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A trip down Vice Grip memory lane.

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  • A trip down Vice Grip memory lane.

    Yesterday I found this faithful servant in an old toolbox of mine from 1972 . Who knows the tales this ol’ feller would tell if he could talk!

    It was in the first shoebox of tools my Dad gave me back in ’59 (I was 12) and had already performed many miracles for him before being passed on to me.

    I used it for probably 10 yrs. or so at my first job as a mechanic at an import auto repair shop. You purists can go somewhere else with your “No professional mechanic uses Vice Grips” talk because this feller yanked many a broken VW exhaust stud out for me and helped feed my family.

    The lure of the shinier new ones with the new-fangled release lever relegated this one to my second (side-job) toolbox in my home garage. I’d forgotten all about it until it appeared yesterday. You know what? It’s tight, the jaw teeth are still sharp and it works just as good if not better than my much newer ones! This ol’ guy is going back into front-line duty as of today.





    Here’s a link to a Popular Science Vice Grip ad from the fifties:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=7iw...p%207w&f=false
    Last edited by DICKEYBIRD; 11-29-2009, 10:39 AM.
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  • #2
    That's great! Vise-grips are good when the grabbed part Must Come Out and you don't care what the part looks like when it's done. Mechanics would use exactly the same amount of force with normal pliers if their hands were strong enough.

    Use Evan's magic cleaning gonkulator to clean that thing up!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tony Ennis
      Evan's magic cleaning gonkulator to clean that thing up!
      You forgot the trademark: Evan's Magic Cleaning Gonkulator®
      Milton

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

      Comment


      • #4
        That old boy is still in pretty fine shape, especially when you consider all the work it's done.
        Tools like that bring back a lot of good memories for me too. I'm 59 now and have all the tools my dad left me from a lifetime of being an auto mechanic.
        I used to do brake jobs on cars when I was 10, he would give everything a good going over and it was good to go. I learned an awful lot from him at an early age. Still have some of the brake tools I used at the time.
        Whenever I use some of his tools they instill a lot pride in not only the work, but also the tools. Those tools bring back a lot of memories in not only a job well done but also also the value of a good tool as a friend that one can depend on.
        I wouldn't sell any of those fine old tools for love or money.

        Thanks for bringing back some good old times.
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got a similar pair I was using just yesterday.





          Actually, mine's a 7R as opposed to your No. 7W, whatever that means. I see mine has straight jaws whereas you have curved jaws.

          And I've got a larger pair marked 10R (also straight jaws) to go with them. I was using them last week.

          Roger
          Last edited by winchman; 11-29-2009, 11:30 AM.
          Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by winchman
            Actually, mine's a 7R as opposed to your No. 7W, whatever that means. Roger
            The 7 is the size (7") and the W just means it's a lot older model.

            Yours has the pussilanimous new type extra release lever, mine's the old manly-man style that gives you black fingernails if you're not careful when you release 'em.
            Last edited by DICKEYBIRD; 11-29-2009, 11:36 AM.
            Milton

            "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

            "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by winchman
              I see mine has straight jaws whereas you have curved jaws.
              I noticed in the old Pop Sci ad I linked to they mentioned "Involute Jaw Curve" Hi-tech stuff, eh?
              Milton

              "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

              "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
                The 7 is the size (7") and the W just means it's a lot older model.
                Not necessarily. I've been looking for the Vise Grip sheet metal pliers. This guy:



                Unfortunately, the new Made in China version with the weird hex adjust in the handle is model "8R"

                I can't, for the life of me, find the New Old Stock version. If anyone knows a source of the USA sheet metal Vise Grips, I would really appreciate a PM!
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lazlo
                  Unfortunately, the new Made in China version with the weird hex adjust in the handle

                  Don't discount everything with that hex adjuster as Chinese because the very last USA versions also have them, I have new a set from about a year ago with that so called "feature" and they were marked USA.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by radkins
                    Don't discount everything with that hex adjuster as Chinese because the very last USA versions also have them,
                    Argh -- thanks Radkins! That's going to make finding a Made In USA version a lot harder!
                    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Theres been some intresting evolution in vice grips/locking pliers. Heres one I own..



                      heres an intresting one I found looking for the first image

                      Lots of other styles too of course, but these are some of the more intresting to me
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A 'friend' gave me a locking plier that looks like a vise grip. Piece of junk. I'd take an old real vise grip over a new 'who knows' one any day.

                        I found a workable copy awhile back and bought one. After testing it, I bought another. Just the other day I found a smaller version which looked good, so I have that now. It's not bad, but not what a real vise grip is. A different version of that new one turned out to be crap, so I didn't buy that. You really have to check this stuff out carefully.

                        I love that clarke one, I need something like that.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The first post made my mind go back to the two Sterrett indicators and a straight edge Dad gave me when he retired after 37 years at K&T as a scraper in 1964.

                          I had no idea how to use them.

                          The two Starretts live in custom boxes Dad made for them.

                          As luck would have it I used them most of my working years.
                          Just before I retired I made boxes after Dad's pattern for all my gauges.

                          My 16 year old Grandson is leaning toward Mech. Eng. so maybe there will be three generations of use on the old Sterrets.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lazlo
                            Not necessarily. I've been looking for the Vise Grip sheet metal pliers.
                            Unfortunately, the new Made in China version with the weird hex adjust in the handle is model "8R"

                            I can't, for the life of me, find the New Old Stock version. If anyone knows a source of the USA sheet metal Vise Grips, I would really appreciate a PM!
                            I have a old 8R like The pic. made in Neb. I picked it up in a garage sale along with some other stuff.
                            What is bad about the hex doohicky?

                            Steve

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is no finer tool for its purpose than a nice original Vise Grip. I have five pairs and I will buy any original American-made ones I come across.

                              I once had to remove the oil pump adapter on my Harley-Davidson to install the front lower sidecar mount. It is an aluminum casting that's held to the front of the right crankcase with three low quality 1/4-20 bolts. I got two of the three out easily. I had only just touched the third one with a wrench and the head came off in my hand.

                              The bolt was jammed into the thread about 1/2" into the hole and had been slathered with loctite at the factory. With only about 5/16" sticking out, I first tried the trick where you MIG weld a nut onto the stub and just turn it out. No luck. Did it twice and couldn't get the nut to stay since I was keeping the heat down to protect the crankcase.

                              I finally gritted my teeth and got out my largest set of Vise Grips, the one that I've had for more than 30 years. I locked on as tight as I could and still get the pliers closed and, voila, it started to rock back and forth. After a minute I was able to slowwwwwwwwwly turn ut out and finallllllllllly got it all the way out!

                              After clearing all three holes with a bottoming tap and doing my other installation, I replaced all three bolts with some decent ones with thread lube and tightened them gently and lovingly.

                              The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to have to remove the engine and drill out a broken bolt. The way the hole was located, I couldn't have done anything like that wih the engine still in the bike since the frame tube was in the way. Believe me, I had my heart in my throat on that job. I wonder why they have to put loctite on a 1/4" bolt with almost no strain on it? And if they must, why do they use cheap ones without even a grade rating on the head?

                              One vote for Vise Grips!

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