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At what price is this a deal?

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This thing has been hanging around on my local Facebook marketplace. She has come down $50 from $300. At what point is it a buy (i.e. what is it worth)?

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How wide are the jaws?   Unless the jaws are exceptionally wide I'd not spend over US$100 myself.  The last 5 I have bought in NM, recently, were all under $100 and we are a tool poor state.

Also about 80% of the price is in how good the screw and screw box are---those pictures are like selling a used car with body pictures without saying if the engine and transmission work.

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Thomas is dead right about the screw/box. I can only imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth of those who have discovered, after the sale, that their vise needs dentures. Lots of very sad stories have been tearfully told, right on this here Forum.

Looks like it may have had a rough life. And that is a premium price.

The weight, or jaw width, is a big factor. The spring is not  original equipment.

How long has it been for sale?  Is it nearby, so you will not lose out on a wasted trip to inspect & reject? Is Idaho Vise Poor?

Since I own 3 vises, it is worth much less to me than it might be to you.

I would reckon that the seller believes that this is a high-tone antique, while I believe it is a stick in the mud.

To answer your question directly, I would say $150, which the Crabby Old Geezers around here might say is a tad high. Good luck!B)

Robert Taylor

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Mr. Taylor,

has written the following, 

" … To answer your question directly, I would say $150, which the Crabby Old Geezers around here might say is a tad high..."

This old geezer 'thinks' it's very high.

SLAG.

 

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I paid a tad under$200 for mine. But it was from an antique store, part of the price. And it was already mounted to its own table or I wouldn't have paid that much for it. It's in much better shape than the one pictured. They are hard to come by here. Most you see are about like that one at the same prices. 

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Mr. SLAG, methinks, not the same pressure as paying for a glass of cool, crisp, water, whilst visiting Mars :rolleyes:

CGL, Donelly County, west of you, during WWII, had ONE Blacksmith (in Hedley). So,  almost Mars for post vises.

Still sparse nowadays according to my uncle, who continues to ring his father's 125# Sorceress.

Yes, you should definitely TPAA(PV)AT.

Robert Taylor

 

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Right before Christmas is a good time to trade $$$ to folks who have old stuff they are not using----of course, like many great deals,  that is predicated that you have $$$ to hand.

A58; are you assuming that only Blacksmiths used post vises?  And though Sears had been selling blacksmithing kits  under the slogan "Every Farmer Their Own Blacksmith" for nearly 50 years, nobody in Donelly County paid them any heed?  A lot if not most of my equipment has come from places that were NOT sole purpose  blacksmithing shops.

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From what I have seen since I began smithing, there doesn't seem to be much history of Blacksmithing in my area. I'm sure there used to be more farms, but most of what is around me is horse ranches. And a lot of them are selling out for that matter. I was looking at the board at the feed store last week, and there is only one farrier that had his card up there. That was kind of surprising

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9 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

A58; are you assuming that only Blacksmiths used post vises? 

Of course, Thomas, I am working on the thin presumption of my family history, the very sparse population of Donnelly (Hedley is a virtual ghost town), and my and CGL's poor prospects in locating such commodities.

There is a reasonable probability that I am mistaken. But there has always been a whole lot of >nothing< up that way. Great People though.

Robert Taylor

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I live about 15 miles from the town I grew up in. There is one machine shop that I can think of that's been there longer than I can remember. Maybe worth a shot to ask if they have  anything. Although, I'm not really actively looking for anything in particular since I got my anvil. Don't really know of any other places in neighboring counties, but I'm sure there are some places.

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I pay up to $10 per inch of jaw width. My last complete Columbian was $40, and it came from a wood shop.

Now having said that, in some areas that would have sold quickly at that price.

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Assuming that southern Idaho is not much different than Lewiston in pricing (and S Idaho is a big area so I'm not sure):

Paid $80 at an industrial auction for a reasonably good shape unbranded 4-1/2" plus there was a couple of other interesting minor things in the lot that were worth about $ 20.

Paid $ 175 for a very good shape unbranded 6" at the local antique mall.  I felt that was a little high but I was itching for it that day for some reason.  I had to dicker a bit to come down from a higher asking price.

And remember...completeness and wear level counts for a LOT in pricing these.  Missing bits and worn screws should really drop the value for a savvy buyer.  Leave those for the newbies who didn't think to do their research.

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One of the great things about being a smith is knowing whats and easy fix and what to be wary of.  Bent/truncated legs: easy.  Bent shafts: pretty easy. Jaws needing rework; not a problem.  Missing mounting brackets and spring---an easy Saturday at the forge.  Worn/damaged screw or screwbox---will cost more in time than buying a new vise! (I used to have a backup set from a vise that was trashed without damaging them, I think a dozer ran over it but missed the screw and screwbox somehow.  Ended up trading it as part of the deal for a 400+ pound Trenton as the owner had a vise with a bad set: 125 PW + screw and screwbox + US$100 for the Trenton---I had about $200 in the deal and everybody was happy!)

And the screw and screw box did wear/break---the 100+ year old Sears Roebuck catalogs sold replacement screws/screwboxes; not something they would waste catalog space on if there wasn't a strong market for them!  (They also cost about 1/2 the cost of buying another postvise!)

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Once again, you all are awesome for sharing your knowledge.  
 

 Kozzy: I’m near Twin Falls. I don’t see many of these around here. I’d love to be back up in the N. part of the state. I see stuff like this from tiny places like Troy or Lapwai all the time. 

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8 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Worn/damaged screw or screwbox---will cost more in time than buying a new vise!

 Most often true.  But a decent backyard machinist with a lathe could bump something off in an hour or two.

 It is both a buyers and sellers market right now.

 To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t give $50. When just I picked up a Record #5 for $30 Canadian. Or maybe $21USD

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Cutting that thread profile at that TPI?  Most backyard machinists wouldn't have the change gears for it!

If it was cheap and easy you would see some hit the market: pick up a vice/vise with a bad one, replace and resell!  In 38 years I have see only a couple of ones redone by a backyard machinist and they did not think it was a trivial task.

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13 hours ago, Matt Matt said:

a decent backyard machinist with a lathe could bump something off in an hour or two.

Matt Matt, heve you ever cut an internal square thread on a backyard machine? It is much easier to cut a 29° Acme than a square thread due to the compound feed advance rule. I have done that. Can not do that on a square thread (dimametric outfeed only).

Thomas, would you not think that the thread would be the easiest part? How difficult would it be to produce a one size fits all kit? Crank, journals, screwbox receiver profile in the vise body, dust cap....

It has been pointed out numerous times on this forum that the most efficient repair is is to buy the relatively inexpensive screw and nut set, and build from there.

Always ready to stand corrected -

Robert Taylor

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All sorts of little features bump up copying the originals---like the acorn on the end that the handle goes through---probably why some plain cylindrical ones are out there.

My favorite repair suggestion is the one where you take a house jack and fit the receiver section into the stationary jaw. Now I haven't done that as I tend to only buy vises/vices in good using shape.

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