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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Pole Vice Adventure

I apologize to everyone that I'm playing catchup all at once on my blog. The band saw project consumed me for a couple of months. The only time I was not working on it was during times when I didn't feel up to posting either.
Anyway, with all this catchup, it was brought to my attention earlier today that I never did post my pole vice.
These are pole vices. Ever since I seen on a long time ago, I've wanted one. Every time I run across one though, they're always either already halfway gone from rust, or priced through the roof. These things are older than me. The way they are built though, they are solid as the floor they are mounted above. You see, when you hit on them, or anything clamped in them, the vibration is transferred to the point, all the way down to the floor, bot the table it is mounted to. It is one of those fine examples of how they made things right a long time ago.
So I went to a resale shop a while back. As soon as I stepped out of the truck, I seen the pole vice. I checked it and it worked. I almost fainted when the guy gave me the price, twenty dollars. As I about broke my arm trying to get my wallet out, he told me he had another one out back. Since I have a buddy that is trying to get into doing his own blacksmithing, I wound up buying both of them.
Then I got them back to the shop and they sat for a little while. I was still in the middle of the band saw project and my back wasn't up to tackling these at the time. One day, one of my young ones asked why I hadn't done anything with it yet. I jokingly told him that I was waiting on him and his brothers to do it. It happened to be one of those days when I was hurting real bad and didn't feel up to doing much. He took it seriously. Worse, he, and his brothers, wanted to do it. So, although I wasn't sure how far they'd get, I let them start disassembling it and cleaning it.

So they took it apart and cleaned it up with wire brushes and sand paper. I had to stop them at one point. I just wanted the rust knocked off. They were trying to take it down to shiny metal. I wanted the old patina left. They were doing a good job, too good.

Here it is at the point of them cleaning it all up. Remember, these are my little hard working boys that were doing all this.

They looked tired, rust all over their clothes (their mother was going to kill me). So I was a little surprised when they wanted to know what they needed to do to keep it from rusting up again.

Johnson's Paste Wax, like that Frank's Red Hot Commercial, "I put that **** on everything".

Here they are, waxing everything on it. Once again, they were trying to go too far though. I looked down the table at the youngest one, and he was studying a nut. I asked what he was doing. He was trying to figure out how to wax the inside threads of the nut.

After they waxed it, they put it back together. I helped them make my mounting block for it and they mounted it.

I was proud of them. They tackled a job, worked together, and got it done.

I had to take several photos of them with the finished vice. They have every reason to be proud of themselves too. With some elbow grease, they took a tool that is older than probably all of them put together, and made it perfectly usable again. There are not many kids today who would tackle a job like this if you tried to make them, much less ask to do it.

Here it is. I can tell you for a fact since I've had the chance to use it several times, this thing is solid as a rock. You hit it with a hammer and you feel no vibration at all. When something needs whacked on, this is now my go to vice.

I feel proud of my boys too every time I use it.











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