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269445 Kirk Eppler 2019‑11‑25 Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Gathered Galoots

Couple of years back, I bought a Reed 203-1/2 vise (swivel base, 3-1/2"
jaws, 38#) for cheap, relatively clean by Coastside standards, very little
rust. I thought it was ready to use as it worked ok after giving it a bit
of lube.  Mounted it to an existing cabinet, with an extra layer of 3/4"
plywood under the top for added strength.  Didn't use or abuse it much,
tapping a backsaw plate into its back after retoothing and resharpening was
the highlight of interest to this group.  Cutting metal shapes, PVC pipe
etc, no real stress on the vise.

But, it seemed like every time I wanted to use it for a large opening job,
the mechanism was sticky, so I'd put a drop or two of oil on it, in a
couple of spots, and it would be fine, until the next job.   I had joined
Garage Journal a while back, and took advantage of their accumulated
expertise.  Took the vise apart, but had to wait for a Drag Link Socket
(giant 1-1/4" screwdriver) to get the swivel apart, probably the toughest
part of the job.  While the outside of the vise looked reasonably clean and
happy, the inside was gross.  I think the previous owner lubed it regularly
while it was in use, but never cleaned out the accumulated crud beforehand.
After I took the slide out and exposed the screw, I was using a cold chisel
to scrape goo off that had the consistency of soft asphalt, or old roofing
tar.  Similarly with the swivel and the main nut, lots of dried grossness.

Once it was all apart, I soaked it in Simple Green, piece by piece, until
everything was reasonably clean.  The black paint had bits of red under it,
and a more uniform coat of grey paint under that, guessing the original
color.  Couple of pieces got an initial soak to clean up the gross
underside, and subsequent soaks of the whole piece weren't enough to remove
the ring where the air liquid interface was.  Kinda bummed about that, as I
didn't plan on repainting it, but simply giving it a quick coat of BLO.

The back end of the slide had been hammered on at various times in its
previous life, so I took a few passes with a couple of different files to
even out the dings, remove some sharp edges, etc., but I didn't try to take
it back to new smoothness.  It has a production date of 157 (older than
me), stamped on both jaws, and an E and L stamped into the fixed and moving
jaws respectively, but no idea what they mean.

The main handle was bent into a shallow S, the swivel into an old style J.
Got them both straight enough, but not quite perfect.

The whole thing, except for mating surfaces (where the jaw slides, or the
swivel pivots), all got BLO, even the innards, to prevent rust in my oh so
dry environment.  I used a pair of 500W halogen lamps, and a portable hot
air source to warm things up post SG bath, and pre and post BLO application
to try to speed the drying process.

Things I learned at GJ included removing the retaining collar for the main
screw with a small drift, using Simple Green as a paint remover, types of
grease to use, how to safely straighten handles, and other fun goodies.
 Also that my existing little Craftsman 4" vise is a joke, but I suspected
that already.

Here is a before pic
https
://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Mechanic-Tools/Reed-2035-Vise-Rehab/

And here is an after, not much visible difference.  But it works with one
finger through the whole 6" + opening, both opening and closing. The
dynamic jaw wiggles a bit over the throw, but not too bad.
https://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Mechanic-Tools/Reed-2035-Vise-Rehab/i-bKHS32T

The biggest disappointment (bigger than the bathtub ring) is the finish on
the main screw handle, and the swivel lock system.  I suspect they may have
been chromed at some time in their life, but the resulting surface after
cleaning was disappointing. I tried various spinning demon wire wheels,
which resulted in minimal improvement, as did Simichrome.  I may try cold
gun bluing later if it still bugs me.

For those who want the details on all the grossness that was cleaned out,
check out the interim pix.
https://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Mechanic-Tools/Reed-2035-Vise-Rehab/i-gsfqbzh

Total time for this project, under 2 months.  Total working hours?, let's
not talk about that in polite company please.
-- 
Kirk Eppler in Half Moon Bay, CA, who has another saw plate to put back,
once I make new wooden jaws for the vise.
269446 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2019‑11‑25 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Looks like a winner now - of course it looked like a winner before.

Ed Minch

> On Nov 25, 2019, at 11:16 AM, Kirk Eppler via OldTools  wrote:
> 
> 
> Couple of years back, I bought a Reed 203-1/2 vise (swivel base, 3-1/2"
> jaws, 38#) for cheap, relatively clean by Coastside standards, very little
> rust.

Ed Minch
200 Radcliffe Dr
Chestertown MD 21620
269447 Chuck Taylor 2019‑11‑25 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Kirk,

Very nice rehab job! I'm impressed! I wouldn't have thought that there would be
so much to clean up in a vise!

You mentioned getting it to work a bit better after some lubrication. But the
major part of your restoration appears to be un-doing years of improper
lubrication. That raises a question in my mind:  What's the most appropriate
lubricant for a vise, and how should it be applied?

Chuck Taylor
north of Seattle
269448 "yorkshireman@y..." <yorkshireman@y...> 2019‑11‑25 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Can’r speak exactly for vices, but powdered graphite make a mighty good
lubricant for metal on metal.  I use it exclusively on the threads of a chuck
(circular vice-like thing Paddy)  that self tightens when in use spinning big
chunks of timber against me digging in a gouge .
I used to curse at the way it tightened up, but avoided any oil, especially on
the scroll and jaws, becasue that would get thrown off at me, and into the work.
Graphite is my friend for that job.

Richard Wilson
Yorkshireman Galoot
269449 Kirk Eppler 2019‑11‑25 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
This is pretty true.   Graphite is a great lube, as Yorkshireman says, when
you don't want it all over you or things nearby.  Lock cylinders work well
with graphite, keeps oil out of your pocket.

Most any lube will work for a vise, it isn't too picky.  But the
accumulation of crud (sawdust, swarf, metal grit) in the grease is the
problem. I used bicycle dry chain lube on the bottom of the slide and its
mating surface.  For the screw and the swivel plate and its screw, I used
white lithium grease, as these are pretty well protected from dust.  The
main screw in the movable jaw got some 3 in 1 oil, as there is a port on
the right front for that, and I suspect will need occasional refreshing..
In the back of the slide, just visible in the after picture, is a hole
where some grease could be gotten to the screw, if you had a long nosed
dispenser.

In heavy use, it is suggested to disassemble and clean and re-lube a vise
annually.  I should be good for another 30 years before I need to do it
again, unless I start doing a bunch of metal work, creating metal dust, etc.

On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 9:36 AM yorkshireman@y... <
yorkshireman@y...> wrote:

> Can’r speak exactly for vices, but powdered graphite make a mighty good
> lubricant for metal on metal.  I use it exclusively on the threads of a
> chuck (circular vice-like thing Paddy)  that self tightens when in use
> spinning big chunks of timber against me digging in a gouge .
> I used to curse at the way it tightened up, but avoided any oil,
> especially on the scroll and jaws, becasue that would get thrown off at me,
> and into the work.  Graphite is my friend for that job.
>
>
> > On 25 Nov 2019, at 17:01, Chuck Taylor via OldTools <
> oldtools@s...> wrote:
>
> > You mentioned getting it to work a bit better after some lubrication.
> But the major part of your restoration appears to be un-doing years of
> improper lubrication. That raises a question in my mind:  What's the most
> appropriate lubricant for a vise, and how should it be applied?
>
> --
Kirk Eppler in HMB, catching up on posts.
269450 Matt Cooper <MaNoCooper@l...> 2019‑11‑25 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Nice job. Been looking for something similar off and on. I have quite a few like
your craftsman.



Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S10.



-------- Original message --------
From: Kirk Eppler via OldTools 
Date: 11/25/19 11:27 (GMT-05:00)
To: Tools Old , BA Galoots 
Subject: [OldTools] Mechanic's Vise Rehab

Gathered Galoots

Couple of years back, I bought a Reed 203-1/2 vise (swivel base, 3-1/2"
jaws, 38#) for cheap, relatively clean by Coastside standards, very little
rust. I thought it was ready to use as it worked ok after giving it a bit
of lube.  Mounted it to an existing cabinet, with an extra layer of 3/4"
plywood under the top for added strength.  Didn't use or abuse it much,
tapping a backsaw plate into its back after retoothing and resharpening was
the highlight of interest to this group.  Cutting metal shapes, PVC pipe
etc, no real stress on the vise.

But, it seemed like every time I wanted to use it for a large opening job,
the mechanism was sticky, so I'd put a drop or two of oil on it, in a
couple of spots, and it would be fine, until the next job.   I had joined
Garage Journal a while back, and took advantage of their accumulated
expertise.  Took the vise apart, but had to wait for a Drag Link Socket
(giant 1-1/4" screwdriver) to get the swivel apart, probably the toughest
part of the job.  While the outside of the vise looked reasonably clean and
happy, the inside was gross.  I think the previous owner lubed it regularly
while it was in use, but never cleaned out the accumulated crud beforehand.
After I took the slide out and exposed the screw, I was using a cold chisel
to scrape goo off that had the consistency of soft asphalt, or old roofing
tar.  Similarly with the swivel and the main nut, lots of dried grossness.

Once it was all apart, I soaked it in Simple Green, piece by piece, until
everything was reasonably clean.  The black paint had bits of red under it,
and a more uniform coat of grey paint under that, guessing the original
color.  Couple of pieces got an initial soak to clean up the gross
underside, and subsequent soaks of the whole piece weren't enough to remove
the ring where the air liquid interface was.  Kinda bummed about that, as I
didn't plan on repainting it, but simply giving it a quick coat of BLO.

The back end of the slide had been hammered on at various times in its
previous life, so I took a few passes with a couple of different files to
even out the dings, remove some sharp edges, etc., but I didn't try to take
it back to new smoothness.  It has a production date of 157 (older than
me), stamped on both jaws, and an E and L stamped into the fixed and moving
jaws respectively, but no idea what they mean.

The main handle was bent into a shallow S, the swivel into an old style J.
Got them both straight enough, but not quite perfect.

The whole thing, except for mating surfaces (where the jaw slides, or the
swivel pivots), all got BLO, even the innards, to prevent rust in my oh so
dry environment.  I used a pair of 500W halogen lamps, and a portable hot
air source to warm things up post SG bath, and pre and post BLO application
to try to speed the drying process.

Things I learned at GJ included removing the retaining collar for the main
screw with a small drift, using Simple Green as a paint remover, types of
grease to use, how to safely straighten handles, and other fun goodies.
 Also that my existing little Craftsman 4" vise is a joke, but I suspected
that already.

Here is a before pic
https
://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Mechanic-Tools/Reed-2035-Vise-Rehab/

And here is an after, not much visible difference.  But it works with one
finger through the whole 6" + opening, both opening and closing. The
dynamic jaw wiggles a bit over the throw, but not too bad.
https://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Mechanic-Tools/Reed-2035-Vise-Rehab/i-bKHS32T

The biggest disappointment (bigger than the bathtub ring) is the finish on
the main screw handle, and the swivel lock system.  I suspect they may have
been chromed at some time in their life, but the resulting surface after
cleaning was disappointing. I tried various spinning demon wire wheels,
which resulted in minimal improvement, as did Simichrome.  I may try cold
gun bluing later if it still bugs me.

For those who want the details on all the grossness that was cleaned out,
check out the interim pix.
https://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Mechanic-Tools/Reed-2035-Vise-Rehab/i-gsfqbzh

Total time for this project, under 2 months.  Total working hours?, let's
not talk about that in polite company please.
--
Kirk Eppler in Half Moon Bay, CA, who has another saw plate to put back,
once I make new wooden jaws for the vise.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OldTools is a mailing list catering to the interests of hand tool
aficionados, both collectors and users, to discuss the history, usage,
value, location, availability, collectibility, and restoration of
traditional handtools, especially woodworking tools.

To change your subscription options:
https://old
tools.swingleydev.com/mailman/listinfo/oldtools

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ve/faq.html

OldTools archive: https://swingleydev.com/
ot/

OldTools@s...
269451 Paul Gardner <yoyopg@g...> 2019‑11‑25 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Very nice restoration and summation there Kirk!  The thing looks great.
Should you ever require it, I'm pretty sure you can replace the jaws.  My
dad replaced the jaws on the Prentiss that Michael scored for him and the
thing is glorious.

Nicely done.

-Paul, in SF

On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 8:17 AM Kirk Eppler via Ba-galoots <
ba-galoots@l...> wrote:
269456 "Ed O'" <edo@e...> 2019‑11‑26 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
I really like White Lithium Crayons like this for vises:

https://www.amazo
n.com/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=w
hite+lithium&qid=1574771067&sr=8-35

It is not sticky and will not trap dust or other filings. Just rub the end along
the thread and any wear points.  It is essentially white lithium grease in a wax
binder.

Ed O'

-----Original Message-----

Kirk,

That raises a question in my mind:  What's the most appropriate lubricant for a
vise, and how should it be applied?

Chuck Taylor
north of Seattle
269458 Michael Suwczinsky <nicknaylo@g...> 2019‑11‑26 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
I've had a tube of white lithium grease in the shop for years and years
now, mostly to lubricate things I want the grease to stick to, as opposed
to bearings and such that get oil. Didn't know about the sticks, and will
look for them next time the local ACE hardware calls (which is at least
weekly-;-)

On Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 4:41 AM Ed O'  wrote:

> I really like White Lithium Crayons like this for vises:
>
>
> https://www.ama
zon.com/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords
=white+lithium&qid=1574771067&sr=8-35
>
> It is not sticky and will not trap dust or other filings. Just rub the end
> along the thread and any wear points.  It is essentially white lithium
> grease in a wax binder.
>
> Ed O'
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> Kirk,
>
> That raises a question in my mind:  What's the most appropriate lubricant
> for a vise, and how should it be applied?
>
> Chuck Taylor
> north of Seattle
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> OldTools is a mailing list catering to the interests of hand tool
> aficionados, both collectors and users, to discuss the history, usage,
> value, location, availability, collectibility, and restoration of
> traditional handtools, especially woodworking tools.
>
> To change your subscription options:
> > https:/
/oldtools.swingleydev.com/mailman/listinfo/oldtools
>
> To read the FAQ:
> > https://swingleydev.com/a
rchive/faq.html
>
> > OldTools archive: https://swingleydev.
com/ot/
>
> OldTools@s...
>


-- 
Michael
269460 "Ed O'" <edo@e...> 2019‑11‑26 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
I find it in the Automotive section at my local Ace for use on car door hinges
and latches I assume.  Ace website says it is $1.99.

 

Ed O’

 

From: Michael Suwczinsky [mailto:nicknaylo@g...
] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:11 PM
To: Ed O' 
Cc: Chuck Taylor ; Kirk Eppler ; porch

Subject: Re: [OldTools] Mechanic's Vise Rehab

 

I've had a tube of white lithium grease in the shop for years and years now,
mostly to lubricate things I want the grease to stick to, as opposed to bearings
and such that get oil. Didn't know about the sticks, and will look for them next
time the local ACE hardware calls (which is at least weekly-;-)

 

On Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 4:41 AM Ed O' mailt
o:edo@e...> > wrote:

I really like White Lithium Crayons like this for vises:

https://www.amazon.com
/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-
Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=white+lithium <https://www.amazon.c
om/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=whit
e+lithium&qid=1574771067&sr=8-35> &qid=1574771067&sr=8-35

It is not sticky and will not trap dust or other filings. Just rub the end along
the thread and any wear points.  It is essentially white lithium grease in a wax
binder.
269461 gtgrouch@r... 2019‑11‑26 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Another nifty item I never knew about, Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone - or at least to everyone who celebrates
it, Gary K

	-----------------------------------------From: "Ed O" 
To: "Michael Suwczinsky"
Cc: "porch"
Sent: Tuesday November 26 2019 12:49:30PM
Subject: Re: [OldTools] Mechanic's Vise Rehab

I find it in the Automotive section at my local Ace for use on car
door hinges and latches I assume. Ace website says it is $1.99.

 Ed O’

 From: Michael Suwczinsky [mailto:nicknaylo@g..
.] 
 Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:11 PM
 To: Ed O' 
 Cc: Chuck Taylor ; Kirk Eppler ; porch 
 Subject: Re: [OldTools] Mechanic's Vise Rehab

 I've had a tube of white lithium grease in the shop for years and
years now, mostly to lubricate things I want the grease to stick to,
as opposed to bearings and such that get oil. Didn't know about the
sticks, and will look for them next time the local ACE hardware calls
(which is at least weekly-;-)

 On Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 4:41 AM Ed O'  wrote:

 I really like White Lithium Crayons like this for vises:

 https://www.amazon.com
/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-
Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=white+lithium
[1]  [2] &qid=1574771067&sr=8-35

 It is not sticky and will not trap dust or other filings. Just rub
the end along the thread and any wear points. It is essentially white
lithium grease in a wax binder.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
 OldTools is a mailing list catering to the interests of hand tool
 aficionados, both collectors and users, to discuss the history,
usage,
 value, location, availability, collectibility, and restoration of
 traditional handtools, especially woodworking tools.

 To change your subscription options:

 OldTools archive: 

Links:
------
[1]
https://www.amazon.com
/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-
Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=white+lithium
[2]
https://www.amazo
n.com/Lith-Ease-Grease-Stick-Lithium-Carded/dp/B00JG3IG4O/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=w
hite+lithium&qid=1574771067&sr=8-35>
269462 James DuPrie <jbn.duprie@g...> 2019‑11‑26 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
I've always just used beeswax. Rub it on whenever It seems to need it....
I guess it probably DOES collect up a bit of spoo over time, but its soft
enough that it doesn't seem to be a problem...

-J
269463 scott grandstaff <scottg@s...> 2019‑11‑26 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
Wow what is it? A virus?
Old vises breaking out all over?

I was glad to see the others posted.
That little quick adjust is a ringer!

A neighbor of mine practically made me take a vise last month.
It cleaned up pretty well. Its a Rock Island.
Little ol 6", can't weight much over 125 pounds.
http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/oldtools/rockisla
ndvise2.JPG

I find once you get it clean, anything will lubricate a vise.
  Anything except for, too much of anything.
       As long its only a bit of lube, seldom applied, its fine.
      yours scott



-- 
*******************************
    Scott Grandstaff
    Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca  96039
    scottg@s...
    http://www.snowcrest.n
et/kitty/sgrandstaff/
    http://www.snowcr
est.net/kitty/hpages/index.html
269469 Bill Ghio 2019‑11‑27 Re: Mechanic's Vise Rehab
> On Nov 26, 2019, at 4:55 PM, scott grandstaff  wrote:
> 
> Wow what is it? A virus?
> Old vises breaking out all over?
> A neighbor of mine practically made me take a vise last month.
> It cleaned up pretty well. Its a Rock Island.
> Little ol 6", can't weight much over 125 pounds.
> http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/oldtools/rockis
landvise2.JPG

Since we are showing off our vices…

This is on what I call my metal working bench:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/77280442@N.../49133401547/in/dateposted/

It is a Rock Island #534:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/77280442@N.../49133401547/in/photostream/

The bench - https://www.flickr.com/photos/77280442@N.../49133401547/in/photost
ream/  — is solid maple. Been in the family since the early 1950’s. My dad
told me it came off of a WWII Navy Destroyer that was being broken up in a
shipyard in San Diego. Dad was a Chief Engineer in the San Diego tuna fleet and
spent a good deal of time in the shipyards scavenging "stuff”. I got the bench
about 1975 and have moved it a few times. It has been used and abused over the
years, but I won’t part w/ it. Just too useful always having that big vise
handy.

Bill

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