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I don't want to get kicked off the site so I thought I would ask. I've already ground on this and I'm thinking of welding either some heavy angle iron on or I have some wagon wheel if that would be better. It just doesn't hold material the way it should. 

Thanks 

20201004_142430.jpg

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Well someone may come along and disagree with me, but the way I see it, a leg vise is primarily a Blacksmiths tool.  A machinist's vise is more suited to bladesmithing.  The leg vise's jaws don't come together completely perfectly like a machinists bench vise.  Two different vises for two different purposes.  Just my take on the matter.

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Well,  first I'd say, what is the way it should hold material ?   Second,  it's your vise.  So do whatever you want with it.   I doubt you'll be kicked off this forum for modifying your own property.    Vise's are meant to be used, and I've only seen a couple examples of ones to be fawned over.  Leg vises do work different than a machinist vise as Chris has mentioned, so it really depends on what you are aiming for.   If you want to modify your vise,  you can go ahead with the angle iron, but you need not weld it in place.    You could just set them in the vise and have them removable.  You can drill/tap holes and bolt them into the existing jaws if you really want to, but I don't think that it is necessary to add bolt on removable jaws like most other modern vise's have.   Under pressure, angle iron will sit just fine.  Just like some smiths throw in copper angled iron in the jaws so the work is not dented from the steel/iron jaws of the vise.    Or you could seek out another vise.  I've found good deals at swap meets,  if those exist anymore.    I've got lot's of vise's in different sizes.   Can't have to many, right ?

 

In the end, do what you want.  You can even build your own vise without too much difficulty.  Really not much more than just angled steel and a screw.

 

I spent 10 years searching for a good blacksmith's post vise because I've always wanted one.    I found two of them at a local swap meet a few months apart.  Had them for a about 3 years, and they are still sitting under my table, unused.  No room to mount them anywhere useful. 

 

Built my own, and it works well and does what I want it to...  Based on the Snediker vise:

 

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/a2/60/8b/fa6ce135662175/US699585-drawings-page-1.png

 

NewVise1.JPGNewVise2.JPGNewVise3.JPG

 

Just make sure it works for you, whatever you decide to do.

Edited by Bruno
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What they said.  That's going to have steel faces inside the jaws, the rest is wrought iron and will be hard to get a good weld on.  How exactly is it annoying you?

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Thank you very much for your input gentlemen. Chris I'm not expecting machinist quality just sometimes I fight to get a good grip on material the jaws are beat up on the inside as well. Bruno that vise looks heavy and I bet you could really crank it down tight with that long bar. I like your removable angle iron idea I'll probably try that first. Alan I'll give an example yesterday I was knocking the handle out of a hammer and had to keep adjusting every couple hits. Maybe I'm expecting to much. That's great information on the steel and wrought iron. 

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7 minutes ago, Gilbert McCann said:

I was knocking the handle out of a hammer and had to keep adjusting every couple hits.

 

 

Is the screw worn out?

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If you try the Jaw inserts you'll find that its far faster and easier a fix than welding grinding or even brazing parts onto these older vises. Leg vises grip by a pinch rather than a lateral squeeze so when using inserts that are above a 1/4 inch they don't grip as well if you don't have the stock fully in the jaws.

 

However rusty old angle iron works well, and copper jaws will help on nor scaring something you don't want to leave a mark on. Other tooling to do with these vises are also little spacers so that you don't rack the jaws.  Leg vises usually have a little bit of play in the jaws from age and ware.  But you will find this helpful at times when holding something with a little taper to it held in the length of the jaws.

 

Your vise looks like it's in a very fair condition any of them found with the original worm gear and screw is a true find.

Edited by Daniel W
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2 hours ago, Gilbert McCann said:

knocking the handle out of a hammer

 

For this i'd just rest the hammer head on top of the jaws and drive the handle out through the jaws, no clamping required.  Just using the vise as a support for hammering, which is pretty much what these were designed to do.  I can also attest to Matt's copper jaw covers.  Thick copper grips like glue.  

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for your responses. Daniel fair condition could be generous the worm gear does have some damage but only in a very open position. Alan thanks for the tip to use the top of the jaws, I've made a few hammers it's my cheat to avoid punching a hole. In this case I'm working on a hand miners pick to butter up my local scrapyard manager, I have a hydraulic press build coming up. Matt I think I will go with the copper jaw covers seems like a simple effective fix thank you. I do like my vise and have been basically happy with it, I like antiques so using one is cool.  

Edited by Gilbert McCann
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I have had problems with my leg vise not gripping stock securely and mine is actually in really good condition.

The best thing I ever did to it is make a pair of loosely fitting jaws from angle iron.

Because they wobble a bit they correct the angle from the vise and also grip tapered knife blades without marring.

 

The more precise a vise is, the worse it grips forged pieces.

 

 

 

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