Vise restoration

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Forum topic by Marn64 posted 03-15-2017 09:30 PM 776 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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296 posts in 934 days

03-15-2017 09:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question vise restoration electrolysis

Hey everyone,
So I recently got this rusty as all hell vise from the scrap pile where I volunteer. I believe it to be a Columbian vise with all of its labeling worn off. It needs a new handle, new padding on the jaws, and frankly it could use sand blasting or electrolysis. Would anyone on Lumberjocks be willing to help me with this? I live in southeastern WI but I am willing to ship to anyone willing to help.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

9 replies so far

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6948 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 03-15-2017 09:58 PM

AFAIK, Columbian vices had the name cast into the body (mine certainly does), so it would be hard to get worn off :)

What exactly do you need in the way of help? Electrolysis is easy and cheap, or you could go get a gallon of evaporust which is a little bit more money, but a lot less messy. New jaws can be found online depending on what vice you have, and there are lots of ways to make a handle depending on how ‘original’ you want to go with it… Got any pictures?


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2445 days

#2 posted 03-15-2017 10:48 PM

Is it an underbench woodworking vise or a machinist vise that mounts onto a bench? There wouldn’t have been any paper labels on that sort of stuff, it would have just been cast in.

Get some soft wire wheels for your drill or grinder and have at it. Electrolysis is a huge to do in my opinion. Can do most any rust removal you need with some cheap wheels. Handle is probably just some doweling and turned balls on the ends to keep it on.

View Marn64's profile


296 posts in 934 days

#3 posted 03-16-2017 01:59 AM

It is an underbench vise. I have been doing some wire wheeling but there is some pitting and the lugs on the end of the rods are rusted shut. My camera is MIA right now at a friends house. Here is a pic from Ebay of what it is.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View HokieKen's profile


6298 posts in 1287 days

#4 posted 03-16-2017 12:04 PM

I can blast it for you, and if you want to pay for shipping 2-ways, will be glad to. But, I don’t think that’s necessary at all. I would use a wire brush in a drill press or on a bench or angle grinder and remove all the rust and paint (if you want to repaint). Then, if you think the rust is bad enough, give it a bath in evaporust or use some naval jelly or phosphoric acid before repainting.

If you don’t intend to repaint, just skip right to the rust treatment.

I imagine the cost of some evaporust and a wire brush will be less than the shipping cost.

If you decide you really do need it blasted though, just PM me and we’ll set it up.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2445 days

#5 posted 03-16-2017 12:39 PM

If the paint and label are decent I wouldn’t strip the whole things down. PB Blaster and some heat would get things unstucktafied. It’s a No. 6C.

View Notw's profile


667 posts in 1902 days

#6 posted 03-16-2017 03:13 PM

I agree with Ken, I am in the process of restoring a Lineberry factory cart and you would be amazed at what you can do with a drill and a wire brush

View Marn64's profile


296 posts in 934 days

#7 posted 03-16-2017 09:15 PM

Thanks everyone,
I’m doing wire wheel on the easy spots and I am doing naval jelly on the tougher spots. If the nuts that hold in the rods beside the threads don’t budge, we will consider electrolysis.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View Holbs's profile


1960 posts in 2177 days

#8 posted 03-16-2017 11:26 PM

best to learn electrolysis anyways so go for it as 2nd option!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2445 days

#9 posted 03-17-2017 12:02 PM

best to learn electrolysis anyways so go for it as 2nd option!

- Holbs

Why? Suddenly you need a 5 gallon bucket, chemicals, a battery charger, wires, an anode…and how is the finish better?

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