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View Full Version : Crappy vise handles - what wont bend?



Bill Pace
02-21-2010, 12:01 PM
I recently was given this pretty decent 6" Columbian vise and as typical of vises in recent years the handle is bent.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/pace1980/IMG_1672.jpg

Now I know that vise handles can be made to withstand a lot of abuse -- witness this other 4" Columbian that I found about 40+ years ago (and its no telling how much older than that it is) and I have literally beat the crap out of the handle and its still straight as an arrow!

So, what metal would serve as a replacement handle for this?

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/pace1980/IMG_1671.jpg

12teethperinch
02-21-2010, 12:10 PM
Hi Bill
I often use cheap socket extensions for things like this. They are cheap when on sale and really tough.
Darrell

gary hart
02-21-2010, 12:18 PM
A fix might be different style. Changed couple of my vises with sliding T-handle to swivel handle. Handle screws into yoke. Been working good

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/ghart3/Tools/vlongvertical.jpg

PeteM
02-21-2010, 12:26 PM
This may be giving Columbian too much credit for good design, especially today, but the 6" red vise probably has a cheap casting that has half the yield strength of the better 4" vise. The handles might be specified with this in mind.

It's common to see a Wilton "heavy duty" vise meant for general trade with a 30,000 psi yield strength casting, while their better vises have 60,000 psi yield strength castings. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the cheap import castings aren't any better than 15-20,000 psi, with inclusions as well.

Anyhow, it seems possible a good vise maker would spec the handles so they bend before the casting itself is in danger of cracking from too much pressure on the screw.

Bill Pace
02-21-2010, 12:43 PM
Darrel, Socket extensions has possibilities -- will look into that.

Gary, swivel is another idea, but you still have to have the handle in something that wont bend.


Anyhow, it seems possible a good vise maker would spec the handles so they bend before the casting itself is in danger of cracking from too much pressure on the screw.


This is true, and I can tell that this vise is not even close to the quality of that old Columbian, although on a Google search it was shown as listing for $200+. It reminds me of some of the vises HF carries. Wilton bought up Columbian and may have relagated them to 'second best' - although I am seeing more complaints of Wiltons being rather crappy....

wierdscience
02-21-2010, 12:54 PM
Ford car or truck tire irons from the 70's,tough as nails and about the right size.You know the ones,L shaped also served as bumper jack handles.

Second choice,0-1 machined up,heatreated and drawn down to 50-52rc.Just be sure when you quench the handle goes in vertically.Horizonal and it will warp.

Evan
02-21-2010, 01:40 PM
Anyhow, it seems possible a good vise maker would spec the handles so they bend before the casting itself is in danger of cracking from too much pressure on the screw.


That is precisely what the better vise makers do. Record, back in the day, advertised that their handles would always bend before the vise broke.

knudsen
02-21-2010, 02:41 PM
Show that vice who's boss. Make a handle from 1144 and snap it's cast ass in two :D

gnm109
02-21-2010, 03:27 PM
I changed all four of my bench vises to longer handles. I think I used stainless steel rod in 5/8". They work great. I use bearing collars on each end to keep them in place. I also made them several inches longer for more leverage.

Alistair Hosie
02-21-2010, 04:29 PM
Just why do you need to exert such force on a vice? Don't get me wrong on the milling vice this seems to be standard practice but on a vice bench type why does it not hold things with reasonable to high pressure.|I t seems to me that going to the point of bending the handle is counter productive.Unlike the milling vice under pressure the bench vice is unlikly to throw anything out at you .Is It? I have a hydraulic vice floor standing for such set ups made by dewalt under licence from triton tools Australia applies great pressure and releases with the touch of your foot.Alistair

Your Old Dog
02-21-2010, 06:33 PM
That is precisely what the better vise makers do. Record, back in the day, advertised that their handles would always bend before the vise broke.

Well I didn't have a better vice. I had one of those 50-60 dollar jobs that rotates in several planes. I was trying to flatten some pipe and had 2" diameter 4 foot long cheater. As Evan points out, the handle didn't bend but the screw in the vice was placed under such tremendous pressure that it bent. That made the vice useless but the handle was great. I would have rathered it been the other way around.

gnm109
02-21-2010, 07:36 PM
Just why do you need to exert such force on a vice? Don't get me wrong on the milling vice this seems to be standard practice but on a vice bench type why does it not hold things with reasonable to high pressure.|I t seems to me that going to the point of bending the handle is counter productive.Unlike the milling vice under pressure the bench vice is unlikly to throw anything out at you .Is It? I have a hydraulic vice floor standing for such set ups made by dewalt under licence from triton tools Australia applies great pressure and releases with the touch of your foot.Alistair


I don't need to use much force on my vises now that the handles have been lengthened. It's really much easier to clamp and release the vise jaws. I've never bent a vise handle but I find that most of them were too short for easy use.

Not to worry. :)

MotorradMike
02-21-2010, 08:22 PM
Compared to you guys I know nothing, but here's my opinion anyway.

#1. Bend the vice handle back straight and use it, yourself, don't let the gorilla that bent it use it anymore.

#2. If you find something that doesn't bend, PM me. This is important. Don't post it, PM me. We'll be rich. Well, I'll be rich but you'll be famous.


Mike

George Hodge
02-21-2010, 08:42 PM
After I got that neat blood blister from the handle on my 6in.Columbian vise,I drilled and threaded a 5/16in. hole in the ball end of the screw,one 5/16in ball,a short spring and a set screw.the handle stays where you leave it and no more blood blisters.

Too_Many_Tools
02-21-2010, 08:57 PM
After I got that neat blood blister from the handle on my 6in.Columbian vise,I drilled and threaded a 5/16in. hole in the ball end of the screw,one 5/16in ball,a short spring and a set screw.the handle stays where you leave it and no more blood blisters.


Got a picture?

Thanks

Mike Burdick
02-21-2010, 09:52 PM
....I drilled and threaded a 5/16in. hole in the ball end of the screw,one 5/16in ball,a short spring and a set screw.the handle stays where you leave it ...

George,

That's very clever and so simple! I wonder if Sears will start putting that idea on their vises now. They seem to love ideas like that!

BobWarfield
02-22-2010, 11:20 AM
I blame all this on the unrestricted availability of pipe in sizes that fit the vise handles. We should be regulating access to such pipe to save our scarce vise handles this kind of trauma and stress.

In fact, I believe we should require both a vise handle safety course and an improper pipe use safety course before we allow anyone to purchase or use either pipes or vises.

We can solve this problem if we all pull together.

Thank you for your support,

BW

Bill Pace
02-22-2010, 11:29 AM
In fact, I believe we should require both a vise handle safety course and an improper pipe use safety course before we allow anyone to purchase or use either pipes or vises.

Yeah, and then the mfg could put umpteen saftey stickers all over the vise surface (you know, like on ladders?) with good sensible warnings like: "Never put fingers in jaws while closing tool" etc, etc:rolleyes:

aboard_epsilon
02-22-2010, 11:47 AM
Some times you have to tighten the vices until the blinking handle bends ...especially if you haven't got a press and you're bashing something apart in the vice that has seized up etc ..
if you had some lever mechanism that you were trying to free up... this could hang out of the vice..so that each bash would put considerable twisting force on the vice .again requiring you to tighten the vice even more .

Sometimes you use the vice to bend thick pieces of metal more than a quarter inch thick into L shapes .again this requires the jaws are tightened excessively .

Sometimes you have something in the vice............and you're trying to undo a nut on it and you've got a four foot bar on it...........again this requires the jaws are tightened excessively

Sounds like "some" of you guys haven't had much experience with rusted together car parts that have gone through countless winters on salted roads ..or heavy fabrication.

Now i have a press my vices get to rest ...........think I'm going to have to make up some v block arrangement for bending things in the press at a later date.

but as for the four foot bar undoing a nut on something ....im stumped....poor old vice :(

all the best.markj ...guess i should change my name to General Urko :D

gnm109
02-22-2010, 01:49 PM
I blame all this on the unrestricted availability of pipe in sizes that fit the vise handles. We should be regulating access to such pipe to save our scarce vise handles this kind of trauma and stress.

In fact, I believe we should require both a vise handle safety course and an improper pipe use safety course before we allow anyone to purchase or use either pipes or vises.

We can solve this problem if we all pull together.

Thank you for your support,

BW

I think there's a secton on that in the new health plan.

Your Old Dog
02-22-2010, 06:21 PM
I blame all this on the unrestricted availability of pipe in sizes that fit the vise handles. We should be regulating access to such pipe to save our scarce vise handles this kind of trauma and stress.

In fact, I believe we should require both a vise handle safety course and an improper pipe use safety course before we allow anyone to purchase or use either pipes or vises.

We can solve this problem if we all pull together.

Thank you for your support,

BW

Outstanding! Great idea. ROFLMAO! :D

What the he!! could we do about lead pipes. Everybody knows there only good for one thing, just like assualt rifles, backyard burn barrells and the like.

airsmith282
02-22-2010, 09:20 PM
just and idea here but what if you got your self a bar of drill rod turnned it down then hardened it..

:D

Willy
02-22-2010, 09:23 PM
It would shatter like a glass rod the first time you leaned a pipe on it.:D
Unless you took the time to temper it.

vpt
02-22-2010, 09:55 PM
I think its 4130 or 4140? chromoly rod. You'll be all set to beat away at your vise.

Kenwc
08-23-2010, 07:00 PM
I think its 4130 or 4140? chromoly rod. You'll be all set to beat away at your vise.

I need to replace the handle on my Wilton also and want to make it a bit longer. I'd like to add steel end balls added that Mcmaster Carr carries...how machinable is chromoly rod? Would be be easily threaded on a lathe?

Too_Many_Tools
08-23-2010, 07:17 PM
Just why do you need to exert such force on a vice? Don't get me wrong on the milling vice this seems to be standard practice but on a vice bench type why does it not hold things with reasonable to high pressure.|I t seems to me that going to the point of bending the handle is counter productive.Unlike the milling vice under pressure the bench vice is unlikly to throw anything out at you .Is It? I have a hydraulic vice floor standing for such set ups made by dewalt under licence from triton tools Australia applies great pressure and releases with the touch of your foot.Alistair

Got a picture of that hydraulic vise?..sounds interesting.

Thanks

TMT

dp
08-23-2010, 08:05 PM
Buy a rear axle from a Harley-Davidson. Threaded on one end, captured on the other, and built to hold up half a ton of bike and rider.

Gravy
08-23-2010, 08:22 PM
Only half a ton? They must be skinnier in your neck of the woods...

dp
08-23-2010, 09:09 PM
Only half a ton? They must be skinnier in your neck of the woods...

They have two axles :)

lazlo
08-23-2010, 09:12 PM
That is precisely what the better vise makers do. Record, back in the day, advertised that their handles would always bend before the vise broke.

Huh, that's neat. I bought a Record vise that was dumped when they went out of business -- it's fantastic. I seem to remember that you have a couple?

Most quality vises (Wilton USA, Record, Kurt, ...) are make from 60 KPSI ductile cast iron.

Alistair's got a good point though -- if you're bending the handle on the vise, you're probably using it as an arbor press...

lazlo
08-23-2010, 09:15 PM
Got a picture of that hydraulic vise?..sounds interesting.

This is Enerpac's version. Sure looks like a mid-range bench vise where they just replaced the leadscrew and ram with a standard hydraulic cylinder. The pneumatic vise on my Eisle cold saw works the same way:

http://www.enerpac.com/files/imagecache/product_full/products/bv5_1.jpg

http://www.enerpac.com/files/swf/Enerpac_BV5_HydBenchVise.flv

WAS Jr
08-23-2010, 10:00 PM
George Hodges mod of the handle is a good one, but Charles Parker was doing it on their vises at the turn of the last century. If you ever take a close look at a Parker vise on the rounded handle boss, you will find a screw hole there which was originally filled with a sharp pointed flat blade set screw (at least on mine). If yours still has it congratulate yourself. May take awhile to get to it since most have about 50-100 years of crud in the screw hole covering the screw up. Bill S.

Don Young
08-23-2010, 10:22 PM
It didn't take me long to figure out that my 50 ton press makes a pretty good vise when I need to hold something really tight!

gwilson
08-23-2010, 10:53 PM
If you make a GOOD handle,that cheap vise will break. It's a wonder it wasn't already broken by excessive tightening.

Deja Vu
08-23-2010, 11:02 PM
I've got one of those vises... But onthis one the movable jaw is bent back at the U-channel that the screw guides through. i'm about to take it apart and heat the channel to straighten so the jaws mesh flat again. I take it that "BABCO" is a cheap vise?
Surprisingly, the handle is/has not bent.

I think it was used to bend an "L" by pounding outward toward movable jaw without applying heat.

Too_Many_Tools
08-25-2010, 01:39 AM
This is Enerpac's version. Sure looks like a mid-range bench vise where they just replaced the leadscrew and ram with a standard hydraulic cylinder. The pneumatic vise on my Eisle cold saw works the same way:

http://www.enerpac.com/files/imagecache/product_full/products/bv5_1.jpg

http://www.enerpac.com/files/swf/Enerpac_BV5_HydBenchVise.flv


Thanks...
TMT