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thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/20/20 8:41 p.m.

I have a decent workbench in my garage that needs a vice. I know nothing about vices, nor do I know where to research them. What can you lovely people teach me about what vice to get and where to get it?

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
11/20/20 8:43 p.m.

Well, some folks are into hookers and blow, but I mostly just eat too much.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
11/20/20 8:56 p.m.

The thing about vices, is at some point you have to come to grips with them. 

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
11/20/20 8:59 p.m.

Luckily facebook will show you the same results for vice as Vise. Old american brands are great, heavier the better. Colombian, Wilton (commands a price premium but I believe have bearings and are actually better?), Reed, Chas Parker (no replacement jaws available), etc. Lots of brands. I waited/watched a few months to find a 3.5" Chas Parker for $40, most at that size will be double that or more.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
11/20/20 9:08 p.m.

I recently bought a Wilton to replace a Lowes version the bent the first time I used it and snapped in half soon there after.

I will admit that I'm hard on them.

Fire something tools on YouTube tested a bunch of them to destruction, you might see if you can find that video. I don't remember the exact channel name.

 

Buy once, cry once. 

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
11/20/20 9:09 p.m.

Fireball Tool. Search vice test.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
11/20/20 9:13 p.m.
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) said:

Fireball Tool. Search vice test.

Or watch him make a ridiculous version.

Or buy plans to make your own?

https://fireballtool.com/diy-vise-plans/

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/20/20 9:48 p.m.

Record.  Even though they are no longer built in England, they are still the best ones, Chinese castings or not.

I bought a Wilton once, and threw it away not very long after.  The threads piled up.

Rocambolesque
Rocambolesque Reader
11/20/20 9:50 p.m.

Record, made in England. Buy one at a flea market.

pirate
pirate HalfDork
11/20/20 10:20 p.m.

I have a 4 inch Charles Parker that was probably made in the 50's. It is really stout and works very smooth. This is probably a true case of "they don't make them like they used to". I bought mine off ebay. Unfortunately the shipping is almost the price of the vise. I would definitely look for an used version rather then buy a new one. Do a ebay search for vise not vice and look for a deal you won't regret it. I gave mine a good wire brushing and cleaned with acetone and then a coat of paint and good as new.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
11/20/20 10:24 p.m.

Also, don't get your hootus in it 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
11/20/20 11:02 p.m.

Last place I worked at had a nice old made-in-England Record vise.

The day I left, I bought the company a brand new not-made-in-England Record vise and even installed it for them.

The old hunk of junk went home in the box for the new one.

I have a few of them now. Buy a good old used one and never worry about it.

Or find a nice old bullet vise, those things are the business:

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
11/20/20 11:14 p.m.

I've had this dirt cheap thing for a little over 5 years according to my amazon purchase history: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VJLY00/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Other than the rotating base not clamping super well, I haven't had any real complaints about it. Pin or weld that connection and I don't think there's anything I've asked of it that it couldn't have handled. I don't use it a ton and haven't been super hard on it, but I've definitely gotten plenty of use out of it. I was fully prepared for it to be a pile of crap and I'd learn the lesson and buy a nice one, but five years later and it's still doing just fine for what I need out of it.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa SuperDork
11/20/20 11:20 p.m.
minivan_racer said:
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) said:

Fireball Tool. Search vice test.

Or watch him make a ridiculous version.

Or buy plans to make your own?

https://fireballtool.com/diy-vise-plans/

Yes, his shop.  Give it to me, please.

 

Edit: Jesus wept, that wheel he makes for that vice is damn beautiful.

 

Edit the second:  AND THEN HE PINSTRIPES IT HIMSELF!?!?!

I kinda hatelove this guy.

GPz11 (Forum Supporter)
GPz11 (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/21/20 6:54 a.m.

Another vote here for an old Wilton bullet nose. That’s all we have at work.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
11/21/20 8:02 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

His cast iron squares are on my fab equipment shopping list.  He's carving out a niche for himself for sure.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
11/21/20 10:05 a.m.

I actually have a craftsman that my dad bought me in 97 or 98. It's held up fine for all these years. I have an anvil also so I don't use it to beat on like some people do

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/21/20 10:12 a.m.

Chas Parker from Ebay here. I think I paid $100 and its one of the best purchases I have ever made. Its probably 50 years old and well made. Mine is No. 973 1/2. 

Whichever brand you get, make sure it has a swivel base. 



gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
11/21/20 10:26 a.m.

I have an old columbian that came out of a factory. It's a fantastic piece. I will echo what everyone else is saying. An old heavy duty vise is a much better deal than a new vise for the same money. Figure around $100, that seems to be the going rate for good ones, but you can find them cheaper if you are patient. Also, you will need a very stout and solid work bench to attach it to to make it worthwhile. The best vise in the world isn't worth a hill of beans if its moving and flopping around when you want to use it.

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/21/20 1:15 p.m.

Thanks y'all. A cursory check of craigslist here showed a couple of the brands mentioned. Seems like american and old is the way to go.

The bench slated for vice installation is 4x4s, 2x4s, with some 1/2" gussets. Seems solid when I stand on it. I'll bolt it down if things start moving. 

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/21/20 1:30 p.m.

Maybe you can only do this in nice climates... just saying.

I mounted my vise on a 6x6 (3/8 wall) steel tube in 3' feet of concrete about 4 feet outside my shop door.

I can walk all the way around it.  I can put 20' pieces in it without hitting stuff in the shop.  I can weld and grind, etc without dirtying up the inside of the shop.

YMMV

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/21/20 1:47 p.m.

In reply to Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) :

Ooh, I have an antique stump/blacksmith's vice I've been trying to figure out what to do with. That might be the perfect solution!

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/21/20 2:21 p.m.

All I can say is having a Chinese vise explode on you when pressing out u-joints isn't fun.

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/21/20 5:36 p.m.
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) said:

Maybe you can only do this in nice climates... just saying.

I mounted my vise on a 6x6 (3/8 wall) steel tube in 3' feet of concrete about 4 feet outside my shop door.

I can walk all the way around it.  I can put 20' pieces in it without hitting stuff in the shop.  I can weld and grind, etc without dirtying up the inside of the shop.

YMMV

That would be really nice for like 3 months here, and pretty cold and/or wet for the rest of the time.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
11/21/20 5:48 p.m.

There are a number of people over on the Garage Journal board who are really into collecting vises - there's a 4000 page (!) discussion about them.  It's worth reading through to find out more about favored brands.  https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44782

Older Craftsman vises that were made in the US are often pretty good.  Another brand to look for is Athol; they were bought out at some point by Starrett, so look for them, too.  The Wilton 'bullet' vises mentioned above are very good but command a price premium since they're highly desirable, but if you can find one for a good price grab it.

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