Columbia wood vise

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
I have a wood vise that the outside jaws is bent. I do not want to trash it for sentimental reasons. I searched YouTube on this type of repair and have not found an solution. I have approximately 1/16 inch gap on the top. I will post photos later. Thoughts?
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
YUP, pictures first, but if I am imagining it correctly - set it up and indicate the face to see how far it is "out" and then mill the face as little as possible, hopefully 1/32 as wooden face jaws can take-up some of the un "even-ness"

Sounds like it was dropped on that corner - maybe it can be "bent" back-in with an arbor press???
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
If I understand correctly, I think this is a solution to think about file the worst part flat -ish then add to both sides steel facings to attach match up and plot your correction on those and either braze fill the back side to fill in the void and or reface the add plates to mate up or both.
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
If only it was that easy, but not in this case. It is bent out with a slight twist, bottom right corner hits first.

Ah. In that case, as Hank says, sounds like it could have been dropped. Is it just a tiny corner that is bent in, and the rest of the jaw face is planar? Or is the whole face subtly twisted? If the former, you could just make some wooden jaws and relieve the bottom right corner a bit on the side that faces out, so that the bent part doesn't actually make contact with the wooden jaw. Or just take an angle grinder to it and grind it back to planar... I'd do that sooner than I'd bend cast iron on a press.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Ah. In that case, as Hank says, sounds like it could have been dropped. Is it just a tiny corner that is bent in, and the rest of the jaw face is planar? Or is the whole face subtly twisted? If the former, you could just make some wooden jaws and relieve the bottom right corner a bit on the side that faces out, so that the bent part doesn't actually make contact with the wooden jaw. Or just take an angle grinder to it and grind it back to planar... I'd do that sooner than I'd bend cast iron on a press.
If it was dropped and bent (big if...) then it is malleable cast iron and (could) be bent back, agreed it would be easy to break, but if you can measure the surface well and plot it, you could see pretty quickly if you were flattening it but putting light pressure on the bent part, and if not, revert to machining the face.
I still think you would want "custom-fitted" wooden faces since it will likely never be perfectly parallel to the back face.

In fact, there is another thought - blue one face and while "wet" see how it mates to the other - especially after a flattening attempt...
 

Wiley's Woodworks

Wiley
Corporate Member
My first effort would be to salvage the bent piece. Take it off and check for how true either the bottom or top face is. If either one is flat, or even flatter than the inside face, then you can just run the jaw through your jointer or table saw or drum sander and square it up. If you're good a large hand plane will work for just 1/16" of truing. Try to take off as little as possible by sneaking up on it.
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
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Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
First, I assume it looks the same without the wood faces in place, right?

How are the guide rods attached to the front face?
I had to put a spacer (washer) on the face side of my guide rod to "level" the face, but mine were threaded with a nut on the face of the jaw.
You may be able to get closer if you can do something similar...

But, there is a LOT of jaw face there that you could mill to get it coplanar to the back face...
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
Is there a rear mount for this vise? It appears to me that it is mounted off center and the rear mount needs shims or spacers to lower the rear. Can we get a pic of the under side?
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, President
Richard
Staff member
Corporate Member
Yep, I would scribe the wood faces to meet. With that complete you can continue woodworking.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
If I were afraid of breaking the jaw, I'd close the vise jaws up snugly and take a coarse toothed handsaw and cut through the faces, leaving a sacrificial piece below to prevent nicking the threads or the guide bars. Close the jaws again, and repeat until they were flat together, then sand or hand plane the entire face of both pieces.
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
So if I am understanding you correctly. Take a solid piece of wood, inset it in the jaws, close tightly, measure from the inside edge to obtain an even spacing all the way round. Mark a line on all sides, take it out cut with the bandsaw on the lines. Think that will work?
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
After posting this I don't think that will work. I will try what Dennis posted, I understand the process after thinking about it.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Dennis was describing what Roy Underhill called kerfing in. I think this was how some primitive boats were constructed.

Roy G
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
Dennis was describing what Roy Underhill called kerfing in. I think this was how some primitive boats were constructed.

Roy G
I didn't know that was what it was called, but I guess great minds think alike and even a blind squirrel will find a nut once in awhile......
 

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