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locating forging tools - post leg vise


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Howdy, folks - I hope you don't mind helping out a nonforger.  I am however an avid forger-supporter. 

I've seen the comments about online being the worst / most expensive way to acquire forging tools, descriptions of used tool hawkers bordering on charlatans, and I've seen the prices people are paying for the ones they've recently found.  How do the tools get advertised if not online?  I'd like to find a sound, functioning, forged leg vise as a gift for my forge-happy spouse.  The idea is it would immediately be put to use - making repairs is not a reasonable expectation at this point. The only requirements I've been given are 1. Forged, not cast and 2. Smooth jaw face. This would be the first post vise in the shop, and most of the projects run medium to large, which has me looking for 5"-6" jaws.  We're in north central TX.  Is there a chance of locating a new or used tool like this for a reasonable price within a 60-90 minute drive?  It doesn't have to be a deal I can brag about, I just don't want to get ripped off. 

How do I go about looking for available vises, new or used, if not online?  Thanks for any assistance pointing me in the right direction.

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1 hour ago, whensparksfly said:

north central TX

Welcome to IFI, we won't remember this once leaving this post, hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show it. We have a lot of Texas members here.

 There is a thread TPAAAT and If you substitute Leg Vise for anvil it really does work to find all kinds of blacksmithing tools.


Another way to find tools is to hook up with local blacksmithing clubs and spread the word among members. Local newspaper classifieds is another source, here we have 2 free paper's called the Ozark Horse Trader and Ozark Mountain Trader, see if there is something like that local. Another source would be Farriers check with them and their suppliers. I posted notes with my name & phone number for things I was looking for on local bulletin boards, at several grocery stores and found them.

There is the Tailgating section here to post wanted items, just read the rules for posting in that subforum.

There are several Blacksmithing supply companies who sell new leg vises also. The forum TOS prevents posting links to them but a Google search will bring them up.

BTW I like your screen name.:)


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Thanks for all of that, Irondragon!  Profile location is now updated - took me a long minute to spot where it went.

I've browsed Centaur (been looking for a while), but they sell a cast iron vise as opposed to forged. Since I've only got two requirements to meet, I'm trying to stick to them. I'll keep hunting through the online shops, though, if you're telling me that's not a bad way to go for new tools.  Like I said, I mostly want to ensure trustworthy quality for the price paid.

A bit embarrassed I hadn't thought of farrier groups, as often as they are mentioned on the forging sites, and I will happily read through the tailgating rules, add my vicarious wish list, and follow it up with reading that tpaaat thread.  I wonder why I didn't hit it in my searches previously. 

In person listings are complicated for me, but I can work on the local papers.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply and your prodigious assistance!

Also, thanks for the note - I am pleased with the name, too.  :)

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Actually the Kanka leg vise's are cast steel (not cast iron) a big difference, most new anvils are made from cast steel too. Got to admit that the price is a little steep since the most I have paid for a forged wrought iron leg vise (3 of them) is under a hundred dollars each.

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I recently found 5 leg vises; or actually they found me, by using the TPAAAT.  A person at our church needed to find storage space and one of their friends had storage space but it was being occupied by a huge mound of blacksmithing tools that were not being used for at least the last 25 years...Since the first person knew I did smithing and was always looking for equipment...

Unfortunately the post vises and hand crank blowers were the first stuff sold off to pay back the loan I took from our savings to buy the hoard. (All paid off now; so the stuff I wanted was *free*! 25# triphammer, cone mandrel, a couple of forges, and I still have some things to sell...)

People advertising stuff---trying to make money from selling it---do not have the best deals compared to people "trying to clear out a storage space."

Got a feed store anywhere near you?  Sometimes posting a "want ad" on their bulletin board can pay off.

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. I understand you probably aren't going to be a regular part of the gang but we highly encourage spousal units to buy tools and equipment for their significant others.

Smooth jaw faces aren't common even if the checkering has worn smooth-ish. The easy solution is "jaw slips", they are smooth covers that slip over the jaws to provide the gripping face needed. Angle iron cut a BIT longer than the width of the jaw, heated and the ends bent to form clips and hold the slip in place is one easy solution for damaged jaws. Other types are to protect textures or delicate materials being worked. These slips can be made from: aluminum, copper, zinc, wood, even leather. 

Be patient you'll find Mr. Lucky a good leg vise and if his luck holds it might be part of a smithing tool bundle with: hammers, top and bottom tools, tongs, forge, coal, hand tools, etc. Following Thomas's advice you're more likely to run across a hoard taking up space in a garage or barn, A neighbor of an Uncle of mine made me a take it or leave it deal and I air freighted a bit better than a ton to Alaska and paid for itself. Another was a retiring rail road smith and farrier I was introduced to by a neighbor, a guy I worked with. I'd been using the TPAAAT without knowing it. I can attest to it's effectiveness.

Oh as a stocking stuffer you could include a recommendation to subscribe to Iforgeiron. We're a friendly helpful bunch and take great pride in encouraging folks in the addiction.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks TwistedWillow, that is helpful to hear! Gives me a good range - and a reasonable cap for what I should probably expect.

Irondragon - I'm being told by the training smith in our house that steel is not desired unless it is... oh no, already forgot the term. Not cast exactly - forced into the mold rather than just poured in?  I'm going to keep up the hunt for a forged wrought iron vise, and keep trying to remember that word.

ThomasPowers - Congrats on the find!  I see your point with selling vs clearing space.  There is a feed store not too far from us, in fact. I'll see about posting there.  I also have a pickup at Tractor Supply later this week - I'm thinking that might be a good place, too?  My direct exposure has mostly been to woodworking shops and folk, but I'm asking around with them anyway, as it seems to have a lot of potential for overlap, and I've heard about this thing called TPAAAT...  ;)

Frosty - Thanks!!  That's useful to know about the jaw faces.  I'll share what you've told me and keep that in mind while I'm looking! The relatively new smith is a longtime woodworker, the tools for which have been made available to my less-skilled curiosity.  In both hobbies, the isolation I think is part of the appeal, though a good deal of pride shines through in sharing photographs of latest attempts with varying degrees of success.  I have already planted the seeds for this site, and extolled its helpfulness and approachability. Eventually, they may take root... I'm also sharing it with a friend who is being pulled along into forging.  He may show up sooner.


You guys are great.  :) 

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I’ve found vises,tools and machines around my area just by asking around, also another thing I do is sometimes I’ll offer to do clean outs and haul offs or help people move to their new place especially if they are moving off an old homestead or their new owners are wanting to clean up a old property they just bought. Either way you can find all kinds of tools cheap and get paid to do it. Just throwing out another idea that might help you find the vise your looking for.  

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I got mine from a member here who just happened to read a reply about the price I was finding locally. Gave me a great deal. Keep looking. You'll find one eventually. I still haven't located a local deal as good. Even with shipping it was only about a third of what people are asking locally. 


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