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I Forge Iron

Mismatched vise


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This is my first post to this forum and my brother and I are just getting into blacksmithing. I built a brake drum forge, have an anvil on loan and am starting to collect the tools I will need. We're looking forward to going to the SOFA convention this week.


I picked up a post vise with 4” jaws the other day at a swap meet for $40. After I bought it I realized that the screw box wasn’t fitting right  after closer inspection I believe that the box seems to have come from a different vise. It will open about 1-1/2” before the screw comes unthreaded.




I did some post vise research and this problem seems very uncommon, I did find one vise with the same problem but it fits better than mine.

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My vise is similar to this one: http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-history/nice-post-vise-225241/

which makes me think the box is from the same style of vise, but from a larger model.


The only other things missing are the washers, but those seem easy to replace.


So what I’m wondering is: Can it be fixed so that the box does fit the vise? Or are there any chances of finding a smaller box without the vise? (Or a bigger vise without a box?)

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There's the picture! Disregard my last reply please.


It looks to me like the screw and box maybe are extended outside the heal jaw. I'm afraid I'm not enough of a post vise guy to say a whole lot from the pic other than it looks to be in pretty decent condition allowing for the malfunction and That can be fixed I'm sure.


I'd say it's a nice score for $40, I'd LOVE to find one for that here.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Ok let's try this again. My first reply disappeared.


The box should slide into the hole below the jaw. Yours is extended out. It may be rusted, painted, or otherwise jammed from debris. Try unthreading the screw, Pull the box off, clean inside and outside of the box and the hole it fits in. Clean interior box threads and the screw threads. Grease the screw threading. Reassemble. The box should slide right into the hole. If not it shoud be evident upon a close look why not. If the threads are in good condition, cleaned, and lubed. They should tighten back up. On reassembly it might take some juggling to get the box and screw threads lined up. You can try fitting them together after cleanup prior to reassembly to ensure everything is in working order.


Looks like a great find for $40.00

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I'm sorry I was having trouble posting earlier, I wrote the post and refreshed the vise forum- but my post wasn't there- so I posted it again.  Now there are two of the same topics- but the other one has the picture of my vise.

I don't see a way to delete this duplicate post.  Can a moderator help me with that?

Rashelle- the diameter of the outside of the box is just a little bit bigger than the eyes it needs to fit in. It's also possible that the eyes are elliptical instead of being circular- it's a little hard to know because of the keyway notches.   The front edge of the box has a bevel and the bevel allows it to sit centered and secure on the edge of the eye- the threaded part of the screw is not banging on the eye...but it only goes in about 1/4 inch or less.

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Here are some more pictures. We took it all apart and reassembled it. When it's apart- the screw threads perfectly all the way into the box. It's only because the box can't fit into the place it belongs inside the jaws that the screw has to be extended out so far to reach the threading of the box. One reason why I think the parts don't fit and have not fit together in a long time is because the peeling orange paint is on the outside of the box too- on the surface that would be internal if it was fitting together correctly. So the last owner painted it with the box hanging out the back like this. The size difference is pretty significant- not something that some rust remover can fix.


post-56789-126463_thumb.jpg post-56789-0-34049400-1411340281_thumb.j

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 So the box has a larger diameter then the eye hole? Which would indicate the box/thread assembly is from a different vise then the jaws. Ouch. You could probly jury rig a different screw assembly to open and close the vise. It looks like the screw box is a 19th. century solid design. (I'm looking at James Melchor and Peter Ross's restoration of leg vises book.) As is you have parts to fix a couple of vises, a potential learning experience for later if you want to fabricate a screw box sized to fit), or a see what can be done to jury rig something. You might measure your eye opening and the screw box, and keep the measurements remembered in case you find a vise needing repair or if you find parts that's fit yours.There is still a lot of potential there.

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Part of me would say to heat the eye and drift it out to match the box. Not exactly a beginners project.



I'd 1st try and hit SOFA and see if I couldn't locate parts that would fit either piece. I know there were a few partial vises for sale at ABANA. The question of course is if they would fit better than what you currently have.

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