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I Forge Iron

Will this suffice as a post vise?


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For filing and LIGHT work that would be ok. But, it is not a post vise. It’s a vise on a stand and is most likely brittle cast iron.

Blacksmith’s post vises are wrought iron or steel, the fixed jaw’s leg is one piece all the way to the ground, with forge welded or riveted cheeks to support the moving jaw. They are made to take a beating. (My medium sized post vise has 4-1/2” jaws and is about 90lbs without a stand. I’ve upset 1” square in the vise with a 10lb sledgehammer. That is what they’re made to withstand.)

Too bad your not in my area, I’d sell you one of mine for that price…

Keep it fun,


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I agree.  A blacksmith uses a vise for hammering on and bending or twisting.  This means that it has to be secure and not move when subjected to those forces.  It can be anchored securely to an immovable object like a shop wall or have enough weight that it will not move in use.  If you had a 2 foot long piece of steel in the jaws of this vise and wanted to bend it you would have enough leverage to easily move the vise around.  So, it has it's uses but probably not optimum for blacksmithing.

BTW, one of the advantages of a post vise is that they usually have "fast" threads which means you can colse and open the jaws with fewer turns of the handle.  This lets you get hot metal into the vise, tighten the jaws down, and start hitting or bending or twisting more quickly than a machinist's vise.  Anything that lets you get to work faster on the metal before it cools whether it is laying out your tools where you can easily grab them or pre-positioning the vise jaws or being able to tighten the jaws faster is a good thing and means less work and fewer heats.

BTW, how do you like your new books?

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I commented on the books in my other thread instead of here.

How are future generations supposed to find these rare vises and what will be the alternative? Someone is going to have to step up and manufacture them again, surely.

Most of the post vises are getting hard to find and becoming increasingly worn, they'll be lost to time soon and frankly there aren't many options out there, if anything, but that blue Kanca post vise. Was the nail for instance, driven by the formation of the post vise or did it come before? The post vise seems as necessary as a forge and anvil though.

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That looks like a pretty robust vice. I have a Rock Island about that same size and she will take a heck of a beating, that does not mean however that you want to do that continually or with large stock. And as IDF&C pointed out $120 is pretty steep. 

There are manufactures still making post vices. 

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1 hour ago, Kooky said:

The post vise seems as necessary as a forge and anvil though

   According to who?  Are you just starting out?

  I'd at least haggle on it, you may be suprised.  No shop is complete without a heavey bench vise.  I suppose it depends on your budget, but I would not do without one.  The uses are endless.  

  But, I agree.  Not worth $120.  I'd give $50 for it and tell them you can keep the "stand".  You will have a heavey duty workbench to bolt it to at some point if you are intent on working metal.

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A 5 1/2" inch Wilton machinist vice is $900, which is basically a bench vice. So i would argue that for a new post vice $650 is a fair price. 

 A decent bench vice will serve. You cant beat the living daylights out of something on one but you can twist things and i use a small bench vice to hold a rivet header, so they will take a bit of a beating. I am not sure how old they are but i would also suspect saying you absolutely need a post vice is kind of like saying you absolutely need a London pattern anvil. In other words smiths got by with out one for a long, long time. 


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There were immense numbers of post vises out there in the day, Sears Roebuck catalogs from the 1900's had them in it! Over time most shops went to machinist vises and even the high dollar machinist vises like the Wilton bullet that will take a lot of abuse but cost the moon!  It's a lot like cars; new ones are very expensive but you can find used ones much cheaper.  Learning to judge a good one from a lemon is the trick.

When I was tooling up in the 1990's in Ohio; I ended up buying postvises as they were so much cheaper used than machinist vises. US$20-25 for a 4" gracile one and even 6" robustus vises were to be found for US$300.  With the bubble prices have soared; but the last robustus 5" I bought for my own use ran me $75; and that was within the last 5 years or so. (Quad-State)  I find that the more work I put into finding an item the cheaper I can generally find it at.

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Just starting out I’ve seen a lot of people use a bench vise till they found a post vise,

But that vise is way over priced, 

a decent used bench vise or post vise can be bought for that price in a lot better shape, 

Vaughns hope iron works is also a maker of new post vises,


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