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I Forge Iron

Does this spring look OK?

Andrew Collington

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After a number of attempts, a bunch of penetrating oil, and (as of today - wish I had done it sooner) some heat, I have managed to get a very rusted together vice apart. This, however, is the first leg vice I've ever hard (total newcomer to all of this) and I wonder if the spring looks in an OK position, or whether it's had so long in the same spot it's now just fixed in place.  The photo attached is how far the spring protrudes, but I'm not sure whether it's meant to be more curved so as to really push back the movable arm, or whether it's just there to push it back a little bit from the closed position, of that makes sense?  If it's doesn't look like it's got enough of a spring, is it relatively easy to fix (for some with literally no forging experience as of yet)?

Any thoughts or advice are, as always, very gratefully received!





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Here are a couple pictures of the moving arm reattached.  To be honest, from the solidly rusted vice it started as to what it looks like now, I'm really happy, and even if I don't attempt to re-arc the spring (if it even needs it) then I think it's a more than usable vice for me, especially as I'm really just starting out with this as a hobby.

I just need to think about where to mount the vice now.  I have no stand or bench big enough for it, but I've seen on this board that people have posted up their stand builds so I'm going to have a look at those and get some ideas.

What do you think of the leg, though?  It's bent near the base, so would be a bit tricky to get in a hole.  Think I should see about getting it straightened when I have access to a forge?




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A couple thoughts.  It looks a little lite, but I would wait until you have the vise clamped properly to a post so that the post mount and the wedges are very tight.  This will sometimes rotate the spring a few degrees moving the bottom of the spring towards the movable part of the vise. In the second picture IMO the spring should just barley touch, but if you find that opening and closing the vise is hard due to spring tension just leave it as is.  If all else fails these springs do not have to be heat treated, just heat it in your forge and bend it ever so slightly. 

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Yes I'd straighten that hot with a forge and treat it like it's real wrought iron---as it probably is and that means WORK HOT, VERY HOT!

As for mounting a post set in the ground works well for a permanent set up.  A stout workbench works well in a workshop; or for a portable setup I have taken a 55 US gallon steel barrel with the top cut out of it.Traced and cut an arched piece of 2"x12" lumber to fit inside the top and lag bolted it through the drum's skin and mounted a vise to that. When full it's over 400 pounds in weight, when empty the barrel can be moved easily. I chose one with a bung down near the bottom and so easy to let the water out. (and having that much water to hand tends to sooth site owners who view the forge as a hideously dangerous fire hazard...) Of course you need access to a hosepipe...

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