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I Forge Iron

Dead Vise - ID and Value


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Acquired this vise and apparently didn't inspect box and screw enough.  Logic was not with me on that trip.

It is an interesting vise.  100 lbs (101.5 on my cheap scale).  The jaws are offset.  I believe closer to 7.5" length.  Outside jaw is gouged pretty good.  Seem to close well... and I forgot to take a good overall photo..


There is a 4 on the box and what looks like a TH and I assume an underlined 6 on the underside of the mounting plate (indicating 6" size?).  Weight lines up with a 6" jaw iirc so it was either modified at the factory or in the field with the extended jaws.  Cannot really see any indication of welding on the underside of the jaws.


The box is only threaded for the first few inches .. well I should say it was threaded.. Would this have had threads the whole length of the box or is it common only a few inches of threads?

Apparently the vise was only used to hold narrow stock its whole life as the threads on the screw are worn most near full close.  I unthreaded the box a bit when I was buying it and they looked better but I should have looked inside the box.  The threads in the box are down to a thin wafer :( 

Oh well.  is it worth anything more than scrap?  I know it can be fixed but I think it is too big for my small needs as a hobbyist so i will probably sell it somehow. 


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Thanks.  Looks like it is for a smaller vise. The screw on this one is 1 7/8 outer diameter of the threads.  Just the threads are 9 or 10 length.  Handle is 20.

I think I will just cut my losses.  This vise is just going to be too big for the garage.  I just wasn't thinking when I bought it.

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I used to have a good screw and screw box salvaged from a trashed vise that I kept on hand just in case---ended up in trading it as part of a deal for a 410# anvil. Oh for the days when you could just order one from the Sears and Roebuck Catalogs (early 1900's and at early 1900's prices!)

I'd be temped to keep it as that would be a very handy vise for ornamental iron work!

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If you are up to making your own, Roton has 1 3/4” Acme rod for $38 a foot,  steel hex nuts for $27. I’ve seen guys use large house and railroad screwjacks they’ve cut up to make or fix vises also (if you find one cheap that isn’t being sold as an antique or collectible).

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  • 5 months later...

If anyone is interested in this vise, shoot me a message.  I don't have a need for such a large vise or the means to repair it at this time and would love it if someone could put it to use. 

I prefer local but can meet someone a reasonable area around or stick it on a pallet for pickup.

Can send additional photos if needed.

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  • 1 month later...

I may try to repair it.  There isn't much thread left in the box so that should be easy enough to clear out by hand.

Is the box and screw typically cast iron or steel on these?  There are 2 seams across each other on the box so it looks to be sand cast.  The screw threads look to have been cut by looking at the surface finish.

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Most people would be happy to have a 100 lb vise. If you have the space, store it in the corner of the shop until a repair plan, or parts, comes into view. It is not like a modern chinese throwaway; it will not lose its value over time. Look up what a modern Kanca vise of that weight goes for, and you should start to feel better. If it is only threads that needs replacing, then no big deal; there are many ways to fix this common problem.

The vise looks american, not european, and the square bolt indicates it is an antique. I read once that the threads on some of these old vises were not cut into the steel bar, but were added afterwards using a softer material.

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Read about the babbitt method.  The alloy seems interesting.  I'll have to test to see what materials are as that may dictate what can be done. I didn't get to that point before the storms rolled in.

The screw is only trashed for the first portion of thread and could be cut, flipped, and reattached.  I have seen the  blueprint about forging a bar around the screw to take the thread form and brazing it inside the box.  Might be a possibility. certainly the cheapest

Thread appears acme instead of square, and I think they were cut (will have to inspect further)

Acme nuts in 1 3/4 - 4 tpi are available.  Could grind it to obtain the helix thread and braze that inside.  Would still have to flip the screw (if lucky and same as the nut thread) or replace the screw with new

or go to 1 1/2 in 4 or 5 tpi and have a bit more for the possibility of welding around the outer edge of the box.

The one vid I saw where someone use new acme rod just mig welded both the box nut and screw which from what I have read is not ideal for cast iron but did also read on one site that welding on edge was not as critical as repairing a crack at the center of a casting. 

Will report what I find out

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I will get a photo of the screw and box tomorrow.

doesn't look like anything in the area with a machinist program.

I should be able to do the fitment by hand.. would just take a lot more time.  Might be able to do some stuff at work on the mill like roughing a tenon on a screw rod or roughing down a nut (limited tools.. no rotary table so would be sketchy holding anything round in the vise)

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Hi Moose. I have seen some of the fab jobs people have posted.  It's pretty much like putting a new nut inside an old box.

Here is what it looks like cleaned up.  Square thread.  Last photo you can see the surface texture on the backside of the threads.  Looks similar to what I have seen on tapped threads but I guess it could be from the process if they were wrapped.






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That screw looks to be about the same size as the screw in a lally jack post. One of the jacks you see in old basements supporting the floor joists above. You may be able to scavenge the parts there. I'd look into it.


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  • 2 weeks later...

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