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I Forge Iron
Louie DeBono

Old reliable. Littletown No. 25

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Just got this as a gift from my mother's neighbor  up in Wears Valley  Tennessee. Apparently it's a good, solid vise with a great reputation. My  favorite feature is that it has the ability to rotate 180 degrees, and then locked into place. I have it mounted on an old bar stool and bolted to the  floor. Love my Littletown No 25!!

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19 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Just don't hammer on it!

Thomas... Please elaborate... Cas I have been beating this thing senseless... And your comment has both intrigued and alarmed me.... Heh

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Cast iron (which is what this vise is made of) can break if hammered on. The force of the blows will also be absorbed by the mechanism, which could break.

A blacksmith's post vise is designed to direct the force of the blows around the mechanism and into the ground. They are also usually made from mild steel or wrought iron and will usually bend before they break.

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Unless you know differently; vises tend to be made from cast iron and so heavy hammering can result in broken vises.  The best grades of modern vises go with malleable or "semisteel" and cost a LOT!

Now some old chipping vises were expected to be hammered on and so they are massive hulking things---150 pound would be common and heavier not unheard of.

So machinist vises in a smithy are generally used for twisting or filing and not for hammering.  Blacksmith vises AKA Leg Vises  are designed for hammering on!

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16 hours ago, JHCC said:

Cast iron (which is what this vise is made of) can break if hammered on. The force of the blows will also be absorbed by the mechanism, which could break.

A blacksmith's post vise is designed to direct the force of the blows around the mechanism and into the ground. They are also usually made from mild steel or wrought iron and will usually bend before they break.

Thanks for sharing the knowledge.. I very learned an immense amount in just the three short days I've been a member of the forum. Good stuff bro! 

16 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Unless you know differently; vises tend to be made from cast iron and so heavy hammering can result in broken vises.  The best grades of modern vises go with malleable or "semisteel" and cost a LOT!

Now some old chipping vises were expected to be hammered on and so they are massive hulking things---150 pound would be common and heavier not unheard of.

So machinist vises in a smithy are generally used for twisting or filing and not for hammering.  Blacksmith vises AKA Leg Vises  are designed for hammering on!

And thank you as well brother   appreciate you guys taking the time to share your knowledge 

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I grew up in the family Auto & Truck repair shop all we had for 40 yrs were a bench top vises usually 2-3 at a time and they were used rough and darn hard esp. installing U-joints and replacing rear end bearings.  They lasted a number of years but we broke all of them in the end and as time went on the lasted less and less time.  I never saw a post vise till I was about 30!  I have a number of both now in my assorted shops.   

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I have a post vise I bought from an auto repair shop---that opened in 1918; almost a century of Mechanic abuse and me hammering on it too.  (I was at their shutting down auction.  They still had the anvil, postvise and woodworking tools from the early days of car repair!

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I have that same Littlestown vise in my shed. In fact I have about a dozen bench vises out there and 3 post vises. I have only a few mounted for use, my favorite is an old Craftsman 6", a very smooth and tight unit, got it for $20. I also have a cheap import mounted up on my outside bench, basically don't care if I break it or not, so far it has only lasted 25 years or so. In the shop I have my Dad's old gunsmith's vise and an old Rock Island on an old Mobil Oil Gargoyle stand. I'd have to look through all the ones in the shed to tell you the makes but I know a few are good old American steel. No Wiltons though. Maybe someday.

I don't know why I have so many vises, they just seem to find me. I dream that someday I will be able to mount them all up.

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I traded my wilton cadet for a 165# HB anvil. I'm trying to hold my postvises down to about a dozen and have one machinist vise, an old shaper vise and a couple of drill press vises. Most of my postvises are mounted and in use including a gracile travel post vice and a robustus post vise down at my southern abode.

Vises are a nice Vice!

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