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I Forge Iron

Interesting find... inside my vise!

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Well I didn't expect this! I got a leg vise recently in pretty good order for little money. Only problem except some dirt was that the spring didn't spring enough to push the jaws any (I figure on it being stored too many years tightened up all the way). So tonight I finally managed to drift out the wedge (no mean feat in itself; the wedge is bent and the whole wedge/clip area was choc-a-block with rust and dirt).

Pulling the parts out to get to the spring I notice something odd; the spring and non-moving leg are punched for one of the older-style mortice-and-tenon mount. ()

I reckon the old one must have gone missing or broken at some point and the owner just decided to make a new wraparound mount. Anyone ever heard of this before?

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They stopped making post vises with the hole punched through the back leg and spring around 1825 or so, mostly because it turned out to be a weak spot which was frequently a point of failure. I've got one post vice constructed in that manner, but it's mounted now with a wrap around mount because it will put up with more torque.

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Well shoot...I was hoping you had found a wad of $100 bills jammed in at the back of the screw :D

Hehe there's so much black crud (oil + dirt) in the screw boss there could well be and I'd never know about it! :D

Pics will follow tomorrow.

BTW, anyone here know of anyone doing typological studies on post vises? (If you don't know it's an archaeological term that means looking at the various features and so developing a way to determine the age of an artefact. For instance, the tenon-mount appears to have gone out of fashion in the period of 1820-1840 therefore if your vise has it it probably dates from this period or before.)
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I thought for sure you found a dead mouse in it! I know I would have if it was my vise.:D
I found a mouse when I first brought home my big old drill press. I opened up the switch housing and there was this dead dried up mouse peering out at me. It actually startled me a bit until I realized what it was!

I like these old post vises with the tenon mount. I have two of them. I have not seen many intact ones.

Here is a very good article about post vises. It gives a few guidelines for determining the age of vises. Restoration of Leg Vises Part 1 By James R. Melchor and Peter M. Ross [07/01;S;107f2]


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BTW, anyone here know of anyone doing typological studies on post vises?

At one point in time, on another board or forum or somewhere, it was mentioned that someone had thought about doing something like Anvils In America but for post vises instead. I believe the final verdict (and don't quote me as this is a kinda fuzzy memory) was that other than a rough cutoff date for the mounting style, the information was really not there for any extensive study. I wasn't privy to the details, but it seems that other than the BIG manufacturers (columbia, iron city, a few others that i can't bring to mind at the moment) there just wasn't a wealth of information (at least not a books worth) to be found.

-Aaron @ the SCF
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