Cutter's Vise

Page 15

posted by Cutter    05-01-2004

Yup, it's pointing to the broken bolt with nut that had been holding the chains to the beam on the side. The canvas just happened to be in the right spot; otherwise, I might never have found it. And the bolt on the other side was just about ready to erupt as well:

I had to saw off the bent bolt to get it outta there. And that was the end of round 4. Round 5? I have lost track, all this begins to run together after a while. But I was not really very surprised to break the bolts, they were only 3/8ths inch. The ones that held the chain that wraps around the back upright were also 3/8ths so I removed them too. Also bent all to hell.

So I spent the rest of the evening reaming out the holes and dug up some 1/2" hardened bolts which also required that I cut my best old chain into short lengths so the the bolts went through the very ends because they were too big to fit between continuous links. I hated doing that because it pretty much ruined that chain for any other purpose. But some things just have to be sacrificed for noble causes, right? Actually, this was where I quit for the night. All this didn't go as quickly as it sounds.
I had to rediscover my Drill Doctor (don't even start) & sharpen a 1/2 inch bit, I miscut one of the chains & had to cut another, yada yada, so I did part of this Saturday evening and the rest on Sunday afternoon. And it is 2:26 am where I am sitting so I will continue into the next round later in the day - maybe. Dunno for sure; my mind is pretty numb right now.

posted by: 7018

Well cutter im getting really interested in this been wondering when we would see more on this vise! and im sure u'll get it working.cause the whole world is watching,maybe we can get it put on the world news!!

posted by Cutter    05-01-2004

Having killed and eaten the insubordinate Klingon, I had Scottie beam me aboard the badly damaged Enterprise. I found First Officer Spock directing a crew of Sarilian slaves in repairing the forward photon torpedo bays. He estimated they would be battle ready within the hour. Proceeding to the bridge I noticed part of the crew missing so I demanded to know the whereabouts of Mr. Chekov. Sulu smiled, "Ah, you know Captain - the barrel." Sheesh, these guys get more & more difficult to deal with after a few months ...... Lt. Uhuru interrupted to tell me that those clowns at Travelocity said they still didn't want me back & I told her for the last time, "Get your finger out of your ear!" She's been this way ever since that last bridge Christmas Party. I never should have been at that damned thing to begin with .... "Message for you, Captain. It's Donald Trump, says to tell you 'You're fired!' They're going with the prissy bald guy."


After a couple hours sleep I woke up thinking about the vise so I guess I may as well take the hint and finish this report to get it off my mind so I can go back to sleep.
Sunday afternoon I finally had the old Wilton lashed back onto the rail, all bolts replaced with the half-inchers and the ones holding the chains were those gold-toned 5mark hardened ones. I noticed that the backing disc was beginning to distort a little bit so I decided to position the jack down low and push against the bottom part of the slide since that is probably where the worst rust is located. I was hoping that might also spare the disc from further damage. I jacked the tension up until the chains were all tight enough to feel like solid bars.

I lit the torch and heated things up for maybe ten minutes, concentrating along the lower parts of both sides & winding up going all around the back end where I imagine the real problem is. When I had it radiating pretty good I used a Sharpie to mark a starting point on the ram then tossed the canvas cover back on it and started leaning into the cheater. This time I just kept at it, not bothering to pause to check on the jack, vise, chains or bolts. I had made up my mind to either break it loose, break another jack - whatever. It took about 5 minutes, I'd guess because this jack really does move in small increments. Then there was a loud snapping sound and it startled me into jumping backwards. Everything jumped - beam, jack, vise & all. Only the cheater pipe stayed in my hand.

I guess this ten dollar chinaman jack is ok. It snapped one of those 60cent bolts like it was a candy cane & bent the other one. The ram moved nearly an inch. And it nearly sheared the backing disc into a washer. I took ten pictures of that danged disc & for some reason, never did get a clear closeup, but you can get the idea, sort of. I guess.

As to the vise? It moved nary a fraction other than to jump up in the air & fall on its nose. Before all this activity I etched a mark just behind the slide. I took this picture after the tumbling act. No difference at all. However you can see where the disc began to wear into the inside margin of the slide. So I dunno what its gonna take but I do not think force alone is going to open this thing up.

Oh, by the way, the welds still held.

So I hauled the blue trash can out to the alley & dumped the nasty black glop out of it & started all over with nice clear water & washing soda - and a clean mower blade electrode. I had begun to wonder if I was still getting rust out of the vise or just out of the water or off the sediment on the bottom. And this time I turned the vise 180 degrees and dunked it face down to give the slide maybe a better chance to clean up. Besides, this seems to be the best place to store it between workouts.

Suggestions? I'm wondering if about 8 hours baking in an oven at 500 degrees might do it but I'd like to hear Old Pilot's opinion on whether that would hurt anything. I have an old Frigidaire cookstove buried over at the barn that I could rig up to use. Need to throw it away anyhow. Or I'm thinking there will have to be some other kind of chemical dunk to penetrate between the parts.

What do you think?

posted by: fla jim

Thanks for the birthday wish.
At the risk of irritating Franz. I don't think that the electrolsis will work to loosen the "vise" there's no clearance for material release between the jaw and body.
I would recommend heating the vise slightly to get all the moisture out of the vise. then Use "Kroil" . I'd place the vise nose down, apply some Kroil every day for about a month, to give it time for capillary action to get the kroil to penetrate completely through the vise. Also as a last resort I'd try drilling a hole through the side of the housing. tap it for 1/8 NPT, screw in a zerk grease fitting. Fill an old grease gun with some Kroil. and force it into the vise with pressure. again let it sit for a few weeks. then use heat and pressure. I've done this before, as a last resort, and it worked for me.

posted by: 7018

Well shoot when i got the e-mail was hoping it was good news, sounds like fla jim mite has a good idea there,ooooooo and happy brithday jim!!

posted by Cutter    05-01-2004

Nope Jim,

I don't think electrolysis can do much more good, either but I have to undo the rust and soot from all this torching anyway, and like I said, it has to be stored somewhere. I just checked back to page 2 & this process started on the 6th of March so it's been derusting most of the time for nearly 2 months.
You're right again, the tolerances between the "sleeve & cylinder" on these things is real close for castings. I doubt water even soaks all the way through. However, I don't know what Kroil is? Explain that to me, please?
About drilling a grease zerk into the side, I was thinking that perforating it in several places really wouldn't hurt anything other than the appearance & what the hell, its already so beat up and old that like myself, that's no longer an issue anyway. We're "through being beautiful", as my Dad said on his 75th birthday or thereabouts. I'm thinking that the worst of the problem is probably concentrated along that half inch keyway that runs through the very bottom so tapping in a pair of zerks on each side near the bottom on either side of the base would do the most good. This metal seems to be very malleable & not prone to cracking so I don't believe it would do any harm structurally.
And someday I would like to spend a little time on other projects again. This thing has been taking up nearly all of my time & energy since this all started.

posted by: Mike W

I had a newer Wilton that was stuck from being outside on a truck. I finally got it unstuck by using a sledge and a short bar to hit on.

posted by Cutter    05-01-2004

Yeah, that was a fantasy I had maybe a month ago, Mike. But there is no telling how many years this thing laid out in the weather before I stumbled across it. I think there is a lesson here: if you're going to leave one outside, keep the internal parts well greased and always leave the jaws open an inch or two so that you can use the screw to pull it inwards. The collar can only stand a limited amount of outward stress before it pops the retaining screwheads off, and warps the collar.

Originally posted by Paychk

Iím a believer in wedge technology now, if your jacks donít work, maybe you could set up a wedge to push the vise apart.


I've been forgetting to reply to your suggestion & I am familiar with "wedge technology" but more as applied in woodworking. The problem here is that there is nothing to "wedge against". This thing was designed to apply force, not to take it. Even if the jaws were open far enough to work with, I think it might snap the moving jaw off the slide before it pulled it out of the body.
Never the less, I enjoyed your story. Thanks.

And thanks again to all the rest of you who read and respond to this adventure. I can't even consider giving it up because of you; besides, I have my local reputation as a stubborn extremist nutcase to maintain.

posted by: pjt

Realizing you have more experience on vice rehab than the rest of us, I've been wondering:
1) Have you smacked it with a sledgeo'matic while the hydraulic cylinder is putting a strain on it, and
2) Have you thought about leaving it under tension from the cylinder, say, over the weekend?