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Just leave it be Chris you CAN damage them trying to get one out without knowing how THAT ONE was put together last time. 

Buy a rotary wire brush that fits a hand drill a little larger than the screw box and clean it out. Grit and solidified grease are to be expected, heck that may be 100 yr old lard or who knows what. Just clean it out.

Once you get it clean and washed use a exam mirror like a dentist or mechanic uses to see in little places and take a look at the threads. Don't expect to see virgin threads, they'll have some wear on them, especially with gritty grease or mystery asphalt lube.

Do NOT get carried away trying to get it apart, chances are you don't need to. You aren't restoring a 1931 Duesenburg you know.

Seriously, the reason you're having trouble might be because the last guy to try taking it apart beat on it and mushroomed something that shouldn't be.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well here are a few of the vises I use and my "Big" vises... There is a 4" in the pic with the 8" and 9" for scale.... The 9" is 215lbs... The one on the stand with the Wilton machinest vise is

just because someone will say "I have never seen a 9" post vise" This monster came from the Genva steel mill in Utah... 215lb, and yes 9" jaws... I know there are bigger vises out there but so

Just out of curiosity, Is there anyone out there that knows of another 9" or something bigger? Someday I am going to put this on a stand but its not really useful for me at the moment. Its jus

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Hey, Alaskan, it's a "1931 Duesy" to me!!!!!  ;)  I just want to get it all cleaned up so I can get a coat of paint on it and preserve it for future generations.  If''n I caint git all the gunk off'n it, I'll never be happy with the paint job.  It looks a fright right now.

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Without seeing the box itself it's hard to tell how it was produced..  They made brazed boxes, drilled and reamed boxes from wrought iron,  cast iron boxes, steel boxes,.. Pretty much all  ferrous metals were used over a period of time.. 

the old boxes were made primarily from sheet metal wrapped and brazed, then the screw threads were brazed into the box..   Any of the boxes can be fixed via this brazed box method even with completely destroyed boxes just drill them out and insert new threads attached and fed in with a clean screw.. then brazed into place. 

The only thing that needs to be good to fix the boxes is a good threaded rod of square threads..    Nearly all the old screws were square thread vs acme..  A square thread will not thrust load like an acme or 60d thread.. Acme was developed as a faster way of creating a thread with nearly the same loading as square but without the problems of cutting a square thread. 

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18 hours ago, Chris The Curious said:

Hey, Alaskan, it's a "1931 Duesy" to me!!!!!  ;)  I just want to get it all cleaned up so I can get a coat of paint on it and preserve it for future generations.  If''n I caint git all the gunk off'n it, I'll never be happy with the paint job.  It looks a fright right now.

I get gunk off and out of stuff with carb cleaner and a trip to the car wash, a couple dollar's worth of quarters is cheaper than buying a pressure washer. 

On the other hand I know you're a perfectionist, you've said so enough times I acknowledge your passions and say, "Okey dokey Okey." Enjoy the job and results.

Frosty The Lucky.

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DUH!  Didn't even think about carb cleaner, Frosty.  Dang, I hate gettin' old.  The old brain is full of cobwebs.  By High Pressure.............I meant a car wash.  Thanks for the suggestion.

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21 minutes ago, Chris The Curious said:

  Dang, I hate gettin' old. 

Beats the alternative Bro. 

Having the obvious pointed out to me regularly is one of the things I love about hanging out here. I've forgotten more than many folk know but I don't . . . Uh.

What were we talking about?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Okay, I'm finished.  I'm having second thoughts about having painted it, but it's a vise and it'll squeeze.  It opens and closes like a fine-tuned Swiss watch..................so I'm happy.  Now I have to come up with some kind of stand.

 

p3531787756-3.jpg

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9 hours ago, Chris The Curious said:

It opens and closes like a fine-tuned Swiss watch.

Uh . . . your Swiss watch screws open and closed? :huh:

Why not paint it? Mine is hunter green and gold. How mobile do you want it or are you going to bench, post mount it?

Frosty The Lucky.

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(having a Swiss watch would be like having a Refflinghaus anvil.)

Oh, Frosty, I kind of like the naked look of the cleaned up forged vises.  But it's painted and I'm done with it.  I'd prefer to mount it on my bench............but my bench will be further from my forge than I'd like...............or maybe it's the other way around.  In the Winter, on the bench would work fine.................but in the Summer, the forge is going to have to go outside, which will be another15 feet away.  Wouldn't that be too far to travel with a project?

I started a thread in "Show me your anvil stands".  Hoping to get some ideas for a "portable" stand.  I also described what I "think" I'm going to do, but you guys have been doing all of this stuff for so many years that I appreciate seeing what you've found successful.

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Okay, I have an identity question:  My vise has no name on it anywhere.  On the outside of the moveable jaw is stamped the number 50.  I'm assuming that means 50 pounds because that's what the vise weighs.  On the inside of the fixed jaw is stamped the number 4.  I guess that's because it's a 4" jaw.  On the underside of the mounting plate is a large number 2 cast into it.  Can anyone venture an educated guess as to the age or maker of this vise?  Not a big deal to me,  but would be fun to know.

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That sounds exactly like one of mine except mine has 4.5” jaws. Mine also had a date of 12/27/1906 stamped under the mounting plate next to the 2. I don’t recall the jaw width being stamped in my jaw but I do remember another year stamped on it. I think it was 1907. I do have the 50 stamped on the moving jaw. 

 

Edit: I think I determined it to be a Columbian  even though it didn’t have the “C” stamped on it. 

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Postvises were made by hundreds of places few marked them save for some of the larger manufacturers (Columbian, PW, Iron City, ...) 

Also note that many folks assume that the if the screwbox is marked then the vise was made by that company.  Well it may and it may not have been; movable parts can be transferred from one vise to anther---I've done it myself to get a better working vise from two  basket case vises.

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Many times if the vise was made in a place of mass productioned hand work.. the vise may just have a dot or 3 or 4 to denote which parts go where or via whom the maker was. 

People forget that it's easy to have 4 people.. each with a center punch and to leave their mark meant 4 whacks with the center punch. 

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loneronin

It looks much better now that you have spent some time bringing it back to life.

 

I just got a big 2 leg post vise. 165# with 8 " jaws !  It was very rusty but  the screw box was excellent, it was still full of grease. The pivot bolt was rusted half way through and needed to be replaced and it didn't have the spring or the mounting plate . I forgot to take pre-cleaning pictures , but here is a picture of what i am trying for the spring.

IMG_5631.jpg

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The spring is a 2" wide by 1/2"  trailer leaf spring with a piece of 7/8 bolt welded to the end at the pivot point. I am sure that it is not period correct, but it opens the jaws easily up to 7 " . before it looses push. The pivot point is interesting  in that the movable jaw is beveled at the radius of the pivot to match the lower portion of the base.

IMG_5629.jpg

IMG_5628.jpg

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I am just getting started in blacksmithing and just stumbled on to this vise not really looking but grazing stuff for sale on Facebook. The best part was that it was located only about 10 miles away. I got this Leg vise last Friday. The lady that had it up for sale said it was her 98 year old father's and he passed away couple month ago. form what I can tell by stamping's it is a Columbia 5" jaw vice 60lbs from top of jaws to bottom of the foot is 40 1/2 inches tall. It disassembled with out a hitch and the threads look to be in great shape. Over all it does not look to have been abused so in process of cleaning it up and painting it black.  

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