DrCarl

Old Columbian 8" vice

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Hello,

I am new here, and have bought and sold old anvils before. Now I have a large Columbian swivel vise with jaws that opens to 8"

The swivel part is missing, but it works well. It is heavy; about 36 pounds

How do I determine what it is worth and are there ID markings I should see?

vise1.jpg

Vise2.jpg

vise4.jpg

vise5.jpg

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Jaw width is going to be the stat which people tend to look at when pricing.  One can make a lightweight vice which opens half a mile, but it's hard to make a large-jawed vice which is "lightweight", even if the opening isn't massive.  I'm guessing from the photo that jaws are 4" wide.  That's actually a fairly light vice.  It's workshop sized rather than tradesman sized.  It doesn't cross over into the "drool to have it" range.

Since it's a bench vice,  pricing is not just against similar old vices but includes new cheap Chinese offerings.  It does get a boost for being older and American made but not a huge one:  People looking for a working vice can "tolerate" what comes from China, if needed.  

I don't see the lack of a swivel base as a detriment at all.  That's about the least-used feature of my bench vices.  

Obviously it's also location related.  In my farm community, there are quite a few good old american larger bench vices that come up from Great Grandpa's workshop.  Not so much when I lived in the city.  

If I had to guess based on my location and what has sold on the market, It should land somewhere between $ 75 and $ 125 full blown retail.  That would likely get dickered down by $ 25+ bucks for the actual sale price.  That assumes the screw and screwbox are good and that the mushrooming of the anvil portion is not significant enough to be considered excessive. Being a Columbian is nice, but it doesn't give a huge boost until you get a couple of sizes bigger.

Just my $.02 and obviously YMMV.

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Also the missing part(s) pretty much deep sixes any collector value so you are selling a damaged vise for using.

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Out of curiosity, what makes you assume it's a swivel vise that is missing the base, rather than a solid mount?

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looks like solid mount.. It has the bolt hole in the tail also..

Size wise I'd say its more likely a 5 or 6" with an opening of 8".. 

Now if it was an 8" Starrett chipping vise.. It would be worth some change.. :) 

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That's actually a 4" vise, not an 8" vise (jaw width is the standard) and it's been beat on quite a bit.  Columbians are solid vises, but don't command high prices, for a number of reasons.  One, they were always considered something of a value brand among American vises, and there were tons of them out there.  They also have hollow jaw towers, so they weigh less for a given jaw width than most of the competition.  A heavy 4" vise would be something like a Parker 824 that weighs in at 85lbs on a swivel base.

A 4" fixed base Columbian that weighs 36lbs is honestly on the small side.  I paid $60 for a really nice Columbian 604 a couple of weeks ago (that's a swivel base 4" model) if that helps give you an idea of value.

I'm not knocking Columbians....I have a 506 on a welding bench that's really handy (6" jaws, almost 90lbs).   I've had it on Craigslist for $150 for a month with no serious bites so I mounted it on a bench.  Here it's eating a 50lb Wilton C0:

25B7B8C2-9AF6-4F6E-8952-DCC1490C383A_zps

This is an 8" vise (American Scale No. 58)...240lbs on the scale:

7F16F16E-A1BD-45A6-87B0-CBE48E967901_zps

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That’s not really that old that’s closer to their newest version of their bench vises maybe 30-40 years old  

G man I agree on standard is jaw width not how far it opens . I’ve come close to chewing out someone when I drove 40 min to buy a vise not knowing anyone would think to measure other way but now know to be clear what measurement I’m referring to as it’s more common than I thought 

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