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I Forge Iron

Wagon Tongue Vise


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I just bought this Civil War era ??  wagon tongue vise. others I have seen like this are described as being from that era,  so that's what I'm guessing.. I knew what it was when I saw it and ended up paying $72.00 for it at a small local on-line auction.. now to take it apart and clean it and straighten the handle.



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I bought a hammer at the flea market it looks just like one on a roman tombstone and I know they used them back then so it must be 2000 years old right?

What  you need to document is when the last ones were made/used and then you know that they must be earlier. Now I checked in the 1897, 1905 and 1908 Sears Roebuck catalogs and they were not shown; Didn't find a mention in a quick scan through all 4 volumes of Practical Blacksmithing, (1889,1890, 1891) so we're getting closer.

 David Einhorn has documented them to the 1850's and civil war years--see his book on Civil War Blacksmithing.

But we still don't have a start or end date!  Check your vise to see if it has an iron city stamp on it just for curiosity...

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Well a small update.. I picked it up a day early ! so far I straightened the handle, got most of the nuts to loosen and turn ( pivot bolt turns a touch so far and is soaking ) jaw opens a couple inches so far and is soaking at the pivot bolt and cheeks.. screw & Box look really good and has old grease.. I'll see more tomorrow after soaking over night to see how much more movement I've gained..  oh..  the jaws are a little over 3 3/4" wide but not quite 4" … more to come once I get it apart and wire wheel it all..

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