Columbian Vise Maintenance?

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Forum topic by ChesapeakeBob posted 01-03-2010 03:32 AM 2757 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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367 posts in 3721 days

01-03-2010 03:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: vise vise maintenance

I have two Columbian vises on my workbench. The 7” is 1970’s vintage. The 10” is from the early 1980’s. These have the Acme threads, and they look like they are right out of a school shop in our past.

My question is, what is the proper maintenance / cleaning / lubrication for the the mechanism. I don’t think these have every been serviced. I have noticed the screw action getting stiffer lately.

Many thanks,

-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

4 replies so far

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367 posts in 3721 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 03:28 AM

I was thinking WD40. Any ideas anyone?

-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View CoyoteCreek_WoodShop's profile


2 posts in 1938 days

#2 posted 09-29-2013 08:14 PM

Hi Bob,

Depending on how nice you want these vices to looks will dictate how much work is ahead.

I am working on one now.

It was removed and sand blasted. Then repainted.

Lubrication on the main screw and rods could lead to problems as saw dust and dust/dirt will collect on the greese or
Even light oil you apply.

Every time you opens and close the vice this collection will stick in the main mechanism.

It is easily cleaned once you take the vice apart, the mechanism is removed by removing the cotter key from the rear and then advancing the main screw into max open position.

Now you can evaluate the condition, just don’t paint the rails or main screw.

Use steel wool and a light machine oil to remove rust and debri , then reassemble .

View jonah's profile


1972 posts in 3536 days

#3 posted 09-30-2013 01:26 PM

I recently picked up a couple of old Columbian vises and at some point soon am going to start rehabbing them – they are pretty rusty.

As for painting, I should paint everything except the rails and main screw? What about the inside of the handle hole and the inside of where the main thread meets the back part?

I was going to use spray paint, if that matters.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3001 days

#4 posted 09-30-2013 03:40 PM

CB – I have a Columbia 7” that has been in use for about 30 years. The only thing I use on the threads is Dri-Slide. What’s amazing is, I’ve whaled on this vise with a 5# hammer – not a whimper or snort has it ever given me. How’s that ol’ saying go -”It just keeps on truckin’”!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

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