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#558658 - 11/18/19 08:14 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: craigd]
Ted Schefelbein Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 7294
Loc: mpls, mn.
Originally Posted By: craigd
Originally Posted By: Ted Schefelbein
Both of the Record vises I can see appear to be swivel base vises, and both appear to be the Birmingham version, not the later Chinese version.

I looked at a Reed vise advertised on Craig’s List this past weekend, mostly because it was right down the street. One full turn of the handle before there was any movement on the jaw. Shot....

It's coincidental how you lined this up Ted. I have an England Record, one loosening turn releases the jaw to slide in or out, then a turn or a little more to cinch up the work, depending. One nice thing about a bigger than apparently needed vise is the mechanical advantage of the screw means someone doesn't have to really lean on it. It's amazing how beat some of these things can get.


Craig,
I didn’t have any luck buying a used vise. I tried for years. Finally bought a new one,

A guy recently had a very newish England Record on Craig’s List, very fairly priced at $90. Nice vise, just couldn’t justify having another large (4”) vise and clearing a spot on the bench for it-I don’t need another mounted to ram tube and bolted to the floor. The sliding jaw is a nice feature, but, given the choice, I’d still go with the Wilton.

Best,
Ted

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#558665 - 11/18/19 09:13 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Ted Schefelbein]
craigd Offline
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Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 6017
I think buying a used vise is like buying a used gun. For me, if I go looking for it, I'm in trouble. If I luck into a great vise at a great price tomorrow, I'd probably grab it. My thought, never let the seller know I'm interested, you'd think the 'patina' was a quarter inch of gold.

Last vise I picked up I noticed in a scrap pile when I was picking up a few pieces of steel for something else. I asked the fellow at the yard what he wanted for that old thing, he said he'd take twenty bucks. Not bad for a browned but not rusted or abused Athol. It's a great vise. Recently, I was really interested in a 22lr rifle. It became one of those things that the seller started thinking it was worth its weight in gold. I'll never inquire about that rifle again, there're so many other interesting things out there.

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#558673 - 11/18/19 11:45 PM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: craigd]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Originally Posted By: craigd
I think buying a used vise is like buying a used gun...


That's true in many ways, I think, including that it is very hard to find an affordable new gun or vise that compares to the quality and craftsmanship of the older ones. Also that one has to take more time in finding a used gun/vise that has been cared for and that does not have serious issues lurking beneath the surface. But when one does find a good old gun/vise, it can be a joy to use.

It's probably a matter of perspective, but I would take my 1892 Henry Atkin boxlock over a modern, machine made, laser engraved shotgun any day. Same for my 1971 AyA 4/53. And I would take my Parker vise (c. 1940s) over a new one as well. The baseline expectation of craftsmanship does not compare. Consider, for example, the retainer on my two vises:



Not only does the Parker have it's name cast into the ring, but the slotted screw seems to be indexed to be vertical when fully seated. Could be accidental, but even the handle is vertical when the vise is fully closed. [Notice, there is a tension screw that allows the handle to be kept at a middle position if desired.]



As for function, although my Parker was actually in pretty bad shape in some respects when I found it, there is essentially no 'play' in the screw and the action is smooth as glass. And the swivel base slides smoothly and locks up tight. My view is that the pride one takes in craftsmanship will be apparent and similar in both the aesthetic and functional aspects of a product.

From a purely practical standpoint, Wilton is essentially the last maker of domestic vises (for US users), and, as of 2019, even the Tradesman is being built in Taiwan. If you want a new USA made Wilton, the starting price is just over $1000 for a C1. As Ted said, you can easily spend 3-4k on a new Wilton.

Here's my tradesman before and after disassembly, clean up, lube and paint. The mechanical aspects of the vise were in great shape except I am going to have to straighten the swivel screw handles and replace a stripped screw in the retainer ring. I think it's going to be a good user




[For the record, I paid $125 (plus $120 shipping!) for my Parker (Facebook marketplace) and $140 for the Wilton (local auction). Both were good deals in my view, especially since I live in a vise-deplete region of the country. For those living in the Northeast or Midwest, good quality vises can be had for much less.]



Edited by Woodreaux (11/18/19 11:57 PM)
_________________________
Jim

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#558674 - 11/19/19 05:30 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
buzz Offline
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Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 2475
Loc: United States
Nice, Jim! I like vintage stuff too, just because it’s vintage. Great job cleaning up the old ones. I need to do the same with the Reed I bought. I will when it warms up and am also going to make a set of custom 4” lead jaw covers for it when it warms up. My local gunsmith who is deceased now made me a set for my larger craftsman and I use them religiously when I place an action in the vise. Since he’s gone now, I need to make my own. I need to fabricate a form to pour the molten lead into to make the jaw liners. I think I’m going to fabricate the form from angle iron so there’s a right angle. I think I have a plan.....I’m thinking when I pour the molten lead into the angle iron form, the metal form needs to be hot so the lead will flow nicely and fill the form without having defects, but I’m not sure on that? Anyway, that’s my plan.
_________________________
Socialism is almost the worst.

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#558675 - 11/19/19 06:25 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Stan Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 9564
Loc: somwers in Jawja
Agree, buzz. The mould always needs to be hot when casting, to help prevent wrinkles and voids. I'm fortunate not to have to mould mine. I was given several hundred pounds of sheet lead from a remodeled X-ray room, folded into big sheets. I just cut off the right sized pieces and bend them around the jaws. Probably not quite as thick as you want, though.

I thought the wooden jaw face inserts in the Perazzi factory post vises were cool. They seem to have been made with a leaf spring effect to make them "ride out" with the jaws when the vise is opened.

I have a handy set of rubber faced magnetic jaw liners that stay on my post vise. They work pretty well, but the magnetism is not as strong as I'd like.

SRH
_________________________
..................from my cold, dead hands.

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#558679 - 11/19/19 07:22 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Ted Schefelbein Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 7294
Loc: mpls, mn.
Jim,
Both Morgan, and Reed produce vises in the US. You have to go out of you way to find either. Reed pushes their imports.

Neither is cheap.

Best,
Ted

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#558680 - 11/19/19 07:22 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Woodreaux]
Ted Schefelbein Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 7294
Loc: mpls, mn.
Link to Morgan.

http://www.milwtool.com/v_mach.htm


Best,
Ted

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#558681 - 11/19/19 07:25 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Stan]
HomelessjOe Offline
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Registered: 01/15/06
Posts: 14184
Loc: The Great State of Tennessee
I missed that Perazzi photo Stan....

Might been about the time Amerillo Wilton started taking a crap in the thread.

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#558690 - 11/19/19 09:08 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: Ted Schefelbein]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Originally Posted By: Ted Schefelbein
Jim,
Both Morgan, and Reed produce vises in the US. You have to go out of you way to find either. Reed pushes their imports. Neither is cheap.


I can't find a current Reed made in the USA. And what they're selling now as a 'quality' import does not inspire confidence. Compare the current 4.5" Reed 2C to one from yesteryear. (83# vs 18#, eg). Calling both of these vises by the same name is rather pathetic.



The Morgan looks great. As you said, it's not easy to find, but at $550 + $75 shipping, it looks like a good buy. It would be interesting to compare the old Morgan's with the new. Online, it looks like they kept things pretty similar in the new vises




In a world of profits over quality, I would almost buy a Morgan just to support their staying out of the race to the bottom.



Edited by Woodreaux (11/19/19 10:16 AM)
_________________________
Jim

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#558691 - 11/19/19 09:18 AM Re: Best Bench Vise [Re: buzz]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 110
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Originally Posted By: buzz
Great job cleaning up the old ones. I need to do the same with the Reed I bought.... am also going to make a set of custom 4” lead jaw covers for it...


Thanks! I was surprised at how easy the clean up was for the most part. A wire wheel on an angle grinder does wonders. If you don't already know about it, the garage journal vise repair forum has many lifetimes of knowledge accumulated in one thread.

I also made some lead jaws and posted in another thread on here. I didn't get a right angle but I think they do the trick and can be hammered to shape. It was an easy project.

I'm going to reshape them but the width is perfect for a 4.5" vise


Link to my 'how I did it' post
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubb...7092#Post547092


Edited by Woodreaux (11/19/19 12:35 PM)
_________________________
Jim

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