Introduction: Inexpensive Vise Restoration
There are many instructables and directions on how to restore a vise. This is a vise that I acquired for free and had been using for years in its original state. I got sick of how dirty it made my hands and how stiff it was to use. The purpose of this instructable is to restore the vise to as new as possible for a cheap as possible. I wasn't able to find any jaws for less than $100 and I wasn't going to spend that on a vise that I got for free.
If you have a vise that is working but just needs a cleanup, this is your project
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Step 2: Disassemble Vise
Start by opening the vise completely until the slide comes off. Locate and remove all set screws and possible pins. The machine screws holding the jaws on my vise were damaged beyond repair and were unable to be removed using a screwdriver so screw extractors were necessary.
These are the screw extractors that I used and they were satisfactory. Follow the supplied directions for proper removal.
Step 3: Remove Grime
Soak all parts in a degreaser solution agitating periodically. Once the grease and grime has been removed using the degreaser, use a wire brush to remove anything remaining. I used a drill press attachment that allowed me to use both hands to hold the vise.
Step 4: Fix Defects
The slide on this vise was very dented and had a lot of uneven portions. I used a flap sander disk in my angle grinder to smooth out all the machined surfaces. If you have a welder (which I do not), fill in any dents and smooth flat.
Step 5: Paint
Cover all the mating surfaces with painters tape and apply 3-4 coats of paint.
Step 6: Attach Jaws
I was unable to locate any screws and new jaws (inexpensively) that had a small enough head to work for this application. Because of this, I had to purchase some hex key machine screws from the local hardware store then file them down to size on my lathe.
Step 7: Assemble
Assemble the vise following the steps you took at the beginning in reverse.
Step 8: Lubricate
Apply a healthy amount of grease in the drive nut and assemble the slide into the base. Open and close the vise multiple times to ensure that the screw is completely covered in grease. Apply or remove grease and necessary.
Step 9: Paint Lettering
Using a small paint brush, paint a highlighted color on the logo and lettering on the vise to make it stand out and easier to read. I masked off the surrounding area to prevent any accidental painting.
Step 10: Enjoy Your Vise
Now that your vise is complete, bolt it down to your workbench and get to making!
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