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Old 07-09-2010, 05:50 AM   #1
v7guy
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Default Wilton C2 vise resto

I've never tackled something like this before so I'm kinda just muddling my way through it with the threads i've read here. Lots of good info. Thought I would try to contribute to the body of knowledge already here.

I started out with this






I was encouraged when I saw it cause I've seen way worse rehabbed here... little did I know!
I started blasting it with some PB and letting it soak for a few days. I've never dealt with anything this rusty before other than the typical exhaust manifolds and motor mounts we all run into. I tried to loosen up the swivels to no avail and figured I should probably try to disassemble it.

With that in mind I set out to loosen up the allen head bolts that held the retainer plate on. I got enough of the paint off to get a small allen head wrench in and wiggled it back and forth a few times, seemed like it was coming loose... ended up twisting them all off.




the screw did come out though with no drama, oh, the little victories.







I cleaned up the key on the dynamic jaw and discovered I was probably just "reading" some pitting. Doesn't seem to be any date on this thing... other than a clearly stamped 1 on the very end.





So after having it mentioned several times and reading about it repeatedly I figured I try removing the rust with a bath.


Got some rebar and some copper wire, a plastic tub and some washing soda. The result was this little bath.






Never done this before so I was pleased to see it working like the write ups had shown in my searches. I hooked the neg from my battery charger to the swivel base next to one of the bolt holes.

1hr in




4hrs in




24hrs in




the results where pretty encouraging... This is after a quick rinse and a little scrubbing with a hand held wire bristle brush.








it obviously needed more time, so last night I stuck it back in the bath. This time I clamped the negative onto the body of the vise with the thought that the current would flow through it better and get the gunk that's left off. I'm hoping this will help free up the swivel base and allow me to get it apart.




thought about adding to my "identify this vise thread", but figured this would work better and be more "searchable" for someone else in the future.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

+1 on the electrolysis.

You might try repositioning the vise and/or anodes a few times since the process works most effectively on "line of sight"

If you have any scrap steel plate, that's also more effective than rebar since you've got a larger surface area. Just DO NOT use galvanized plate because it makes a huge mess, and of course, stainless steel is 100% off limits because of the incredibly toxic waste it creates. If you really want to go all out, graphite plates and/or rods are the best. The gunk just slides off into the bottom of the tank, so there's no stopping to clean the anodes.

Slightly OT, but has anyone noticed that Wiltons have been making crazy money on eBay the past few weeks, even more so than normal.

I watched a totally rusted 3 1/2" bullet go for $80 and another completely mediocre 3 1/2" with a quickie paint job go for $140, and a nicely restored 4" went for $230.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

There's no rhyme or reason how bidders bid on Willton vises. I've given up. I sold a 1750 (far from Wilton's best vise) for $276 and yesterday I sold a beautiful, pristine 1976 C-1, twice the vise, it was perfect, for $230. I'm continually amazed.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

I'm confused, Is there a problem in turning the swivel handles to get the base off?
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

Right now, yes, the swivel will not come off, the handles are rusted solid. When I was rinsing off the bottom, huge flakes of rust came out from between the base and the swivel base. I'm hoping with enough time I can get it loose.
When I get home I'll rinse her off again and put a 1'x2'piece of steel in for the electrode.

As for the prices... Yeah it's wierd, I've seen em slide by at 30 and I've seen them go for an arm and a couple legs.
Open to anymore advice you guys have to give, I'll update in a few more hrs
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

I think you're on the right track with the electrolysis. Leave it in for a day or so, take it out, rinse, scrub a little, maybe lightly tap the base with a small hammer to dislodge any rust.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

If after a few days, you still can't get the base loose, you might try soaking it in something petroleum based for a day or two. I've heard of people using kerosene or diesel... those might work, but then you've got the problem of disposing of a couple gallons of waste. That's one of the things I love about the electrolysis... when you're done, you can just dump the electrolyte down the drain. I dump mine right on the lawn and the grass seems to like the extra iron.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

I came to the conclusion this morning that I probably should have scraped the rebar after day one, and that as previously mentioned the larger surface area of some sheet metal would be better.

pulled out the rebar and found all this stalactites/stalagmites all over it



there wasn't near as much foam and gooey goodness on the top of the water, I'm guessing the rebar lost a lot of it conductivity by the second day.
it did do some good, the base is now all clean metal if you look at it from the bottom. There is still some rust on the sides.





threw in a piece of sheet metal and hooked the negative back up to the body of the vise. within just a few seconds the quantity of bubbles was impressive. I appreciate the tip guys.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

If you really need to take those swivel handles off, sacrifice and cut the handle, then take a small cloth and wrap that swivel boby. Use a small pipe wrench around the body of that handle and get some leverage. Might also want to unclip those pipe jaws to see whats behind them. Taking this jaws off should be easy. Put each half in your regular vise with the jaw facing up. Get a good sized phillips svrewdriver and place it on the screw, tap it with a hammer a few times so it will work its way into the mangled screw. Lean on it and turn.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by autopts71045 View Post
If you really need to take those swivel handles off, sacrifice and cut the handle, then take a small cloth and wrap that swivel boby. Use a small pipe wrench around the body of that handle and get some leverage. Might also want to unclip those pipe jaws to see whats behind them. Taking this jaws off should be easy. Put each half in your regular vise with the jaw facing up. Get a good sized phillips svrewdriver and place it on the screw, tap it with a hammer a few times so it will work its way into the mangled screw. Lean on it and turn.
I have no other bench vise... Oddly enough I was thinking last week that this might be easier if I had another bench vise. lol
I'll give the jaws and the pipe jaws a go tonight, had no luck a few days back.

if the swivel isn't loosened by sun night/monday morning I'll probably follow your advice and cut off the handles and try the ole pipe wrench.

Appreciate the advice.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by spongerich View Post
+1 on the electrolysis.

You might try repositioning the vise and/or anodes a few times since the process works most effectively on "line of sight"

If you have any scrap steel plate, that's also more effective than rebar since you've got a larger surface area. Just DO NOT use galvanized plate because it makes a huge mess, and of course, stainless steel is 100% off limits because of the incredibly toxic waste it creates. If you really want to go all out, graphite plates and/or rods are the best. The gunk just slides off into the bottom of the tank, so there's no stopping to clean the anodes.
Not to hijack this thread, but I am very interested in the rust removal via electrolysis. Do you guys have any good references on this?
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauj View Post
Not to hijack this thread, but I am very interested in the rust removal via electrolysis. Do you guys have any good references on this?
This is one of the best ones I've found.

I've found that an ATX power supply from an old computer a works great. Even an older one puts out plenty of power and you can usually find an old PC for free on CL to steal it from. They've got cooling fans and are designed to run continuously. If you have a cheap battery charger, that'll work too.

Lots of the references talk about the virtues of using stainless steel anodes because they last a long time and don't get crusted up with rust. DO NOT DO THIS. Your electrolyte will end up full of hexavalent chromium which is extremely toxic. (See Erin Brockovitch)

The next time I start a rust removal project, I'm planning to document the whole setup and process with a bunch of pictures... I'll write it up and ask one of the mods if they can sticky it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

The link posted above is one of em I refrenced.
I've been using roughly a spoon of washing soda per gallon of water, for the electricity I'm just using an old cheap battery charger I had layin around. I used a $8 plastic tub from a box store, the washing soda was $2 at a grocery store. The rebar was about $10 and I just cut it to length. The wire I had layin around.
Make sure the two metal objects are not touching each other and hook the negative to the part you want to de-rust and the positive to the metal you don't like.
Then sit back and wait...
The metal plate did seem to work a bit better and since it is a somewhat line of sight process you can flip the metal plate around and use the other side after one side gets cruddy.
I've never done this before, but it's pretty simple and easy, the hardest part is waiting for it to do the job lol.


Vise update...
Took it out this evening and the plate was covered like the rebar, gunk all over, vise looks essentially the same. Not sure where all this stuff is coming from, the swivel base and had a lot of stuff come out again. I tried to lossen up the set screw on the pipe jaw insert and I started bending the allen wrench, it wasn't budging. No go on the jaw insert too, screws wouldn't budge. Put a pipe wrench on the swivel nuts and they wouldn't budge at all either. Scraped some paint off that was still caked on the joints of the swivel nuts and between the base of th vice and the swivel base.
I ended up pouring out the bath and all the sludge in the bottom, scrubbed the plate and hooked the negative on the swivel nut with the bottom of the vise facing the plate. I'm sure it won't get as good conductivity but maybe it'll focus on loosening up the stuck bolt/nut.
I took some pics but they aren't that noteworthy, I'll post em up if anyone wants to see em.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

As long as you're still getting rust/gunk on the plates you're taking it from the vise. There's nowhere else it can come from, so I'd say keep that baby in the tank until the process is done. There's no overcooking with electrolysis, once the rust is gone it stops on its own.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

no more headway made on this?
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

The base of the vise has been sitting in it's bath for this entire time. The steel plates are still collecting rust, although I'm not sure from where. The last few days the reaction has been minimal. I'll probably dump the water again and add a fresh plate tomorrow.

The battery charger showed a larger load when the vise was first put in with a clean metal plate. With a heavily used plate I've seen slower results and less amperage on the battery charger.

I've removed the vise from the bath 4 times and each time the swivels wouldn't turn even with a pipe wrench on the swivels and me standing/jumping on it. The screws for the jaw won't turn and the pipe jaw retaining screws won't budge at all. In the end I may have to drill out all these and replace the fasteners. I'm kinda unsure how to proceed. The vise overall looks nice and appears to be all clean metal, but the fasteners tell a different story.
I've seen mention of using a mixture of acetone and ATF, also seen mention of using diesel... and I may go that route... I just hate to use something so caustic. I do have a couple old spackle buckets ready though.

The rest of the parts have been sitting on my sawhorse bench while I wait for the base to become functional... but as I mentioned, I'm unsure of how to proceed with any confidence.

I'm very open to suggestions.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

Try soaking it in a bucket (covered) with 2 quarts of ATF and a couple of quarts of acetone. Leave it there for a day and then use an impact driver on the screws and see what happens. By the way, that mixture is not "caustic" and can be used in a spray bottle later for other stubborn fasteners.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:04 AM   #17
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

It could get nasty but with a cutting wheel on a grinder, you could cut those handles off at the base. That Carriage bolt is just a 1/2-13 and can be found at any hardware store along with two 1/2-13 nylon lockdown nuts, about $6 bucks total. Have you got phillips screws ho;ding those jaws in?
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

For the bolts, just center punch the bolt heads and drill a 1/8" hole. Then go to 1/2". Once you get close, smack it good with a punch and it will come right out.

Ask me how I know this works.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

I was staring at the vise tonight while working on the garage foam insulation. there is an inch or more of rust sludge in the bottom of the bath.
If I have enough time after the honey do list tomorrow I'll probably follow mjozefows' advice and drill out the bolts. then throw the parts back in a fresh bath. I've ate up two 12"x18" plates trying to get things to free up.

I'm pretty anxious to get the other parts in the bath and to make some better progress.

I am a bit nervous about drilling out the bolts, but it is starting to look like the only option.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wilton C2 vise resto

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I was staring at the vise tonight while working on the garage foam insulation. there is an inch or more of rust sludge in the bottom of the bath.
If I have enough time after the honey do list tomorrow I'll probably follow mjozefows' advice and drill out the bolts. then throw the parts back in a fresh bath. I've ate up two 12"x18" plates trying to get things to free up.

I'm pretty anxious to get the other parts in the bath and to make some better progress.

I am a bit nervous about drilling out the bolts, but it is starting to look like the only option.
If you have a O/A torch heat any bolts or nuts you want to remove to dull red and let cool till you can touch them, do this 3 times before you try to remove them. Then use GM penatrant and heat valve lubricant and give it a 1/2 hr and then remove them, you may need to work them on and off a few times.
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