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H.O.Studley-esque pianomakers vice... Need some help.

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Forum topic by Bugnurd posted 11-20-2014 02:13 AM 1774 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bugnurd

105 posts in 1058 days


11-20-2014 02:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: vise studley

Hi all,
So I picked up this vise for pretty cheap. I did a little research beforehand, and determined it was one of those Studley style piano makers vise. Don W and Chris Schwarz did some blog posts about these when they were doing research for their Studley book (hopefully Don sees this and can help me understand how it works). The guy I got it from was retired, and said it was his grandfathers vise, so that makes it…. pretty darn old. Also I bought it about 15 min outside of Lowell, MA which is where Studley hailed from. I wonder if the original owner of this vise and Studley were homies?

Anyway, I brought it home and took a closer look at this beast.

It turned nice when I bought it, but I didn’t open it all the way. So that’s what I did first. It stopped moving around 6”.

So I closed it up and flipped it over to see what the problem could be.

I started opening it while inverted so I can see what it does. This time, instead of the jaws opening, the piece that the screw goes into moved towards the rear. Now that piece is all the way back and the jaws won’t budge either way.

I need to take it apart anyway to clean it, so I unbolted the back piece, which pulled out. This allowed the middle piece to freely be screwed back down to the front. I think I need to reaffix this piece back in, so that the middle piece engages it and opens the jaws. There is another metal piece and a spring where this long piece came out of the middle piece. Hopefully the pictures show my lousy explanation.

My first question, does anyone know how this vise works mechanically so I can take it all apart, clean it good and maybe paint it, then put it all back together and it actually work?

Second question. I want to use this as a tail vise with a chop that I can put a dog on. Short of drilling holes it the jaw face, are there alternatives for affixing a chop to vise jaws. Adhesive?

That’s all for now. Thanks for your help!

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA


12 replies so far

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Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2553 days


#1 posted 11-20-2014 07:58 PM

Do not know anything about the vise, but you could easily make a removable type faceboard for the
outboard jaw by using two boards slightly wider than the jaw spaced apart by pieces of wood the same
thickness as the metal jaw and glued on the side and top so the completed wood could easily slide over
the jaw you could make the top spacer the width you want the wood face to set above the jaw to
give you the chop height you want.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

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Boatman53

1000 posts in 1664 days


#2 posted 11-21-2014 12:27 AM

It sounds like the nut is no longer secured. That is why it is moving around. Can you just pull the jaw open? I’m not sure the purpose of the rod that you removed.
On another note I would love to find one of those type of vises. I’ve got one that shares some ot the characteristics but it is much larger.
I’d love to see more photos.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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Bugnurd

105 posts in 1058 days


#3 posted 11-21-2014 01:15 AM

Gus… Thanks, that’s a good idea.
Jim… I’ve figured it out. The long piece wedges into the nut, and the spring holds tension. The long piece is bolted to the base. So as you screw into the nut, the jaws separate. It’s pretty neat. Here are pics of the mechanism. This is the fully opened position.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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Boatman53

1000 posts in 1664 days


#4 posted 11-21-2014 01:24 AM

Wow does that make it a quick release vise? Glad you figured out.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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Bugnurd

105 posts in 1058 days


#5 posted 11-21-2014 01:30 AM

Woah… I’m not so sure I’ve figured it out then. Quick release? I wonder how that might work?

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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Boatman53

1000 posts in 1664 days


#6 posted 11-21-2014 03:36 AM

I was thinking that was the purpose of the spring. Is the nut like a normal threaded nut? If the nut tips do the threads disengage? What does the bar do when it is wedged in like the photo? Here is my guess, when the handle is unscrewed the nut moves away from the bar, the spring tips the nut, releases the threads and the jaw can be moved in and out by hand. Push the jaw closed, the nut jams on the bar and then tightens. Just a guess, can I see some photos of the nut and spring assembly? I’ve not seen anything like this before, and would love to help you figure it out.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2553 days


#7 posted 11-21-2014 05:07 PM

Just another thought, that vise thread seems to be lubricated with grease and since it is pretty well enclosed,
not too much sawdust and dirt would be attracted. After you clean, it you might want to lubricate it with
grease not oil, just a light coat or you might gum up that thread release. Wish these old vises still came
with the manuals.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

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Bugnurd

105 posts in 1058 days


#8 posted 11-21-2014 05:52 PM

Hmm. Seems like there would have to be a purpose for all these separate parts. Your theory seems plausable. I got the nut assembly apart now. I’ll take a closer look this weekend and get some pics. As for the grease, would I just use a standard axle grease, or is there something better, like lithium grease etc.?

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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Boatman53

1000 posts in 1664 days


#9 posted 11-21-2014 10:41 PM

Mark, a couple other thing to check. Do you the pitch of the screw? ie how many turns of the handle to move the jaw an inch. My Emerrtt vise has I think two turns to the inch so it is a pretty fast screw, I made the mistake of greasing the threads with superlube think it was and it is just too slippery. The weight of the wooden handle is enough to loosen the vise in use. It is really frustrating. I haven’t had time to clean it off but maybe this winter. I have other vise options so I work around it. If it was a slower screw like 4 or 5 turns to the inch it wouldn’t be so bad.
I look forward to seeing more photos.
Jim

I just looked at the photos again and it looks like the screw is exposed when the vise is open, is that right?

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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Bugnurd

105 posts in 1058 days


#10 posted 11-23-2014 02:31 PM

Jim,
The screw seems to be roughly 2.25 turns per inch. And yes, the screw is exposed when the vise is opened. I got the nut off yesterday and it looks like there are regular threads. I see no possible way that it could be quick release. I also included a pic of the spring assembly exploded. The only reason I could think of for the spring assembly instead of a direct attachment is to be able to set the nut at any position along the screw when the vise is closed. This would limit how wide the jaws open. Would there be a reason to do this? Seems like I would want them to open as wide as possible.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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Boatman53

1000 posts in 1664 days


#11 posted 11-25-2014 04:41 AM

Well Marc…. I’m stumped. Do the teeth on the short bar grab that long rectangular bar to hold the nut in place? I’ve got to think about these photos. Any new insights?
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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Boatman53

1000 posts in 1664 days


#12 posted 11-25-2014 04:48 AM

Looking at the close up of the assembled pieces it seems that the fitting at the end of the screw would compress the spring releasing the bar, but then what? So much to think about.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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