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I Forge Iron

Colombian Leg Vise

Wyatt Kindler

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I've had this vise for a little over a year now and I have tried to find some info on it, with no luck. It has 4" jaws, weighs 35 pounds, and was obviously made by the columbian vise co.

For the past while now I've been trying to figure out how it was made. It has raised letters and numbers which seems to imply casting, but i cant find porosity anywhere which seems to be common with casting. Were these vises drop forged? Any other info such as when it was possibly made would be appreciated. Thanks.






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 I have a 7'' Columbian post vise that was obviously dropped forged.

Your vise still has the parting line from the  drop forging dies  clearly visible running vertically down the centerline of the front and back jaws.

They are stout vises for their size and  seem of more recent manufacture than a lot of other vises by other makers.

One common feature of the Columbian post vises that I have seen besides the short back end of the screw box is the U-bolt that holds the spring and the back leg to the mounting plate.

This is different than the tapered wedges and mortised mounting plate usually found on most other vises.

This seems like a much stronger mounting system and I have retrofitted most  of the vises in my shop with mounts of this  type.

Easy to do with a piece of angle iron and some round bar threaded on each end.



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Cool to know these were drop forged. I like the u-bolt design as well, i recently found a 6" peter wright leg vise that didnt have a mounting bracket. Simply did exactly what you said, i forged a u-bolt out of some 5/8 round and used a heavy piece of angle as the mounting bracket. Thanks for the info.

Heres that PW with the u-bolt.




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More than one of this style vise was made. About 35 years ago, our local "Fritz Surplus" in Santa Fe, brought back about a dozen of them from a buying trip. It seems that Columbians kept getting less aesthetically pleasing over time. The leg chamfering and pivot-beam chamfering are gone. Two rivets are reinforcing the pivot-beam weld. The vee-spring is not an improvement, as there is more throw to open the jaw than if it was a single spring, as of old. I suspect that the jaws were drop forged, although I see no die parting lines. I think the screw with screw head were cast as well as the box, but probably not cast iron, more likely semi-steel. I have a hunch this style of vise was World War II vintage.

Some of the above is guess work on my part, having had quite a few leg vises go through my hands.

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