertical Vise". Also, I have the "required parts" list comprised of things that most scrappers come by very easily. For the record, what I have drawn (since you can't tell from the drawing) the back "upright" section of the vise itself would be made from either 3" or 4" I-beam. The L shaped vise face arm would be made of 1 1/2" solid square stock or 2" square tubing. I know that the tubing might flex a bit, but for MOST of us, I really don't think the amount of flex you might get would be problematic. Its a bit of a crude drawing, but instead of a hinge at the bottom it uses casters. the caster on the back of the vise supports the weight of the face as it expands and helps keep it even. The caster on the front of the vise supports the weight as well as acts as a bearing for which the guide to roll on. Harbor Freight sells these cast iron casters for between $3 and $7 depending on size The screw seemed to me at first like the most complicated part of a vise build. There again, the question of easy availability was answered in the Build Your Own Leg Vise post. The answer for me, was an old threaded barbell. You can buy them at almost every thrift store around for a couple dollars or you can get one new from Wally World for around $20. The advantage, however much you spend, you get 2 screws, AND 2 nuts. You'll see on my vise that I use 2 nuts on the design but you don't have to. You could just as easily use a washer or something welded to the screw to open the vise up and just use the 1 nut on the back. You'll also need a washer or something welded to the end of the screw to prevent it from coming completely out. My idea for the "hand wheel" was to use a little 10lb weight, or make one. Whichever you consider easiest. You could also just use a bar if that's more your style. If you were really ambitious you could also make this a double screw vise like the Fisher, by using a 1" bore sprocket with an appropriate chain. Most bike sprockets are 7/8" so it wouldn't take much to center them and re-drill them where you could use regular old bicycle chain. "Parts List" 4 foot of 3" or 4" I-Beam Since the passthrough of the face can be anywhere along the length of the vise, I would say enough 1 1/2" Solid Square or 2" square tube to make the bend and pass through and extend 1" past the back caster when the vise is fully opened. An acme screw and nut 2 Rigid Casters The rest is scrap bits here and there, and you just sort of put it together. Heres an image of the basic drawing of "The Vertical Vise" A lot of people will say this would cost more to make than it is worth. And you'd be right. Just recently I picked up a 5" post vise for $25. However, I have been looking for a while and really didn't have much to spend. In the time I had been looking I was able to come up with the materials to make this vise. Now that I have a post vise I will probably re-purpose the tubing and I-Beam to make anvil stands. Later on I might build a double screw version of this vise with big beefy jaws just to have one. But my point is this. Sometimes you can't find the tool but you might have enough of this sitting around to put one together. Or a blacksmith teaching someone else might not have a vise for them to use all the time but may have enough scrap iron to build something like mine or like the vertical vise. If you want to build something, build it. Its about using what you have, and having fun with it.