Author Topic: how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?  (Read 371 times)

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Offline CopperCone

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how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?
« on: June 14, 2018, 12:47:54 pm »
I am in the process of restoring a old rusty woodworkers vise. I never used one before. I have some different metal vises but none that are quite as large.

If I make some jaws for it that focus the force somewhat (perhaps out of wood), can it support light duty things like gentle filing (not hogging the thing), angle grinder, wire brush?

The surface pressure is alot lower, and the screw thread is much wider. Does it completely rely on flex from the work piece to hold tension? Will the screw loosen like crazy from vibration? It was basically unusable before I started this restoration.

I mean like, squaring down a box or some shit, not holding irregularly shaped objects etc, and no hammering.

I thought I could improve its holding power for metal by making soft wooden jaws for it that focus the mechanical force and act like springs to keep the screw under tension. Its an old wilton made in the 70's.

Just curious its gonna take me like 3 days to restore because of the vinegar, I want to hear what people have to say about misusing it

Usually I use lead liners in a metal working vise for gentle non-marring work but something big like it would be nice.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 12:50:13 pm by CopperCone »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 01:23:08 pm »
All vises use some sort of insert into their jaws, be it the normal serrated metal jaws for softer like smooth metal (non-marring) or lead, brass, copper or some type of plastic depending on your needs.

To use a wood vise for metalwork there'd be a couple of considerations you'd need to work around.
First as you've recognized is the lesser holding power but that can be addressed some by using narrow jaw inserts.
Another is they're not built to take any substantial shock or abuse like a steel vise can tolerate.

Wood vises normally have replaceable wooden jaws as they provide a soft non-marring hold for woodwork needs however any suitable material could be substituted.

If you need a wide opening vise for metalwork and this fits the bill.....use it. 
There's not much that won't fit into the three 6" Record engineers vises I have......all acquired over a lifetime. :)
One of my boys busted a 4" Record squishing things flat and all was great fun until he put a piece of pipe on the handle.  :palm:
Only 6" ones since.......break that you little ratbag !  >:D
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Offline CopperCone

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Re: how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 01:40:09 pm »
yea I damaged a super nice mini machinist vice when I was a kid making little aluminum foil cubes out of lunch remains  :palm:

I think I wedged it into a cabinet drawer and used channel locks to turn the little handle, which was thicker then the screw.. A good idea for vise design is to make the handle the weak point. I noticed the vise I am restoring actually has an aluminum handle, despite having thick metal threads and guide pins, I think for this very reason.


 I mean if you are designing for use against idiots.

Otherwise thick handles are shit! A nice knurled metal teardrop shaped handle on a swing joint is way better then the stupid little 'q-tip through a hole design' some of my medium sized machinist vices have.. god I hate that shit, its like you need to turn it, then push that metal thing, then turn it, then push the metal thing, and it ends up banging into whatever you are holding in the vise so you hear that god awful noise.... vs a swing arm which is super natural to use. I mean like a pin joint that has a thing that changes direction. try to spin most vises fast and you hear bang bang bang bang bang  :scared: :palm: |O and it slides around, and its a pain to clean and has no texture

Same thing on the rotation clamps that most vices have. I made a god damn cheater bar for the one I bought at home depot just to save my hands from the tiny little handle!!! You are selling me like 20 pounds of metal do you really need to save the penny on making a swing arm instead of that stupid Q-tip design??

that little vise was super overbuilt though, so the screw deflected a bit, but it works fine thankfully. I have been meaning to unbend that screw for like 20 years..

What is the proper term for those Q-TIP handles anyway? They also look like old-school barbells that strongmen used to lift if you don't get the Q-tip thing



Why do you make the vise associate with some burly strongman anyway? I want that shit smooth not flaking off with paint and zinc whiskers !!!

this style is so much better
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQa6s7h0jw-EdcMaTl1Oj6ciGkL4PL-nDLC85UuDr_gvNRZfAj4qA

with the other kind I feel like im fighting a god damn marine trying to use the thing
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 01:55:58 pm by CopperCone »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 02:21:58 pm »
yea I damaged a super nice mini machinist vice when I was a kid making little aluminum foil cubes out of lunch remains  :palm:

I think I wedged it into a cabinet drawer and used channel locks to turn the little handle, which was thicker then the screw.. A good idea for vise design is to make the handle the weak point. I noticed the vise I am restoring actually has an aluminum handle, despite having thick metal threads and guide pins, I think for this very reason.


 I mean if you are designing for use against idiots.

Otherwise thick handles are shit! A nice knurled metal teardrop shaped handle on a swing joint is way better then the stupid little 'q-tip through a hole design' some of my medium sized machinist vices have.. god I hate that shit, its like you need to turn it, then push that metal thing, then turn it, then push the metal thing, and it ends up banging into whatever you are holding in the vise so you hear that god awful noise.... vs a swing arm which is super natural to use. I mean like a pin joint that has a thing that changes direction. try to spin most vises fast and you hear bang bang bang bang bang  :scared: :palm: |O and it slides around, and its a pain to clean and has no texture

Same thing on the rotation clamps that most vices have. I made a god damn cheater bar for the one I bought at home depot just to save my hands from the tiny little handle!!! You are selling me like 20 pounds of metal do you really need to save the penny on making a swing arm instead of that stupid Q-tip design??

that little vise was super overbuilt though, so the screw deflected a bit, but it works fine thankfully. I have been meaning to unbend that screw for like 20 years..

What is the proper term for those Q-TIP handles anyway? They also look like old-school barbells that strongmen used to lift if you don't get the Q-tip thing
Each to their own.  :P
For me a good vise is a multipurpose tool for holding, bending, straightening, crushing and pressing, many of which require significant force to be applied to the handle in order to complete the job and you can't do that with some piss arsed wimpy handle !
The 6" Records have an 8" opening and a good stout handle that a grown man can definitely apply some hurt with and they have proved to be built of tough stuff. Each of us have been bitten by sliding bar handles and after a couple of blood blisters one normally modifies usage to prevent it happening again. You can get split nut fast release steel vices much like wood vices but with an ordinary sliding handle when slid 1/2 way spins pretty good with a finger to open reasonably fast.
I've never had a swivel base vise and yes I've seen the pissy handles they use to secure the base and steered completely away from them.  :scared:
I've used a couple of fabricated vises but over the years they get all beaten up and out of shape if abused at all compared to good cast vises.
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Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 02:35:05 pm »
If your metallic objects are slipping in the woodworking vise you can insert some rubber sheet between the vise jaws and the work piece to minimise slippage, I've done this before even in metal and machining vises where additional pressure would be damaging to the piece, I cut up rubber mats but something like a sheet of car inner tube should suffice.
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Offline CopperCone

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Re: how well will a woodworkers vise hold metal?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 11:16:55 am »
its commin out nice but it killed my dremel, I used some lexus repair car paint I found  >:D , looked it up and its 60$ for the pack but I did the triple coating on it since I ran out of my own paint.

Not a good trade since its 150$ (optimistic) vise vs 120$ dremel
 


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