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John Brooks post vise thread box repair


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I found this 6 in / 15.2 cm jaw John Brooks post vise in storage at a second hand shop two years ago. Weight 75lbs / 34kg, height 40 in / 102cm. The original threads were worn in the middle of the travel. I waited to find a replacement but all the vises available have been around the 4 inch mark. I decided to get the threads repaired but the guy at the engineering shop suggested a complete rebuild from fresh EN9 round stock. This is the result. I doubt I would have pursued this route if the vise was smaller. 

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Edited by Pegasus Forge
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3 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Wow that's some work there!  Interesting pivot on that vise too.  Was the screw and handle bulb all one piece on the one that was made? (Lots of lathe work!!!)

It is a fairly new vise from the information I can find on the internet. Manufactured around late 70s or early 80s somewhere in Europe so that would account for the new look pivot. Yes the screw and handle bulb were from one piece as far as I could gather from the guy. Yup there was a fair amount of lathe work and he mentioned that this was the first time he had done anything like this so it was a learning curve for him. His main work is manufacturing gears for the automotive sector. I just thought it would be of interest for people to see it can be done but I think cost wise it is only worth pursuing if the vise is large. I did get it with a smaller 4 inch Stourbridge vise and together they cost less than the current going rate for a 4 inch vise.

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Oh MY!:o How many hours of lathe time is there invested in your vise? I don't know about S A but in Alaska you could buy a pretty nice new vise for the money. Still that baby is BEAUTIFUL! I'd be tempted to make a side table for my easy chair.

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 minute ago, Frosty said:

Oh MY!:o How many hours of lathe time is there invested in your vise? I don't know about S A but in Alaska you could buy a pretty nice new vise for the money. Still that baby is BEAUTIFUL! I'd be tempted to make a side table for my easy chair.

Frosty The Lucky.

When I picked it up, he said he had worked on it for about 2 weeks in between other work. Prices for vises, 4 to 5 inch, here in SA have become ridiculous as people have become fans of FIF. I originally bought the 2 vises for less than the current price of a 4 inch vise. So the 6 inch was effectively free. The chap at the second hand shop classified them as old farm vises with no mention of blacksmithing. The money spent repairing the 6 inch is slightly more than the current price for a 4 inch. As I mentioned it is a delicate dance deciding whether to pursue a repair or wait in the hopes that you find another threaded section which may or may not be usable.

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There is something about the big vises/vices; there was a large one in my recently acquired hoard and it's on my keep list even though I have several of them already. It too has some screw wear; but I think I will wear out before it does. BTW that seems a lot of wear for a newer vice?

Back in the 1990's the going rate for a 4" postvise in central Ohio, USA was US$20-25.  I've owned quite a few of them and generally upgraded as I found larger ones at a good rate.  With FiF I wish I had kept every last one of them to support me in my old age!  (I told myself to only own 10 at a time and sold on the rest.)  Currently I have a large and small one on two work benches (4), plus a large one fastened to the shop structure for heavy work (5), a small one for travelling demo's (6), a tiny very old one--just because! (pre-1800) (7), 2 small loaners (9), a large one I am mounting in the center of the new extension with a gazinta in the floor; so I can run a long piece of stock around it (10) and the one from the hoard (11).  (Loaners as I keep getting students who can't seem to find stuff cheap like I can.)

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I agree, the amount of wear on a relatively new vise does seem excessive. I guess I don't know who used it or what is was used for or whether the original metal used was any good. Could it be that the threaded section was not from this vise and someone had swopped it out for another vise in order to get the other vise usable? I will never know. 

I see I have a long way to go before I get any where near your level of tool preservation :)

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Ohio, USA in the 1990's was the happy hunting grounds for blacksmithing stuff.  It had been heavily settled in the 1800s and so had lots of farms and lots of industry and supported a lot of smiths.  As farms changed to larger farms or suburbia and industries modernized/went out of business all that stuff was available for folks willing to dig around for it.   I had a job that allowed me to go to the local fleamarket 3 days a week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) and the fleamarket was close.  I also seem to have a talent for finding stuff...My original plan was to take early retirement and open a smithing business/school. Getting adult onset juvenile diabetes and laid off in the dot com bust put an end to those plans; but I had already tooled up. So here I am today---way too many tools and way too little time.  With luck I can retire in a couple of years and enjoy the rust! (I also have 8 grandkids and so need to have enough to give them each a full set up if they want it.)

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