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Discussion Starter #1
I need a quick opinion on bench vises as Cyber Monday has started.
1) I have decided after trying to use a reamer on my cut struts to fit the insert that my rinky dink HF one isn't good enough anymore. It's done well for the $6 or something stupid I paid for it but it's done.

By technical specs, I want something that is >40LBs and has an maximum jaw width of +/- 6".

2) "They Don't Make them Like they Used To". While I know my buddy Dan has a fantastic beast he inherited from his daddy, I've also seen that most of the ones I've found on CL are beat to hell and will cost as much as a new one (people are very proud of their vises in the two cities in which I can get one purchased and delivered to me - Boise & Bay Area CA). This pricing is pretty stupid.
SF bay area for sale "bench vise" - craigslist


I've posted on some neighborhood forums (nextdoor.com) in case some granny is cleaning out here garage but haven't gotten any nibbles on someone's old vise they don't need anymore.
BTW - OLD VISE BUYER'S GUIDE
Everything you need to know about bench vises... - The Garage Journal Board

3) Doing my research, I'm not willing to spend the $$$ (basically the cost of a tbird) on a made-in-the-USA Bench Vise of quality repute. Example: Wilton's bullet style or YOST vise @ $450+.

This leaves me with two options which are:
a) good enough to have replacement parts available
b) still made in China but with allegedly american QC
c) Lifetime warranty

-- both of which I can get for an additional 20% off from JET.COM because those people haven't heard that the bubble popped and they are still giving money away.

For those of you who are tool nerds, I'd like your opinions.
OPTION1: Wilton 656HD @ $144 - 20% = $115 shipped
30K PSI casting
Jaw width: 6"
Jaw opening: 6"
Throat depth: 4-3/16"
Pipe jaw capacity: 1/8-3"
Weight: 63LB
Can swivel: 180 degrees
Different Jawcaps available
https://jet.com/product/656HD-6in-UTILITY-VISE/1ed8243580a34bda9b7f5f108a304572

OPTION2: Wilton WS8 JWL63304 @ $169 - 20% (max $30): $139 shipped
30K PSI casting
Replaceable top jaws and built-in pipe jaws
Jaw Opening 8"
Jaw Width 8"
Pipe Capacity 3/4" to 3"
Throat Depth 4"
Weight 71LBs
360 swivel base with double lockdown for quick and easy positioning


Q: Which one would you buy? I'm leaning towards the WS8.
Please advise.
Regards,
-g
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Option C

I have the smaller of two Wilton vice's..For occasional use, it serves it's intended purpose..No complaints here..

If I had the space on my bench for a bigger vice, I would step up to at least an 8" though..

I'm not in the market for a vice, but I did some poking around.. :tongue:

The versatility of a reversible bench vise has me sold on the Wilton 14800

This is normally a $3-400 vice, right now it's like half off..

Wilton 14800

Jaw opening expands to an incredible 11-3/4" when reversed

When jaws are in normal position, jaw width measures 8" wide with a 9-1/2" opening

Replaceable, hardened tool steel jaw faces

Swivel base with four mounting lugs allows for 360° swivel

Two large anvil work surfaces






Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have the smaller of two Wilton vice's..For occasional use, it serves it's intended purpose..No complaints here..

If I had the space on my bench for a bigger vice, I would step up to at least an 8" though..

I'm not in the market for a vice, but I did some poking around.. :tongue:

The versatility of a reversible bench vise has me sold on the Wilton 14800

This is normally a $3-400 vice, right now it's like half off..

Wilton 14800

Jaw opening expands to an incredible 11-3/4" when reversed

When jaws are in normal position, jaw width measures 8" wide with a 9-1/2" opening

Replaceable, hardened tool steel jaw faces

Swivel base with four mounting lugs allows for 360° swivel

Two large anvil work surfaces






Rayo..
Rayo.
Thanks man. I didn't even see that one. This one weighs 80Lbs total.
I already placed my order but was able to change things with JET (their customer svc is fantastic).
Total cost $143.99
Also, free returns if I don't like them :)
 

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No problem.. :wink2:

I got some Cyber Monday shopping to do today, so I'm going to peruse the rest of Jet.com..

I might find something I need, or don't need..lol






Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My admin is gonna really be annoyed with me once the vise arrives.

Here's another tip. Besides EXTRA20 (20% off, $30 max), DROP25 nets you 25% off electronics w/ a $50 max.

-g
 

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All of those are better choices than the one I have; it's cracked then 3 places.

I've beaten the crap out of it the last two years, hoping it would break, but Nooooo.

I guess those were stress relief cracks, lol.

Thanks for the discount codes.


BTW, Never piss off the Admin. :) She can make your life hell with minimal effort; thankfully, it wasn't me.


We can't get shipping at work since a guy got a 57 Chevy bumper in a large crate delivered while he was on vacation. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All of those are better choices than the one I have; it's cracked then 3 places.

I've beaten the crap out of it the last two years, hoping it would break, but Nooooo.

I guess those were stress relief cracks, lol.

Thanks for the discount codes.


BTW, Never piss off the Admin. :) She can make your life hell with minimal effort; thankfully, it wasn't me.


We can't get shipping at work since a guy got a 57 Chevy bumper in a large crate delivered while he was on vacation. :)
Bwhahahahahaa.
It's a small office so I'm not terribly worried about annoying her. At most, she just tells me to grab it out off our lobby and she's not going to move it into my office which is fine by me as i have to pass through the lobby to get to the elevator to the garage anyway. There was a time when I literally had hundreds of pounds of $1 coins shipped to my office (back when that was profitable). I still get tires shipped to the office before our races if I haven't worked things out with the tire shop in advance.

My wife works for a much bigger company (pharmaceutical) with thousands of employees across a bunch of buildings. They have the whole interoffice mail thing going on there and a few years ago, they sent out a company wide memo that said "If you are going to ship packages to your office this Christmas, please do NOT ship anything larger than can be carried by one person... like a couch."

This probably means someone had a couch shipped to their office address (blah blah blah, Mail Stop 12313213).
Crazy.
-g
 

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Lol, the biggest thing I had shipped to work was my AOD, when they're dry one person can carry them. Though I did get prior approval and loaded it up as soon as it came in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Second quick question while i wait for my Vise to arrive next Tuesday.

I want to get a set of softer vise jaws for less marring work. Since the vise I was talked into was 8" wide, there don't seem to be very many options that width.

1) The Wilton recommended 8" copper jaws cost as much as I paid for the vise
https://www.amazon.com/Wilton-24409-404-8-Copper-8-Inch/dp/B001HW8HH8

2) I could buy two sets of 4" nylon vise jaws but I don't have any experience with these add-ons -- do they mostly stay in place or will this just get in the way?
https://www.amazon.com/Nylon-Multipurpose-Vise-Jaws-Reversible/dp/B018QNM7V2/

3) I could just buy one set and use it in the center of the big jaws.

4) I could go with aluminum vise jaws. Some seem to be 8" but most likely I will need to buy one or two 4" sets.

Q: What makes sense?
-g

PS. I'm asking now because with Amazon prime, I can get these vise jaws when my vise is delivered :)
 

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Ask the guy with the machine shop the cheap place to buy 1/4" copper sheet; welders use them for backing plates.

Buy the optimum size piece for both jaws, plus a foldover piece, similar to the amazon pic.

Drill holes in the copper, put slightly smaller neo magnets in the holes, and carefully swage them in place, making stick-on copper faces for your vise. :)

All : United Nuclear , Scientific Equipment & Supplies

I clamp them in the vise, and pound them into shape around the vise, before I drill the holes for the magnets.

Copper is amazingly malleable; but don't try to machine or drill it without paying close attention. :)

Copper, lead; there are several metals that will melt if you use too much pressure, but freeze as soon as it cools slightly, snapping the drill bit instantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ask the guy with the machine shop the cheap place to buy 1/4" copper sheet; welders use them for backing plates.

Buy the optimum size piece for both jaws, plus a foldover piece, similar to the amazon pic.

Drill holes in the copper, put slightly smaller neo magnets in the holes, and carefully swage them in place, making stick-on copper faces for your vise.


All : United Nuclear , Scientific Equipment & Supplies

I clamp them in the vise, and pound them into shape around the vise, before I drill the holes for the magnets.

Copper is amazingly malleable; but don't try to machine or drill it without paying close attention.


Copper, lead; there are several metals that will melt if you use too much pressure, but freeze as soon as it cools slightly, snapping the drill bit instantly.

Q: in your design, where would the magnets be placed?
On the face that will be clamped by the jaws or on top where the copper sheet will be wrapped around the jaws?
 

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Depends on what you want, I would use either Copper, Plastic or a smooth set of jaws (A2). What materials will you be clamping? You want them screwed in or not?
 

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Q: in your design, where would the magnets be placed?
On the face that will be clamped by the jaws or on top where the copper sheet will be wrapped around the jaws?
The part that is Not Clamped.

The magnets won't make it getting compressed like that, so you also have to be careful swaging them in place after you drill.

This way, you can dog it down with a hammer and not break the magnets. :grin2:

Every vise is different, but this is easily customizable; I made my covers so that they drop on, and stick where they land, two magnets on each side of the jaws, 4 magnets total, but you can use as many as you need. :)

They bend occasionally, depending on what you do, (especially with a BFH,) but can be easily straightened.

I'll try to take pix of my solution tomorrow. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My new vise came in and I installed it in my workshop this evening.
Before doing so, i thought it'd be funny to take a picture of it with my original HF dinky vise (right) and a vise a neighbor gave me that I refurbed (center)

I also received a vise from an old neighbor this weekend that I cleaned up last night (brake cleaner followed by a wire brush) and hit with a coat of paint (I need to rebuild/replace some jaws for it). Considering how much crappy vises seem to go for locally on CL, I may just post it on CL once I have jaws for it unless a friend wants it.

By the place of mfg listed on the plate - New Britain, CT, it appears to be a Union Mfg vise. I didn't keep it because it's only 40LBs and the Wilton is over 2x heavier/beefier. I guess I'm being a size queen here.

As far as my HF vise is concerned, it's lived a long life


-g
 

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It's funny how your new vise dwarfs the others in size.. :D

I lost count of how many times my current vise wasn't big enough to handle larger jobs, I managed though..

That bad boy should serve you well for a long time!
:thumbsup:






Rayo..
 

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Now you'll probably break the bench or the part you are working on.

Thick top, metal plates under the vise, bolting the bench to the wall and plywood for shear strength from leg to leg helps a lot. They are mentioned often in threads for building reloading benches.

I have a new vise that's been in the box for several years. I need to get it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Now you'll probably break the bench or the part you are working on.

Thick top, metal plates under the vise, bolting the bench to the wall and plywood for shear strength from leg to leg helps a lot. They are mentioned often in threads for building reloading benches.

I have a new vise that's been in the box for several years. I need to get it out.
While the previous owner of my house was an idiot when it came to wiring (he was a carpenter who thought it was perfectly acceptable to run actual 120V 15A circuits through 12ga speaker wire off knob & tube wiring -- yeah, I'm glad they hired a real electrician to disconnect that crap before running proper wiring into the house even though they left a lot of wires which puzzled me until I saw a cut section dangling from a knob and tube connector), he was actually pretty good with wood.

My workbench was built by him and underneath the top 3/4" sheet of plywood there seems to be another 1-1.5" thick sheet of plywood at that corner. I tried positioning the vise as close to the edge as possible while still being able to bolt through this piece. Two of my bolts (which are 4" take-offs from my tbird) go though this thick section with force distributing washers, one goes through just the top sheet, and the other is a really big long screw that goes into the "frame" made of multiple two-by-fours. It's not going anywhere and any ironworking I do using the vise as an anvil will be directed almost directly down on the frame through that leg there. It's quite secure. I suppose if I wanted it closer I could get some even longer bolts and drill through the frame or just notch the topsheet of the workbench with a jigsaw.
 

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I had to bolt thru a 4x4 in two places when I anchored my vise.

I used long galvanized carriage bolts from lowes; the biggest that would fit the holes, drilled the wood to match, and it will not move at all. :)

They were similar to the ones I used to bolt by bench together with; it's all 4x4's, and an old epoxy lab table about 2" thick.

Lowes also has large fender washers for such, so it doesn't pull thru.

That's a really nice vice; I'm wanting to upgrade now, lol.
 
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