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Old 05-05-2010, 12:53 AM   #1
DavidB
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Default Prentiss Vise Resto

Everyone else seemed to be restoring a vise so I decided to get in on the fun. I found a Prentiss Bulldog 525 on Craigslist and was able to pick it up yesterday. It weighs in at 63 pounds has 4.5" wide jaws, and opens to 6". It's pretty ugly right now but that'll be getting changed soon. The person I bought it from said he bought it surplus from Pensacola Naval Air Station when he worked there. If so thats neat history but if not it doesn't bother me. The only problem I've found so far is a crack on the back of the slide. It's just a hairline one and is in a low stress area so I'm not concerned.

Here are some pics of the vise as it was yesterday.




Here's a close up on the crack...


This evening I worked on getting it apart. It turned out that I could not completely remove the dynamic jaw and slide from the vise's body. I painted the end of the slide in machinist's blue and filed a little where it was catching. This was repeated multiple times but finally I succeeded in getting it apart. The retaining nut for the screw was also fun to remove. In the end I was able to get it apart and ready to be cleaned up.



I'm going to see how well electrolysis does on it first. If it turns out poorly then I'll probably try to media blast it.

I do want to give a big thank you to mjozefow who answered multiple questions before I went to pick up the vise! You Rock!!
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
mjozefow
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
I do want to give a big thank you to mjozefow who answered multiple questions before I went to pick up the vise! You Rock!!
No worries! She's gonna clean up great!

I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit jealous of your Prentiss.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

i like the idea of how the swivel locks, but how well does it work?
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
The person I bought it from said he bought it surplus from Pensacola Naval Air Station when he worked there.
That explains the 1/4" thick paint... the Navy's big on painting things.

I'd wager that crack resulted from someone using the back of the slide as a makeshift anvil. The good part is, that's just about a zero stress area as long as it doesn't propagate further. You should be just fine without doing anything about that.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

That thing looks hideous! It's really going to look fantastic when you're done with the restoration, though. Excellent aquisition!

One thing I might suggest is to hit it with a wire wheel to knock off a lot of that paint before you electrolysize it.

What would be REALLY cool is if you painted both the circles the same color, then masked them off and painted the rest of the vise another color, then highlighted the letters in either the same color as the rest of the vise or even a third color.
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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. : )

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

I did wire wheel it a little bit but then though that the paint might have lead in it and I want to try to keep a minimal amount of it in my garage. Turns out it does have lead in it according to one of those tests you buy at the store. Luckily the electrolysis worked well on the paint. I left it in over night and all day. When I pulled it out the paint had bubbled up and peeled off easily with a scraper. There are still a few spots on there but I'll take care of those with the wire brush.

Here's a pic of the results. Its not rusty though it looks that way a little in the pic.


Currently I have the slide in the "tank"
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Blast it!!!!!
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Quote:
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Blast it!!!!!
Let me guess...I can just send the vise up to you and you'll blast it and paint it. Then...eventually you'd return it....someday.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

How does the slide on that come out, just crank away and it falls apart? If so, I think the inside of the end of my slide on my "new" vise is jamming on the nut, right at the end of the stroke.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Yes, on this one you open the jaws as much as possible until the screw disengages. Then you can pull the slide out. At first mine could not be removed because the end of the slide had been hammered on and deformed causing it to jam. After some careful filing, I was able to remove it.


For the folks who have restored vises before, do you use primer before shooting your top coat?
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
Let me guess...I can just send the vise up to you and you'll blast it and paint it. Then...eventually you'd return it....someday.
Exactly!

You've got me figured out.

I like to have a cleaner vise to start the electrolysis, but it doesn't matter that much. I always seem to have to remore the vise from the bath 6-7 times when I don;t strip the paint first. Chemical stripper and a pressure washer is an old standby. Or a garden hose if the stripper is good! (take that one out of context, go ahead).
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Lots of Vise Info

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The Vises of GJ! (dial-up death)
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Last edited by mjozefow; 05-06-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Quote:
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For the folks who have restored vises before, do you use primer before shooting your top coat?
Yes I do. I bought some super thick marine/industrial primer at sherwin williams and that stuff really does the trick. Not only is it nice and strong, but it fills in a lot of the casting imperfections really well and makes the vise look better. I'll try to find the number on the can later.
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Athol 114X Vise Restoration

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Old 05-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Oh and the vise is looking very nice! I never even would have thought about the paint having lead in it. Good call. Can't wait to see the slide clean.
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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 05-06-2010, 02:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

I can't wait to see the finished product! Good luck...
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by BanjoSavesTheDay View Post
Oh and the vise is looking very nice! I never even would have thought about the paint having lead in it. Good call. Can't wait to see the slide clean.
Nooooo, you knew that... You been eating paint chips Kole?
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Lots of Vise Info

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The Vises of GJ! (dial-up death)
A_Pmech makes replacement jaws, ask him!

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Old 05-06-2010, 06:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Any suggestions on how to remove the jaw inserts? They seem to be of the "U" design that is held on with screws. The screws were gone when I got vise. There is a pin in the middle of the face of the pad though.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Close ups?
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Lots of Vise Info

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The Vises of GJ! (dial-up death)
A_Pmech makes replacement jaws, ask him!

My Website:
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Nevermind. I managed to get them apart I just had to get a little rough with it but it turned out well. I just kept alternating from side to side wedging it off slowly. I got a couple coats of primer on the body, dynamic jaw/slide, screw cap, and nut tonight. The base is in the tank currently being cleaned.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

Glad it worked out. Don't paint anything that slides. It will gum up the vise, and inevitably scrape off in contact areas.
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I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. ~ William McKinley

Lots of Vise Info

Vise restoration Tips

The Vises of GJ! (dial-up death)
A_Pmech makes replacement jaws, ask him!

My Website:
www.mitchscustomcarpentry.com
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: Prentiss Vise Resto

It's an exciting time in the restoration of the vise as I get to sit around and watch paint...well primer dry. If it's a sliding surface it's been masked to avoid the problems mjozefow spoke of.

Here, I'll let you share in the excitement.


On to the jaw inserts. Is there a source out there for jaw inserts that will fit this vise? Here is a pic of the back of the insert to give an idea of it's size.



Thanks,
David
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