and restoring old tools often require a bench vise.
The one I have been using until now has been
adequate, but I have been looking for a bigger, heavier tool.
Several weeks ago I found the vise pictured below at an estate
sale and bought it for a very reasonable sum. The eggbeater will
be fodder for a future article.
This vise and eggbeater were found at an
The first step in any rehab or restoration is
disassembly. The vise was completely disassembled and all parts
were degreased and de-rusted. You can use your favorite methods
for this process. I like Evapo Rust for small parts like screws
brackets, and clamps. For larger parts I prefer electrolysis,
but the major castings for this vise were very big and very
heavy so I opted for sandblasting.
The main vise castings after sandblasting.
The pic above shows the vises main castings
after sandblasting in my media blast cabinet. Now the flaws came
to light. The replaceable jaw on the moveable jaw base had been
broken and welded and welded into the casting. This made
restoration far more work than the vise was worth as a
collectible. So it was decided a rehab was in order. This would
take the vise from “boat anchor” to useable tool.
After sandblasting the welds on the moveable jaw were ground
smooth with an angle grinder. The jaw on the fixed jaw mount was
also ground with the angle grinder to clean it up.
The castings were then masked and spray painted a light gray.
This color was chosen because that is what I had enough of.
The vises main castings after painting.
After the paint set up I put the castings together to see how
the jaws came together. As expected they were not a close fit as
they should be. The jaws should come together tightly with no
gaps anywhere along their length and top to bottom.
Normally I would file the jaw fit, but because
of the welding these jaws were a terrible fit. It would require
removal of about 1/16″ of steel. This could be done with the
angle grinder and various files, but I had a better way.