cannot abide.

I’m spoiled as far as vises go. I’m used to effortless clamping. So, while there was absolute nothing wrong with the vise I picked up last week, I had to tune it up. You could feel the accumulation of 80 years of dirt and grime when you spun the handle.

So! I gave it a good soaking in evaporust, then hit it with a wire wheel and brush to git rid of all the rust and grime.  I took care to make sure all the bearing surfaces where super clean and smooth, and hit the acme screw with a coating of lithium grease.

I’m claiming that it’s now BETTER than factory-new condition, because the collet (garter?) didn’t seat very well due to a rough casting. I took a file to it, and 10 minutes later it was seated much better. This removed at least 1/8” of play and probably a full turn of backlash.


One of the coolest bits on this vise is the handle.. There’s a little set screw right on the head that squeezes a little metal disc against the handle. This allows you to position the bar whereever you want, and it will stay there (notice how its NOT sliding down in the picture above?)

Here is the little set screw in the center of the hub:


And here are the pieces pulled out. The set screw compress the spring against the metal disc, which pushes against the bar handle.


Here’s a video showing the vise in action after cleanup. So smooth. The question is where to put this thing? I kind of want to build a platform for it so I can move it on and off my workbench, but.. I shouldn’t really be doing metalwork on my workbench.  So we’ll see what happens.

– Matt

Vise Vice.

Can’t seem to get enough of them.  Found this beaut on craigslist a couple days ago.  I won’t claim that I got it for a song, but I feel pretty good about the price. 

A Parker no. 134 from 1928.  Apparently called the “Big Bear”! Here’s a flyer (gotta love the internet):

This one seems to be in incredible shape.  I still think I’m going to pull it apart to clean everything up with a wire wheel and re-grease the innards though.  That way it will be good for another 87 years.

Pretty nice! Also, the mini anvil on the back makes this thing just that much cooler.

I’m sure this won’t be the last one I buy…

– Matt