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Threads finally stripped on old Iron City vice. How to repair?


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Unfortunately, my old vice will no longer tighten down on things thinner than 1". Appears the threads are stripped... in the female piece.

This was my fathers vice (1914-1993) passed down from his father (1882-1959). I used it a lot on our family farm in the 70s and 80s, and tons in the last 18 years.

Not sure how old it is but it's an essential tool for my needs. It is also a very sentimental and special piece to me. I'm sure hoping it can be fixed!

Before I take it to a machine shop to ask.... do any of you have any advice?

Thanks!

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I have often wondered if you could weld a coil spring inside. I’ve read that at one time threads were not cut. They were made by welding or brazing a coil spring to serve as threads. 
 

Mainly I just posted to make this thread (NPI B)) easier for me to find later. I know threads in the first vises were not cut, but have no real idea how they got the coils attached and functioning. 

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I'd say a screw jack is the easiest repair. Chances are you can find one pretty quickly for a lot less than it would cost for a machine shop to do the repair. However, it you want to keep the original handle and back of the screwbox, using new acme thread might be the way to go.

One thing to keep in mind with new acme thread is the threads per inch compared to the original square thread. All acme thread I've seen from McMaster Carr or similar has more threads per inch than the original, so you will need to turn the handle more times to travel the same distance in exchange for higher clamping force at a given torque.

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The very simplest thing to do is to make some removeable vise jaws to narrow the jaw opening without having to get into the stripped area of the screw. You could either have a 1" inch jaw on one side or a pair of 1/2" jaws that go on either side. If the stock is 1" thick or less, pop them in, put in your workpiece, and clamp down. If the stock is over 1", pop them out.

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5 hours ago, JHCC said:

The very simplest thing to do is to make some removeable vise jaws to narrow the jaw opening without having to get into the stripped area of the screw. You could either have a 1" inch jaw on one side or a pair of 1/2" jaws that go on either side. If the stock is 1" thick or less, pop them in, put in your workpiece, and clamp down. If the stock is over 1", pop them out.

Great idea. Thanks!

Thanks to the other posters as well. Appreciated.

 

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If it was in my shop I would just machine a new screw and a screw box.    Having the luxury of a full machine shop in the back yard opens up numerous capabilities.  Plus  a stash of steel upwards of 3000 pounds gives me the material.

Some creative fabrication and welding would reduce the time in the lathe and milling machine.

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This 147 pounder I found on Craigs list a few years ago.  In excellent shape except for the hinge bolt for the front jaw.   It was rusted in for some reason and a previous owner had pounded on it with a maul, complicating the problem.  

 

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Set it up on the vertical mill.

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Wacked off the stub with the sawz all

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Progressive drilling

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New square head bolt with square nut.  Everything went back together well lubricated and greased.

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On 10/20/2020 at 12:04 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Thicker thrust washers would accomplish the same thing.  I'd suggest adding one to the handle end as the key of the screwbox is a necessary part of the system.

 

Dang! Wish I would have thought of that or seen this post before. I ended up taking it to a shop that did the same thing shown in the video above. The guy did a nice job for me... but it's not original... and it cost me $187. Hope it lasts me the rest of my days, as it did for my grandfather and father.

Thx to everyone for the most helpful posts!

Cheers!

On 10/21/2020 at 8:38 PM, John R said:

If it was in my shop I would just machine a new screw and a screw box.

Very nice shop! I'm envious!!

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