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I Forge Iron

picked up this old Chas. Parker Vise


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I won this old Chas. Parker bench Vise at a small local auction for $158.00 .. its a No.976  6" jaws and said to be 157 lbs. I'll be picking it up tomorrow, then the cleaning process begins. I will post photos of the progress..

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I'm a little disappointed in this vise, it was misrepresented in the description.. its actually a no.975 but hard to see clearly with the rust and built up paint. which means its a 5" jaw.. well it is what it is and I will be cleaning it up today and post more photos..

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yes its cleaning up nicely.. and it does weight in at 105lbs.. I think I may put it up for sale and get my money back.. I found a very large 200lb. bench vise I'm thinking of buying..

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4 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Some of the old "chipping vises"  were HUGE to hold castings while they were dressed with hammer and chisel back in the day...

the one I'm looking at has a swivel rear jaw .. did chipping vises have these swivel jaws ??

1 hour ago, G-ManBart said:

240lb, 8" jaw American Scale I picked up last year.  Some 8" models were 300lbs+.

They actually look smaller in pictures than in person :blink:

that's nice !! photos just don't do the size of them justice  !!  the are so giant in person !!  

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13 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

I don't know; it would seem a useful addition to something to hold rough castings though.

yes it does.. I see no makers marks on this vise but is so massive in person..

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1 hour ago, JT said:

the one I'm looking at has a swivel rear jaw .. did chipping vises have these swivel jaws ?? 

It may be an issue of semantics, but I don't think a true chipping vise would ever have a rear swivel jaw, for one reason; they are much, much weaker than a standard vise.

A heavy chipping vise was used for rather severe duty, and it wouldn't make much sense to use a far weaker design if there was any way around it.

For many/most people, a rear swivel jaw is nothing but a liability.  That's why so many of them are found with the pin hammered in almost permanently, or welded in, or the whole assembly was drilled and tapped with a large bolt to secure the swivel from moving at all or the swivel jaw welded in place...the list goes on.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of swivel jaws, and have a couple around most of the time, but I don't see much utility for a 200+lb swivel jaw other than for very specialized applications.  Heck, I'm trying to get a guy to part with a 6" Reed swivel jaw, but really just for the cool factor!

1 hour ago, JT said:

yes it does.. I see no makers marks on this vise but is so massive in person..

I've seen a number of 7" and 8" swivel jaws that didn't have a name on them.  Speculation is that a railroad, or similar company, would place an order and the companies would make them without logos....it wasn't really a standard stocking item, so they would have essentially done a special order and not bothered with details like lettering in the molds.  I've seen a 7" swivel jaw that had some letters, and nobody is sure who made it....it's like a combination of three different brands, Yost, Prentiss and Reed.  

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The range is pretty broad depending upon brand, model and condition.  For example, the 6" Reed swivel jaw I'm hoping to get a shot at eventually would be an easy $500 in many places and higher in some where vises are scarce.  If it were an 8" Reed swivel jaw that number easily doubles.  I have a buddy who has a 7" Yost swivel jaw he would sell for $750, and it could really do with having a new set of jaws custom made for it.

Up through 6" models it's pretty easy to price the, but any bigger they're fairly rare and the folks buying them don't necessarily like to share what they pay for them.  I nearly stole that 8" American Scale for $350, and AS is on the lower end of quality and desirability.

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It depends on the brand/model and how the spindle is retained.  The majority of vises use a set collar of some kind on the inside of the dynamic jaw to retain the spindle.  You take the dynamic jaw out, flip it over, and there will be an obvious set collar.  Wear to either the back of the spindle, or the set collar, creates a gap you have to take up by turning the handle.  With the dynamic jaw out of the body you'll be able to push/pull on the spindle and see the slop. 

You can usually add a thrust washer in front of the set collar to tighten things up, or rotate the position of the set collar, and drill a new hole in the spindle for the set screw.  I generally just add a thrust washer, but yesterday moved the hole for the set collar on an old Reed because the hole for the set screw was worn oblong. 

It can also be a loose nut in the body of the vise.  Most are held in place with a pin and if the pin isn't a tight fit to the nut, when you turn the handle, the nut moves back and forth.  Normally you can just bend the pin forward until it's making contact with the nut and you're set.  I usually heat the pins and pre-bend them close to what they need to be rather than install them in the vise and hammer on them....all of the load is being taking by the casting of the base, and that's a bad idea.

If the vise is a Reed with a split ring in front and adjustable nut stop in the rear it's a different issue...usually just an adjustment.

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  • 2 years later...

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