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Troubleshoot Wilton


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Sorry, I'm not familiar with the internals of this vise, but since the handle seems to be unscrewing when you try to open the vice, part of the mechanism that secures the jaw to the screw must be broken or missing.  If you start taking it apart it will probably become obvious at some point...  -- Dave

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I don't know them real well but I looked up Wilton vise's and under replacement parts it shows a blow up of a newer one, its pretty simple not much to go wrong, I would suspect a sheared pin.. I just bought this one a few minuets ago on a small local on-line auction . its a model No. 600 machinist vise with 6" jaws and 23" long.. its a heavy massive vise that's hardly been used... they sell new for $1199.00 !!  I bought it for $417.00





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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 1:42 PM, Riverdweller said:

Just acquired a Wilton. 

Jaws close fine, but won't open. Probably a simple solution, but I am simple-minded.. ahem. 

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!


check on YouTube there are a lot of people restoring them and show them completely disassembled and reassembling them.. should help ..  

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I tore it all apart. Except for the seals and fancy bits near the handle. There are a couple set screws there. One is to (apparently) add hydraulic fluid.

 Upon further www investigation, I have learned this is a rare PowRscrew vise from Wilton. Lucky me. Haha. 

 It has a hydraulic front end assist. Made in the late 60's to 70 or so. Apparently they stopped production for a reason. 

 Does anyone have any knowledge of the PowRscrew?

 Everything is cleaned and lubed/oiled. Still will not open the jaws when I loosen the crank. I am able to manually open the jaws. 

 Interested in any input and feedback!

Here is a shot of the hydraulic aspect. 

See the video in my original post to see it in action. 


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I googled Wilton Power Screw Vise and there is a site  ( Popular Science-Jul- 1967- Page 146- google book result ) this shows a drawing of a cut-a-away showing the inside and telling a little about it... not much.. but at least a look at the internals .. it won't let me copy it so you will have to look it up.. JT

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Interesting vise. So can you just pull on the handle and the jaw slides out, and then push it back in until the jaws engage the work and then tight the handle to apply force on the work?

Popular Mechanics pic of the vise -
https://books.google.com/books?id=qyUDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=wilton+Schiller+Park+600+vise&source=bl&ots=zxJ3P_O9td&sig=Dzi06YxucS_FHuoBCbU9JkLjQSo&hl=en&ei=lxOyTdDpOMb30gGSmbywCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CFAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=wilton Schiller Park 600 vise&f=false

I have a woodworker's vise that operates in that manner. Partial rotation of the handle "releases" it, then pull out (open), push back in until it touches the work and spin handle to tighten.

More info on them -


I guess it doesn't work in the manner I described.

But, hey, it looks like it'll put 3 tons of pressure on whatever you're clamping when you get it working right.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/28/2017 at 11:00 PM, Riverdweller said:

JT thanks for the heads up. I will check that tomorrow. I appreciate your input. 


Swedefiddle if it ain't broke don't fix it. If it's broke, you should man up and see what you can do. 



There should be a set screw at the bottom of the dynamic jaw housing.  That set screw fits into a recess on the inner part of the spindle to keep it inside the dynamic jaw.  Have you looked at that yet?

Also check that the pins at the back of the body are in place.  They hold the tail cap assembly and nut in place.  Sometimes the pins shear if the vise is dropped and lands on the spindle, but usually it cracks the body of the vise itself.

That's a very cool vise but know that the jaw shape isn't the strongest style so it's not really meant for heavy duty work.  The jaw towers and jaw supports aren't as massive as you'd find on the machinist models, probably to allow better access to the work piece.  In short, you don't want to put something in it and hit it with a big hammer :-)

I know a couple of collectors who would probably trade you a bigger/heavier Wilton for that one just because it's unusual.  

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  • 2 years later...

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