Restoring an Old Vise!





Introduction: Restoring an Old Vise!

About: haters gonna hate, makers gona make!

Hi makers, this is my frist instructable so good luck to me =).

This vise was from an elderly man who lived next to the house where I grew up to. I visited that place a few weeks ago and gained from his relatives some tools that it would rust.

So, lets restore that and give a new life for the tool =)

Step 1: Tools You Are Going to Need.

  • some oil
  • thick steel wool
  • thin steel wool
  • iron sandpaper or a drill with a wirebrush
  • kitchen soap or any soap that you can remove the oil well
  • heavy duty paint for iron**

** i'm from Brazil so i'm gonna put the kind of the paint for BR, US and CA.

you can find it in your country with the name:

Brazil - Esmalte sintético externo(para ferro)
US - Hammerite
Canada - Tremclad and or Rust-Oleum

Step 2: Clean That Mess!

First you need to get rid of the thick dirt and rust.

let's disassemble the vise.
it's not a complicated thing..its just 1 screw. keep turning the handle bar to open the vise till the arm get lose from the body ( the arm of the vise, note your! don't turn that thing much)
ps: if your arm get lose, go see a doctor immediately!

well, i washed and rubbed with a brush to remove most of the dirt and then let it dry a bit.

Step 3: Removing the Old Spirit​.

Now we removed the dirt and the thick rust, its time to remove the old paint and thin rust from it.

you can use sandpaper for that, but will take a loooooonnng time to get rid of i used the drill with a wire brush to clean it.

put some oil on the vise and then start to rub first with the thick steel wool, than sandpaper, the thinn wool and now probably you get rid of the rust and the old paint till you can see a nice surface for the new paint.

Step 4: Wash It Again!

If you removed the most of the paint and all of the rust, congrats buddy!

now your hand are tired and covered in oil...i know that feeling bro.

Lets wash the vise with some soap to remove the oil remaining and let it dry so we can paint it.

Step 5: I'll Take the Black Shield, Thnks.

So, with the vise dry we can start painting.
keep in mind to use a heavy duty paint otherwise the paint will come off while you hammer, saw etc.

Put 1 or 2 layers of the paint and....yeah...see the paint dry, the most exciting part of the tutorial =D.

Step 6: What Is Done Is Done!

Now you have a beautiful new vise to compose your workshop.

Thats it, hope you guys like it.
till next time =)



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Nice restoration job! I love restoring old things. I'd rather bring an old tool back to life than buy a new one that won't last half as long!

I have one question/observation and a suggestion. My question is about washing the vice in soapy water and letting it dry. I've always been taught by friends who do auto-body work that painting that rust is the cancer of metals. Even the tiniest painted-over rust seed will grow, and cause rust through under the paint and unsightly paint blisters. So wouldn't unseen rusting be risked by washing the vice in water and allowing to air dry? I would have used acetone or an auto paint "prep-sol" to clean off the oil, or at least carefully towel dried it. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on that?

Also, I agree that regular paint will not stand up to the abuse a vice would take, not even Hammerall (which I bought at a USA Home Depot a few years back; did they stop selling it here?). So I suggest either powder coating or a 2-part epoxy paint. If powder coating, be sure to mask off any parts you don't want painted, like the acme screw and channel, and any other part that might bind with the added thickness of the powder coating. You might also consider West Marine epoxy resin with its 207 hardener that makes it flow more like paint. That would create an indestructable plastic shell over the metal.

1 reply

oh, i used alcoohol to dry the vise ^^

about the powder coat, i live in brazil, things like that here are so expensive...people dont use for normal purposes =/

i consider the epoxy, but i dont let then exposed to time and i clena in every use so, thats too much ^^

tnks for the tips and advices friend =)


vlw cara =)

And a BIG Thanks for sharing with us and it is a very good thing to rescue old tools and not just throw them away. Better for you and the planet.

1 reply

old tools are great quality material, we dont throw them away ^^

I was sitting here trying to figure out how you changed the casting of the base between the two first pictures, and then I figured it out.

The second photo is actually of the LEFT side, flipped to match the other photo of the right side. Well done, but I caught you! :-)

Nicely put together.

1 reply

yeah XD

Looks good.

I would use petrol or a commercial degreaser to get the oil and muck off.

It's also worth taking the screw out, cleaning the thread, and putting new grease on it to keep the action smooth. The screws are usually held in with a split pin, or circlip.

1 reply

i think soap cleanner works well for a simple job

Looks nice, well done! If you are wanting a good way to remove rust, paint, and grime without damaging the metal, you might want to look into electrolysis. I use it to clean up and restore rusted, grimy tools and it gets them clean without any effort. Your vise project would have been super easy.

1 reply

hummm, i'll study some of it for the next time, thnks =)


tnks =)


thanks =)
its good to give old tools new life

Just in time for me! I found an old vice, and asked me how to renovate it. So it's there! Thank you!

Just you. :P

The first image is probably a mirror so that they face the same direction. probably didn't realize it until after so they flipped it to match.

That is actually not hard wearing at all. It wears much more than regular enamel but what it does instead is have a thick body and different ingredients that better saturate remaining rust, and in some cases it also contains a little phosphoric acid to convert remaining rust to a protective phosphate coating. In other words it provides a better seal but being softer than other paints, abrasion degrades it easier.

Not only are the jaws different,the casting is as well lol ?? Swap or clean???