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Old 03-16-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
BanjoSavesTheDay
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Default Behemoth Vise Restoration

Step 1: The Hunt

I've already posted a couple pictures of this thing in the vise thread, but I decided to give it its own thread because I intend to do a full write-up of the restoration. In this post, I'll give a review of what I said in the other one plus some other stuff I've learned.

This thing is a monster! It's just hard to believe how big it is until you're standing there looking at it. The jaws are 8" wide and it weighs 255 lbs. It doesn't have a name cast into it anywhere; all it has is Pat. No. 108 1/2.

I got it off of craigslist after posting an ad saying I was looking for something of this nature. The guy's father-in-law used to own a barge repair shop right on the Ohio River in Chesapeake, OH. The building is still there, but it has been raided pretty thoroughly of most remnants of its glory days. This vise was one of the very last things and I imagine it was only there because no one wanted to carry it away.

My best guess is that it is a Prentiss, but I guess no one will ever know for sure. Do a google search for Prentiss No. 58 and compare the two. I am also fairly certain that it is a chipping vise, made for cold chiseling stuff.

So here is what it looked like in its natural habitat: (I like big pictures...)

January2010_002

January2010_001
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Step 2: Welcome Home

Once I got it home, I started finding out just how hard of a life that bad boy has had. It's hard to imagine that someone could abuse a vise that literally looks unbreakable. Barge repair must be serious business.

One more big picture, though.

photo9

First, I found out that one of the jaws had been broken off and then welded back on. It looks bad but I honestly don't really mind it very much because it is a reminder of where it came from.

photo5

Second, I found a much more serious problem once I wire wheeled the whole thing. The back of the slide had a very large crack in it that had been "repaired" very poorly. I got to talk to the original owner of the repair shop and he said that they were using the vise as a press and had a ten foot pipe on the handle! Luckily, my brother is in a welding class and the instructor agreed to fix it and teach him how to weld cast iron at the same time. Unfortunately, the instructor found out what a large job it was and made my brother do it all unsupervised so that he wouldn't get blamed if it came out poorly. Kind of a jerk, but hey...at least the crack is gone.

They started grinding the old welds out and found that the original crack was much larger than we originally thought.

crack4

crack1

crack5

Not perfect, but a heck of a lot better than before. I think my brother did pretty well for never having welded cast iron before.

Finally, two more things. The nut has also been "repaired", and the Acme threaded screw has been cut off so now its shorter than it is supposed to be.

crack2
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Always looking for obnoxiously large bench vises. If you have any information as to the where-abouts of one, please contact me. : )

The Mighty Reed 109!
Check out the ultimate use of duct tape!
Parker 474 Vise Restoration
Reed 4C Vise Restoration
Athol 114X Vise Restoration

Behemoth Vise Restoration (incomplete)
Everything you need to know about bench vises

Last edited by BanjoSavesTheDay; 03-16-2010 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

I say this with all due consideration, because I absolutely love taking tools that have been abused and discarded and making them useful again, but I probably would have written that one off as scrap... The weld repairs on the jaw would be enough for me, let alone that butchered nut and screw.

BUT... I'm looking forward to following this thread. Good luck on the project!
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Step 3: About that Table

In the very first two pictures, notice the table that the vise is bolted to. That was included in the $150 I paid, but when I picked up the vise two months ago, I wasn't prepared to get it. So last Sunday, two months after I got the vise, I finally went to go pick it up. I'll just say that it matches the vise very well. I was with three other grown men and we could just barely scoot the thing across the floor. It's all oak with a steel top and I don't know the exact number, but it weighs several hundred pounds.

The way we got it was with a come along and a tilt trailor and it was still a beast. When we got it back to its new home, we tied a chain to a wall mounted work bench and the table and then just drove the trailor out from underneath it. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of the process, but here is what it looks like right now. I haven't really figured out how I am going to flip it back over yet.

More pictures to come as I clean it up.

IMG_3310
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Parker 474 Vise Restoration
Reed 4C Vise Restoration
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Looks like someone around here is following your lead. CL ad just posted:

WTB- BIG Bench Vise / Vice (Gurnee)
Date: 2010-03-16, 3:45PM CDT
Reply to: sale-u4jyt-1647183540@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Hi-

I'm looking to buy a REALLY large bench vise. Nothing from a big box store or made in China.

Six inch wide jaws minimum, but would prefer larger. Old vises are great too! The bigger the better!

Just let me know what you have.

Thanks
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Great work on the vice. I enjoy seeing something that's forgotten or discarded brought back to life! Looking forward to the rest of the project.

Scott
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex71 View Post
Looks like someone around here is following your lead. CL ad just posted:

WTB- BIG Bench Vise / Vice (Gurnee)
Date: 2010-03-16, 3:45PM CDT
Reply to: sale-u4jyt-1647183540@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Hi-

I'm looking to buy a REALLY large bench vise. Nothing from a big box store or made in China.

Six inch wide jaws minimum, but would prefer larger. Old vises are great too! The bigger the better!

Just let me know what you have.

Thanks


Haha, that would be me!
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Wow Banjo, I'm impressed, both with the resto workmanship and the size of that monster! Great work. Can't wait to see the finshed product. Then you'll be able to work on those used Abram M1-A1's and battleships you have out back.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

very nice job! keep showing the pictures...
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Nice job so far, but I want to see pic's of you flipping that bench back over, any bench that can hold that hoss on one end must weigh a ton!
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

A stupid question.... What do you want to do with this monster once you get it "restored"?

Adam
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser808 View Post
...you'll be able to work on those used Abram M1-A1's and battleships you have out back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam McLaughlin View Post
A stupid question.... What do you want to do with this monster once you get it "restored"?

Adam
Well, um, I would say, I guess, umm....battle ship repair and/or midget squashing.
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Kole

Always looking for obnoxiously large bench vises. If you have any information as to the where-abouts of one, please contact me. : )

The Mighty Reed 109!
Check out the ultimate use of duct tape!
Parker 474 Vise Restoration
Reed 4C Vise Restoration
Athol 114X Vise Restoration

Behemoth Vise Restoration (incomplete)
Everything you need to know about bench vises
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by BanjoSavesTheDay View Post
Well, um, I would say, I guess, umm....battle ship repair and/or midget squashing.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Made some progress today, but I'm at a point at which its kinda hard to make any. The two main things right now are the missing handle (which I forgot to mention in the first post) and the ACME screw. Today I took the screw apart and snapped a couple pictures. In about in hour, the moment of truth will come when I find out if Fastenal has a matching screw. Cross your fingers, everybody.

My plan is to buy a new ACME screw that is long enough to go from the non-threaded section of the original screw all the way to the back. Then I will cut the original screw somewhere in that non-threaded section and very carefully weld the new screw back on. That should be fun...

Does anyone else have a Prentiss that has a retaining mechanism like this? It would back up my theory that this is a Prentiss if so. Anyway, I have no idea why the manufacturers wanted spring tension there.

IMG_3335

IMG_3336

Oh and a couple more things. What kind of steel bar should I buy for a new handle and about how much is that going to cost? Where can I find steel balls to thread onto the ends? Those two questions have been nagging at me for a while.
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Kole

Always looking for obnoxiously large bench vises. If you have any information as to the where-abouts of one, please contact me. : )

The Mighty Reed 109!
Check out the ultimate use of duct tape!
Parker 474 Vise Restoration
Reed 4C Vise Restoration
Athol 114X Vise Restoration

Behemoth Vise Restoration (incomplete)
Everything you need to know about bench vises
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

No suggestions for the handle? I'm kind of clueless... Any insight would be very helpful!
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Kole

Always looking for obnoxiously large bench vises. If you have any information as to the where-abouts of one, please contact me. : )

The Mighty Reed 109!
Check out the ultimate use of duct tape!
Parker 474 Vise Restoration
Reed 4C Vise Restoration
Athol 114X Vise Restoration

Behemoth Vise Restoration (incomplete)
Everything you need to know about bench vises
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by BanjoSavesTheDay View Post
No suggestions for the handle? I'm kind of clueless... Any insight would be very helpful!
Only thing that comes to mind is salvaging one from another vise. That or find someone who can machine you one.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by BanjoSavesTheDay View Post
No suggestions for the handle? I'm kind of clueless... Any insight would be very helpful!
McMaster-Carr. Buy a length of hot-rolled or cold-rolled steel bar stock.
I used to have a note somewhere as to what the difference is between hot- and cold-rolled, but can't find it. Google would tell you.

You can also buy spheres/balls from McMaster, and drill the appropriate sized hole in them and sink them onto the handle. Or, have a machine-shop mill a hole slightly undersized to the handle shaft, and then press the balls on the end of the new handle. It'd look factory that way.


I love the spring tensioner behind the handle on yours! It'd keep the slop out of the handle/screw assembly. I want to see about adding that to my 4-inch columbian, and my 93-pound Reed.
-Brad
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Also if fastenal doesn't have the acme screw you can have one made on a lathe,I would find the correct diameter rod you needed cut to your ideal length and have the ends threaded Also Mcmaster-Carr has the threaded steel balls.

Or, you could weld some "appropriate" sized sockets to the ends of a shaft,imo that would be awesome..

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/116/2199/=6c4rv9
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

Great idea, Neal. Fastenal did not have have the correct threads. They are 1 3/8" - 4, which is apparently pretty unusual. So I went to a fabrication place and asked them about it and they are supposed to call me back with a quote on how much it will cost to make a section for me.

Those Mcmaster-Carr balls are just what I need. Thanks.
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Always looking for obnoxiously large bench vises. If you have any information as to the where-abouts of one, please contact me. : )

The Mighty Reed 109!
Check out the ultimate use of duct tape!
Parker 474 Vise Restoration
Reed 4C Vise Restoration
Athol 114X Vise Restoration

Behemoth Vise Restoration (incomplete)
Everything you need to know about bench vises
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: Behemoth Vise Restoration

I would use a piece of ETD steel rod (Prehardened steel) It is very string and will hold up to the uses of a vice.
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