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Mellin

Rusted bench vise question

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I recently got a rusted together bench vise and was hoping that I could restore it to a somewhat usable condition.

The threaded portion spins with a little enticement however I don't believe the jaws are moving. The "hole" that the rod goes into doesn't look stripped out  but with the jaw rusted into the position it is  it doesn't make sense that the screw can be turned unless something else has given up the ghost also the vise does not rotate and there is a chip of the body missing to the left of the logo. Is this worth trying to muck around with.

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If it's your vise, I would first try to free up the stuck parts (PB Blaster, Kroil, half & half mixture of acetone and ATF fluid, or other solvent). Then do a total de-rusting with electrolysis. The acetone & ATF is probably the most effective solvent.

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So you are recommending trying to separate the parts of the vise then de rust 

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Yes....that way you are able to get into the small spaces. Disclaimer.. sometimes you have to remove some rust before things free up.

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The Majestic vises are a bit of collector items. If the screw is turning but the jaw doesn't move, the retainer washer is likely missing/stripped out. Not hard to make one though. What number is on the front jaw?

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I believe the number was 45. I saw a washer / bushing on the front jaw that was loose and wobbling but did not check inside the body. The the outside has not rusted terribly but the jaw seemed to be fused pretty well. 

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Here is a better picture, is the second one the retainer washer? I couldn't really find anything on the manufacturer online and it has a few imperfections (some one welded on the jaws where the inserts would go) but it is a nicely shaped vise. 

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There are many Youtube videos about "vise restoration". I saw several of these videos that address issues you referred. 

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On Monday, November 26, 2018 at 8:57 PM, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Looks like it is spread and some one welded it to the jaw on the bottom.

The washer was not welded just split the jaws are in pretty rough shape though. 

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So I am picking up the parts for an electrolysis tub that aren't laying around my shop but I had some questions some may be stupid.  The dynamic jaw is seized into the bottom quite well, should I try smacking the back of the slide with a 2x4 and sledge or get after it with an air hammer to try and drive it out. Upon reading about the electrolysis method of rust removal it is referred to as line of sight so I'm assuming that if I put the whole vise in the solution I would have a nice clean but still seized vise. how does a person recommend getting the dynamic jaw out?

As for making a new vise washer I have a few different types of steel laying around from flat mild steel to stuff like harrow blades, circular saw blades, bandsaw blades, I could even try to cut a portion of brake rotor out from the hub face, what kind of alloy would be recommended? 

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hi, my suggestion would be to pop your vice in a large polyethylene  (plastic) bag and add some vinegar say 2L /half a gal the cheap kind. now immerse your bagged vice in a large bucket of warm water. warming the acid(vinegar) will jump-start the process and the water displacement will mean that you need much less vinegar , leave it like that for a couple of days then take it out and powerwash. after this you should be able to strip and use electrolysis reusing the vinegar. Good luck 

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I got the electrolysis tub going and decided to try and take the other bolts out. I had good luck and will be able to keep most of the original hardware the only piece that I might need to replace is the bar that locks the vise in place, it was bent so I used a die grinder to take of the nub and pulled it through then made a custom socket with a channel in it to remove the nut. The bad news is that once I let the pressure off of the base a piece that was cracked off decided to let it's presence be known. Can/should that chunk be brazed or rig welded back on? I also built a spreader because when I was watching vise restoration videos I saw someone use one to get a vise unstuck however their model was a dovetail style and I didn't know if I could use that trick with mine. 

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When choosing what alloy you want to make a replacement part from: give a thought to if there is a future issue which part do you want to fail?

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Thomas your logic is undeniable,  the washer should be first to go. So i progressed on my vise project last night, i sat the vise in the electrolysis tank for an hour then before I was leaving the shop i pulled it out of the tank (as I don't want to leave it unattended) i could see that allot of the rust was gone already and wantedto see if it freedup at all. I tapped the whole vise on a block of wood concentrating the pressure on the end of the slide and it popped out. I'm going to have to read up on straightening the slide bar while I finish taking off the rest of the rust. 

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Mellin, it won't hurt to leave things in the electrolyte longer.  I leave some pieces overnight if they are heavily rusted.  If mostly light rust, maybe only few hours during the day so I can check it.

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Arkie my main concern was leaving an electrical appliance running without my supervision over night but say I was to disconnect the electricity, can I just leave it in the bucket with the electrolyte? 

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You can leave it in the bucket without being plugged in.  For times I'm not around the electrolysis process, I just set the container outside my shop on the ground or on a metal workbench when its plugged in.  You can put some non-flammable cover over it if you are concerned about rain, leaves, etc.  In fact, I do all my electrolysis outside on the ground.

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