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Post Vise

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I have a columbian post vise that has a slightly bent jaw. I bought this thing for 45$ four months ago. The way that its bent is from left two right like someone was prying something real long in it. Is there any way that I can fix this or should I leave it alone?? Its off only about .25"

Pj :D

Also how can I tell what size this vise is??

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Vise sizes are usually just the width of the jaws. You can weigh it if you want, but usually if you say it is a 5" vise, that is enough size information for anybody.

The jaws racked can sometimes be fixed by fooling with the bolt at the base of the pivoting leg. Look down from the top of the jaws and make sure that neither leg is bent (not likely). It is almost always in the plate or pin at that pivot. You can sometime pry them the other way, or remove and replace. If none of these seem reasonable to you, you can take a torch and heat the plate while bending to straighten. But 1/4" isn't much so don't overdo it.

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PJ: I am re-investigating that very thing for my new shop, so I'm reluctant to give you absolute directions. But here are some considerations:

1) If you can, mount the vise on it's own VERY stable post, instead of on a workbench. That way you can work all the way around it.
2) Support the leg at the bottom. This is the only real advantage of a post vise over a bench vise -- you can pound on the vise and it is supported by the leg clear from the earth, if you mount it well. I usually forge a bracket with a hole in it for the bottom of the leg.
3) Try to find the spot in your shop which is easiest to use. Right now, with a completely new shop plan, I have a portable vise and am using it in different locations to see where it is most effective. When I find the sweetest spots, I'll plant the vises there, most likely on posts imbedded in concrete.

Here are links to pictures of shops that have mounted vises, taken from here on iforgeiron's gallery and on forgemagic's gallery.









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You beat me to it.


I have several at different heights.

The first is mounted at anvil height. It is a full length vise, mounted to a post that was buried in the ground with two bags of concrete. Allows a full swing with the hammer.

The next is mounted right on the forge and is at elbow height. I use this one for most work but long items sometimes interfere with the hood.

The other leg vise is mounted on a table at chest height. It is typically the one I use when long pieces have to be held or if I am filing. The Wilton is a little lower and a later addition (got it a year ago). It's mounted with two big C-clamps until I decide I want to take the time to drill thru the 2 inch plate that is the table top.

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You might want to shoot one more picture showing the vises in their work position in the shop. I think that is just as important as the mounting itself.... and as I mentioned, the issue I'm working out now. I'm going to wait until the hammers are completely set before I permanently mount vises, though. I want to get a feel for the work flow. around them.

And what the heck is that railroad plate doing at the base of your vise :?:


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My vice has that same "c inside a triangle" as your first pic. That is a columbian vice right? How can I tell how old my vice is?? By the way Im in the process of moving into my first bought house; and the shop is 12'x13'. Do you have any pictures of a portable vice mount that is heavy enough so that I can use and move to various locations?Also I just seen the stand that Irnsrgn made and was wondering if that stand was sturdy easly movable.

Pj :D

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I think the trangle C is a Champion make. Have no idea how to date them - most did not have serial numbers and I'm not sure they'd even be traceable.

A very good portable mount is to put a vise on a 55 gallon drum and then fill it with water. Cut the top out and you have a slack tub and hold down. Put a hinge on the lid so it won't fall in the water and you have a tool holder. Makes a good all around tool and is easily portable once the water is drained.

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C in a triangle is Columbian, made in Cleveland OH. They are often found with the "angle iron and U bolt" mounting bracket with the company logo on the bracket as well. I have heard rumours of a postvise book somewhat like "Anvils in America" in process but have not heard of a date for it yet.

You can get a lot more out of your vise stand if it's set up so you are standing on the bottom plate so your weight is part of the deal.

My portable vise stand is a 55 gal drum with a piece of 2x12 trimmed to fit and mounted across the top on the inside of the open end by lag bolts. Fill with water and you have 400+ pounds holding the vise in place. drain through the side bung hole and you can pick up the barrel with one hand to move it (with the vise dismounted) Note dropping a piece into the barrel is not fun in the winter...


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