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Glenn

Show me your vise

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She ain't real purty, but she's loyal and has a full set of teeth. :D Very stabile on that rim. 4" jaws that match up, threads on the screw are in great shape, spring is strong and tight. It treats me right.
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This is my only vice that I will admit to in public. :P

Mark <º)))><

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I use a leg/post vice in the blacksmith shop I work at for the Historical Society. I really must question why these things appear to be so durn popular. It is the worst thing to attempt to hold items with. Loose/wiggly/wobbly. And I'm performing production work with this thing. :(

I would guess that it is historically correct to have one in a blacksmith shop especially for the Historical Society. I really need a table top mounted vice that will grip items and not pivot and twist/move around on me. :rolleyes::blink:

I would hope they are not all like this. They can't be, otherwise everyone and his brother wouldn't be bragging how they found this really nice/old leg vice.

I have this super big (100+ pound) Wilton table vice the size of an anvil at the school which I work at. It also has an anvil on it, and it won't budge when you clamp it. The two jaws clamp squarly together!

What is the advantage of a leg vice? I must be missing something, or my leg vice is shy a part or two.........

..and, are these things historically correct in an 1830 era blacksmith shop???????????

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I have no problem using a leg vice in the shop every day. A leg vise certainly is not the perfect tool for every operation, but in most smith shops they are irreplaceable. I don't know if your vice is broken or your just not using it in the right way. How about posting a few pictures of your vice and how its mounted, and maybe how you use it. Any good vise should be fixed tight in place so that the back leg dose not move at all, only the front jaw should pivot forward. Also a leg vice is just the thing to deal with forging as it can handle heavy hammering and torsion from bending, that would break a cast iron bench vise.

And yes and no for the 1830s. Leg vices have been around since at least the 1700s maybe earlier, I'm not sure. But leg vises have not been everywhere during that time period, If you are representing English, German, French, American, or other more industrial parts of the world I am sure there would be a leg vise of some kind. If you are going for rule Africa there probably would not be a leg vise. Its all about context.

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These really don't do any justice..............

The first problem you may see, is that the vice does NOT mount with the jaws parellel to the table top/floor. When you clamp an item in the jaw, it is angled back towards you. Not good. The mounting collar must be bent or they are "supposed to" mount with a noticable lean.

The jaws do not close together flush.
One jaws is hanging over to the south and the other to the north. However, I can align them becasue the outter jaw slides one way or the other! :huh:
The jaws are are curved (convext) to the point that they only touch in the middle. THus the jaws will not hold anything tightly :o

The big question is the fact that there are shims driven into the mounting plate and the cast steel body. They are all like this (from the ones I have seen)and these shims move around, thus the vice moves (pivots around) thus I question why anyone would want one of these. (the shims are driven in tightly, but offer play when you pull tightly on the handle to tighten the jaws)

I need to work over a "known good" leg vice to better develop my opinion of these. I can only do that if I used one in a shop. I simply cannot "use one" that is laying in the bed of some guys pickup truck who claims that it is a "known good leg/post vice" Simply looking at one doesn't work.

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I understand your frustration, But trust me there is such a thing as a good usable post vise... I have maybe 6 Wilton machinist vises ranging from 3.5" to 8" ( the good ones) and three post/leg vises in my shop I have the best bench vises made and still very often a post vise is superior for the job at hand, not to mention even the best bench vise will not hold up to a wailing with a sledge hammer for very long..

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These really don't do any justice..............

The first problem you may see, is that the vice does NOT mount with the jaws parellel to the table top/floor. When you clamp an item in the jaw, it is angled back towards you. Not good. The mounting collar must be bent or they are "supposed to" mount with a noticable lean.

The jaws do not close together flush.
One jaws is hanging over to the south and the other to the north. However, I can align them becasue the outter jaw slides one way or the other! :huh:
The jaws are are curved (convext) to the point that they only touch in the middle. THus the jaws will not hold anything tightly :o

The big question is the fact that there are shims driven into the mounting plate and the cast steel body. They are all like this (from the ones I have seen)and these shims move around, thus the vice moves (pivots around) thus I question why anyone would want one of these. (the shims are driven in tightly, but offer play when you pull tightly on the handle to tighten the jaws)

I need to work over a "known good" leg vice to better develop my opinion of these. I can only do that if I used one in a shop. I simply cannot "use one" that is laying in the bed of some guys pickup truck who claims that it is a "known good leg/post vice" Simply looking at one doesn't work.


It sounds like you have a worn out vise that is poorly mounted and poorly understood. My leg vise is my strong right hand without it I would be working at a serious disadvantage. This months hammers blow has an article covering how to fix these problems with a leg vise.
Tim

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We will certainly try to explain how to solve your problems here, but just like you said in person is better. If you can visit some one ells shop that uses a leg vice with good results you will see how handy they can be. Or maybe have some one that uses a leg vise daily come to your shop and take a look and how yours is mounted.
Often the mounting hardware with a vise dose not fit snugly, having over sized collars around the leg will let the vise pitch and turn. Some times shims can be placed around the leg, But other times I have simply forged new mounting hardware that fits tight to the vise.
I have also seen a second mounting bracket attached to some leg vices. First the standard mount just under the eye, then a second strap that is little more than flat bar formed around the leg just under the pivot and lag bolted to the bench, and lastly the leg fitted into a mount on the ground. Having three fixed points of contact will really hold your vice in place.

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The slots in the U shackle (collar) need to be the right size for the gib key and wedge. A little bit of the fixed leg must be visible through the slots, so that when it is wedged, it becomes very tight.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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Yup this sounds a whole lot like "I have an old pickup with the suspension and wheel bearings shot and repaired with baling wire and I can't understand *WHY* anyone would want a pickup truck!" I like pickup trucks just fine and also leg vises!

Shims are a "baling wire" repair. Not aligning north to south---is this a lateral offset of the jaws or a vertical offset? Either one can be dealt with. Lateral needs the cheeks of the support "bearing" adjusted. Vertical may need the moving leg straightened or even the bearing tuned up---I riveted and hot shrunk a plug in one vise's moving jaw bearing and re-drilled it to deal with a bad vertical offset once.

Note that mounting hardware is often not original to the vise and may have not even been made for that vise but just thrown together to get it out the door at a sale. make sure the mounting hardware fits and works properly.

Since the jaws swing on an arc there will be only *1* place where they are exactly parallel---not that much of a problem as in smithing we often are working with taper*s. However if the jaws are worn it's time to repair them or even re-cover them---easy to make angle iron jaw covers. If you do a lot of cold work you may even want to look into Al covers as they hold cold steel better.

Post vises have often seen over 100 years of *hard* use and should be expected to need work; just like if you pulled a Model T out of a scrap yard you would expect it to need a through overhaul before it would work right.

As for timeperiod; IIRC Moxon's Mechanics Exercises advises that every smithy should have a post vise in it---published in 1703. So any "professional shop" after that date can make a good case for one.

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The outboard jaw moves left to right in relation to the stationary jaw. It is as if there was, at one time, a bushing inside the outter jaw where the screw passes. However, it is no more. I can't understand why there is so much movement. :blink:

I have taken apart a Champion blower gear box to gain a visualization of its internal workings, but have not taken apart the vice. I have to use the vice. The only one in the shop. If I could remove it and locate where the problem is with all this looseness and wear I may possibly repair/modify it if possible.

I'd need another vice. I put the word out to the historical society maint dept. and was told they have others just like the one in question.................

I don't really know what that means :(:huh::blink: I'm thinking more of a large bench top vice. I don't need to beat on the vice with a sledge hammer like others appear to do. :blink: I think that is what the anvils would be for................????

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If you have a forge and anvil you have all the tools you need to whip this vise back to shape. This months "Hammers Blow" has a good article on adjusting a leg vise. Its not rocket surgery. As far as calling the maintenance department I hate to tell you when it comes to your tools at the forge you are the maintenance department. Taking this vise out of service it to tighten it up is something a smith would have been called on to do for him self and is historically correct. More so then making little niceties for the home like hooks and ladles. A lot of smith work in this country was just keeping stuff working so the job could get done.

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I made an anvil mounted (Bench)vice and began looking at this old leg vice. It has a cone/collar assy where the threaded shaft passes through (next to the handle) I don't see how you'd tighten it up as the entire assy is either supposed to be this sloppy or it has simply worn out. The cone tightens down into the bottom of the outter (movable) jaw and it won't be/can't be tight. I don't believe all of these leg vices could be of this design. This isn't right.

Anyone with a vice like this isn't going to like it. The jaws can't align themselves. :blink: I see no welds nor broken parts.I know of no manufacturing stamp marks.

I **AM** going to make this thing level as opposed to setting down-hill. There is slop in the mounting where the shims are placed an I can fix that with out too much problem.

It will at least look good for the visitors. The anvil mounted bench vice has tight jaws and in alignment. My work is much easier :)

I'l post up some pictures of my alignment retrofit to the leg.

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Hi all,
first post in the forum, showing off my new (new for me) post vice. It has 5" jaws, and no pedigree that I can determine - no marks, except #2 on 2 places...missing the mounting bracket, but should not be too hard to produce one... so - there:

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Looks like a good one! I have several like that---what I call a *using* vice. I consider using them more important than worrying about when/who made it.

The neatest mod I've see to that style was to braze a cap on the back of the screwbox and fit a zerk to it to be able to push grease in and have it push out the cruddy stuff. (of course after an initial through clean up!)

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I picked up this beauty the ten days ago at a salvage yard. It was the best of 6 in a bin. The rest were 4" or so vises.....
I cleaned it up with a wire wheel, a hand wire brush and a few sprays of WD-40....

Still have to lube the screw and bolt it to a 24"sq baseplate and a 4" sq tube support. I'll use it to forge integral guards on knives...

It's my first post vise!


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It wont let me post a video for some reason... If you do a search for "hydraulic post vise" on you tube just that will pop up.... user name larryleelangdon

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Seems with the latest upgrade here we lost the video upload tool. Look on the bright side; now we have a "Twit" button.

Looks like for now you can do it with "Special BBcode" - the green thing next to "font", choose "media" and paste in the URL.



Hmm, no "full screen" option.

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Looks like' Larry don't take no prisoners'
That's a Jewelers vice? is'nt it? :D used to gently squeese the cover on the back of watches?

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I have had to get serious with my old Leg vise and put the screws to her. I have it operational now with the help of a modified jaw pivot bolt and a modified leg support. The spring is very weak however and the jaw won't open but only 1 inch on its own as I have had to make the new pivot bolt super tight (which has tightened up the jaw alignment quite a bit).

I can now use it!!

I see many of these listed on e-bay. But what confuses me is the fact they are listed as "very nice" but then go into details about how far out of alignment the jaws are (side to side). That is one of the reasons I has problems using use my leg vise at the historical society.

I don't get it......

I like my real old Columbian bench tops as opposed to the leg vise at the society.

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Oh man that thing is cool, Larry!! You running that thing off of a compressor??
You should go into mass production of these thing for the blacksmiths Market !!!!! :P

So cool

Alec

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If I were you, I would buy the other five vises, clean them up, then sell them, that way, the profit you make on the extra vises will pay for that nice one you bought, getting it for free!

Hmmmm.... Duh... Sometimes I need a little help seeing the long term vision.. I might just do that.! Thanks for the idea!

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I decided to post full pictures of my old vice that I think was a blacksmith model. I have not been able to find any information about this and any help would be appreciated. I don't have the firebox that fits on the discharge of the stoker fan, I do have the vice handle, but I cant find it now.

I posted other photos in a separate post. I'm trying to.determine what the purpose of the short cylindrical section that is approximately 2" below the bottom of the clamping area is for. The cylindrical section is connected by gears to the vice crank. Through a slip mechanism on the vice crank, you can rotate the cylindrical section.

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I still don't have a post/leg/blacksmith vise but here's another one that Dad left me, that I just dragged out of storage and started to clean up. Its Chinese but its pretty versatile with jaws that rotate 360* and pipe jaws as well as straight jaws. It rotates to any angle and then it sets there when the jaws are tightened. It was pretty stiff at first but after a bath of kerosene it's freer than it was. I still may take the screw out and pack with grease and then, either mount to a pedestal or even use as a quasi-index-able vise for the drill press.

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