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somber crow

Columbian Vise mounting bracket is weirdly big

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Hello,

I picked up this leg vise last week, and there's something weird about it and I can't tell if it's missing a piece. The sliding bracket has a huge gap in it, making it impossible for the spring to stay in place, or for it to be mounted right. It looks like the piece is all original steel (so it's probably not some weird modification), spare the spring which is a recently forged replacement it seems like. Wondering if anyone has any ideas what I should do. Wedge a thick piece of steel in there? Weld it? Just want to make sure there isn't something I'm overlooking here...

 

Thanks for your time! 

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Reverse your spring 180 degrees and try it again; it is possible you might be missing a wedge, but the spring needs to be rearranged first.

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You are missing either the keyed wedge or the locking wedge. I think the spring is in the right position. You can make a wedge easily just by cutting some metal with an angle grinder

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-blacksmith-leg-vise-mounting-1817677826

https://www.antiquesnavigator.com/d-3035601/blacksmith-legpost-vise-mounting-bracket-with-wedges.html

You can see here how this guy assembles his vice from minute 9:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91L6iIjgNV4

 

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Mental geometry is not my thing apparently; Looking again, I think the issue is lack of a wedge, not the spring orientation.

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you are missing the locking wedge. Your spring may be deformed.In your first pic, that spring section above the bracket should be flush with the vertical leg. the bottom of the spring is "U" shaped and should be around the movable leg

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Yeah I had been thinking of remaking that spring, every image I had looked at had springs with a different curve. Shouldn't be too hard.

Thank you all for the tips (and especially caotropheus for the images/video). I definitely agree I am missing a piece now. I should be able to get to it in the next day or two. I'll report back.

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The locking wedge is a two direction taper. Both in thickness and width

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On 7/5/2019 at 1:19 AM, Steve Shimanek said:

Reverse your spring 180 degrees and try it again; it is possible you might be missing a wedge, but the spring needs to be rearranged first.

I have several of these, it looks like you are missing the second wedge,  there should be one driven in from each side.  Look at the length of the slot in the mounting plate there should be enough room to fit in the second wedge.  

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Okay, so I more or less got it working. That spring was indeed too short, so I made one out of mild as more of a temp due to my current lack of spring steel, and it sort of bent when I used the vise anyways. And I forged the missing wedge that was suggested. However, even with the wedge fit as tightly as I could, the shackle still wouldn't stay tight at all, there was still about 1/4" of a gap. I ended up driving in a second, tiny wedge next to the spring, and that seems to lock it. Just might be hard to get out, but I'll find a way. I don't think it'll effect the way the vise works, but we'll see.

 

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Hah, very well. Here it is. Forged a new spring with better steel. It didn't sit quite where I wanted but it works fine. You can see the tiny wedge I had to add to better lock the mounting bracket. It still has a little side to side wobble, which I will figure out tomorrow. More wedges I guess. Hopefully it'll all stay together. Thanks again to everyone for the tips.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Rmartin2 said:

How about enlarge the U bracket slots and make a wider wedge for that?

NO, don't start cutting things you don't know how to make work. :huh: I know you're brainstorming the problem and it'd work but removing material or parts that can't be put back must be a last resort. Sometimes folk will try a last resort solution because it's the only thing they see that makes sense even if there are a number of better ones already suggested. Heck, making another bale isn't out of the question nor that tough a project so maybe widening the slots isn't that bad an idea in this case. Unfortunately it's an easy habit to get into. 

If dressing the U bracket (Bale I believe it's called) as IF&G suggests, just flatten the bottom of the U square doesn't bring it close enough to be tight just put a spacer between the spring and bale. Just bend a 90* tab like the top of the spring on piece of 1/4" thick stock just a bit loonger than the bale is wide. 

Slip the spacer over the bale between it and the spring, that should do the trick. OR you can do the same thing and put it between the spring and heel jaw. If one isn't enough do both.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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I see a several solutions. Enlarging the slots seemed like the easiest and one that hasn't been presented. Looking back you're right that hacking on an antique probably wasn't the best idea. Good call. 

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I think all of us with a leg vise has had this situation and widening the slots seems like such an easy fix. It's not so much a good call as having been there and being told how to fit the mounting bracket by someone else.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You could actually forge the top of the spring to resemble a strap hinge piece  with a barrel and doubled stock thickness. You don't need more than a slight Bump to keep the spring from working down.

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The vice is secured by simultaneously being secured by the mounting plate AND at the same time the bottom of the leg as to enter the ground or the base it is attached to for a couple of centimetres. If the bottom of the leg can freely move, the vice will always wobble...

take a look at this thread

 

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The wedge you made is a double taper. Thickness and width. Make two. They go in on top of each other and will hold your vice secure.

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