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Hilt and Hammer Workshop

Just how much for a post vice these days?

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 Greetings, fellow steel fanatics.

 

 I have a question about the monetary worth of post vices. If this topic has already been discussed,please refer me to the thread.

 

  Anyway, i've been getting by in the shop with an ordinary bench vice, but the more time I spend at the forge,the more I learn that is certainly less than satisfactory. So I'm on the hunt for a serviceable post vice.

 

  I'm in Northern California,and blacksmith tools in general are high cost and hard to find here, but should i really be expecting to pay $250- $350 for a decent vice?  That seems to be the price range on craigslist ,and other places...even some on ebay are in that same spectrum. So are these things just going up in value,or are these prices I'm seeing way too high? I've heard some smiths say they only coughed up around $80 for theirs... Should I just keep looking?

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I'm in Ohio and I've seen recent CL adds for post vises at $90, $150, and $250.  Ohio probably has a few more post vises than California, but the prices still vary greatly.  I was looking for a post vise about a month ago and ran into a guy who sold me three 100% complete post vises for $120...two 5's and one 5.5 incher.  That was an unusual blessing for sure, but I still wouldn't be too hesitant to pay $100 for a post vise in complete working condition.  I got a great deal on mine by asking around, not off of craigslist.  Most people who are taking the time to post something like that on CL are wanting to get as much money as they can out of it.  It's best to ask around, spread the word that you're looking for one, you never know what might turn up.

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In VA I found a 4" Columbian in good shape for $40 at a local junk shop 3 years ago, the owner had it sitting in his wharehouse in a corner, "been sitting in there for years" he said. The going ebay rate was much higher plus shipping. That was the only vise I could find locally, every now and then one would come up on CL but they went fast or the price was for a vise believed to be made of gold. Moved to S C KY and have found numerous post vises in a much more reasonable price range.  

Look at 'junk' stores that have machinery and hardware type stuff. I have found 3 vises just wandering into places that buy old estates and resell the stuff.

My latest vise is a 6" Iron City that was on CL for at least a week and the guy wanted $75.  

I am sure location plays a major part in the availibility and price of the tools we are looking for but there are tools stuck all over just waiting for us to find them.

Ask people, take a picture with you when you ask, some people don't know what a post/leg vise looks like

 

Be persistant and Good luck!

Mark

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Yesterday I saw a five inch leg vise that was missing parts was for sale at $80, and last Tuesday I saw a six inch leg vise that was complete that was selling for $100. 

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 Thank you for all the input,gentlemen. It sounds like I should just keep my eyes open for one. Ebay definately seems to be a poor  place to get one, it's saturated with collectors and everything gets pushed top dollar.  I suppose I can get by for a little while longer without one,as I am reconfiguring my shop,but it sure would be nice to have one once I'm finished with that.  Cheers,everyone .

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I picked up a 60 lb vise at the Alameda Flea Market for $40, about 3 years ago, needed help carrying it out (made a couple holdfasts for the guy who helped me).  Another CL listing 2 years ago got me a smaller columbian post vise along with a forge and blower for a song (got lucky on that one).

 

Last post vise I saw at Alameda was an 80 lb monster missing a bracket, guy wanted a buck a pound.

 

Craigslist, the worse the pictures the better for the buyer. Garage sales advertising tools (try to get there on Friday), and a variation of the TPAAA anvil finding techniques.

 

Keep cash at the ready, keep your eyes open, Northern California, while not the Rust Belt, had a longer settled and working history than SoCal.

 

Good luck.

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One trick is to go around fleamarkets with a picture of one.  Often folks won't move heavy stuff to a fleamarket but may be happy to sell it to you if you know you want it---picked up a 4" complete vise for US$20 in Ohio that way once---had to come back the next week to pick it up though...

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In the last twenty years I have bought/sold something like 15 post vises.  Have paid between $15 and $150 depending on size quality and rarity.  Have sold for between $30 and $110, all to fellow blacksmiths, but have kept the big/rare/odd vises.  The most expensive that I have purchased I've kept and used, will make money on them for the next several decades and then my wife or son will be able to sell or use as they see fit.  

 

post-6738-0-01214200-1361497336_thumb.jp

post-6738-0-70112200-1361497354_thumb.jp

 

Do you NEED it or is it a luxury?  If you need it then the money calculations are simple.  If it is a luxury then the price is highly subjective.  If you own a computer and pay for something like (for example) cable TV then chances are a leg vise is a luxury.  

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Asking around really is the way to go. Ok you might not know anyone who might have something you need directly, but they might know somebody etc etc.

Ask in your local junk yard (that's what you yanks call it right?) I've been going to my local one fairly regularly so they know my face. I asked about anvils and they had a monster just sat in one corner. I nearly took his arm off when he said he wanted £50!! Bargain.

I guess if you make yourself known to these people and perhaps show them pictures of what you're after, flash a bit of cash and they'll take you seriously and give you a call when the time comes!

I got my vise by walking into a local farriers, just because I wanted to say hello and have a general chat. I walked out with a rather beaten up vise for £5. I got it working and it does fine for that price.

Best of luck
Andy

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Do keep looking around. I ended up getting mine at the Ohio SOFA conference this past fall.  There were a bunch of vendors selling used ones for $50 for small ones up to maybe $150 for larger ones. I ended up with a nice one for $65. As others have suggested you can watch Craigs list. When I first started looking I immediately saw one for $80 but held off since I thought that was a little high.

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I got this 4 1/2" one last week for $50.  As you can see the leg needed straightening and the wedges were missing.  Here it is after cleaning and some forge work.  Around here one like this would probably get ~$150.  I saw a similar one to mine restored as I did on craigslist for $100, it didn't last more than a day so they are out there.

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post-34362-0-12764000-1366733891_thumb.j

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That's a nice one Chinobi!  Is there a weight stamped on the outside of the front jaw, either 60 or 65 lbs?

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no markings that i have seen yet other than the quikwerk logo, bathroom scale said 60 and change.

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Been watching CL for several months and hadn't seen one under 150. And those, broken. Then two weeks ago, found a guy with 15 of them, 40 each. Mine cleaned up nice with a little lube.

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The weight stamp is the only marking on mine...well except for a previous owner stamping his name on it.  At least I assume that's why it has the following stamped on it.

 

Mutt Allen

1979

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post-34362-0-02206100-1366765353_thumb.j

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You may have some luck at antique stores or flea markets.Depending on the store "antiques" may just mean more expensive.I got my first one at an antique store(4" jaws) and even slightly pricey($100 I think) it has been worth every penny. I have two larger ones now as well which weren't as much.Once you find/buy one you will see them everywhere,LOL....that just seems to be the way.

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