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Old 02-27-2011, 12:46 AM   #1
DavidB
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Default Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

I picked up a Wilton No. 4 today from the flea market and disassembled it tonight. It has 4" wide jaws and weighs about 36 lbs if you're interested. Anyways, I thought I'd post the steps for taking one completely apart for others out there. I know there was a similar thread a while back but two are better than one.

Here's the vise.


Step 1
The first step is to remove the jaw pads. If the screws are really stuck in there then spray them with your favorite penetrant. It's also helpful to remove the dynamic (moving) jaw from the body of the vise so you can hold them vertically. With the screws in the vertical position you can put more force on the screws and tap the screwdriver with a hammer if needed. Once you've removed the pads it should look like this.


Step 2
The next step is to remove the three screws that hold the screw retaining plate on.


Step 3
With the retaining plate out of the way you can remove the lead screw and set it off to the side.


Step 4
Next, remove the dynamic jaw by pulling it out of the front of the vise. It can be heavy on the larger models so don't drop it. If the dust cover is still in place on the back of the vise remove it now. It can be removed by inserting a wooden dowel through the nut inside of the vise body. Tap on the end of the dowel to slowly remove the cover. Once again, some penatrant may be helpful if it's stubborn.


Step 5
With the dust cover removed you can now see the back of the nut. While I'm calling it a nut, it's more of a tube with threads on the inside. It is held in the vise by one or two cross pins or on my larger model two machine screws (one on each side). If you have screws, it's easy to tell the difference because there is no way the heads of the screws can pass through the body. If you don't have screws, then find out if you have one or two pins. Use a punch or nail with a flat end to drive the pin in a little bit. Did the pin move out on the other side? If so, then you probably have one pin. Drive the pin through the body as shown in the picture. In my case my punch was not long enough, so I put a small nail in between the pin and the punch. If the pin didn't move on the other side then you probably have two pins. Try to drive one pin in until the other pops out and then drive the remaining pin backwards out of it's side of the vise. The pins may not completely line up so while you may be able to push one pin with the other you may not be able to completely drive it out. Once you get a little of the pin out you can grab it with pliers if need be.

Depending on the vise you may be able to see the pins when looking through the back of the vise. If you're uncertain, viewing from the back, line a ruler up with the top of the holes on the sides to see if the pins should run through the opening where the lead screw goes. If you have pins, you should be able to run a piece of wire in one hole and out the other side to make sure nothing is in there. No matter what style is used, go slow and don't force it.


Step 6
If you look into the body from the front you can see the nut.


Use another block of wood and a hammer to drive the nut out through the back of the vise body.


Once you've removed the nut, note that there is a slot on that the cross pin passes through. This slot should face down and must be oriented correctly when you reinstall the nut. On my larger Wilton there are two dimples on the sides of the nut for the machine screws to go into.


Step 7
Depending on whether your model has a swivel base you may not need to perform this last step. To remove the swivel base, simply remove the two nuts that are used to lock the vise down.


Congrats, your vise is now fully disassembled.




Assembly is the reverse of the disassembly process. On some Wiltons, a date is stamped on the end of the bottom flat on the dynamic jaw. There's none on this one but there is one on my other wilton vise. Depending on what's written, this date is either when the vise was made or when the warranty expires. While it's apart be sure to degunk the sliding surfaces and lead screw. Then apply some grease or antiseize compound to these surfaces and the swivel base if you have one.

Hopefully, this will help you in your efforts to keep your vise in prime working condition!

David

PS In case you're wondering about my other larger Wilton I reference several times, here it is.

Last edited by DavidB; 03-20-2011 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Beautiful.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Nice job! I could have used this a few months ago. :-)
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Excellent info! Thanks David.

That dust cover on the back, someone mentioned I could replace mine with an engine freeze plug I think, is that correct?

BTW, your vise looks like it is really old, what year is that?

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Last edited by kc-steve; 02-27-2011 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc-steve View Post
Excellent info! Thanks David.

That dust cover on the back, someone mentioned I could replace mine with an engine freeze plug I think, is that correct?

BTW, your vise looks like it is really old, what year is that?

Steve
Yes, I've heard that mentioned as well though I'm not sure of the size needed. I'm not sure how old the vise it. I've looked for a date stamped into the bottom of the dynamic jaw but there is nothing there. That probably means something but I'm not sure what.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
Yes, I've heard that mentioned as well though I'm not sure of the size needed. I'm not sure how old the vise it. I've looked for a date stamped into the bottom of the dynamic jaw but there is nothing there. That probably means something but I'm not sure what.
The thing that made me think it is old is the unique casting design on the sides. Spongerich has one similar and he says his was stamped 1-46 making it one of the first if it is the warranty date (+5 years). Yours not having a date might pre-date his, ya think?

My own doesn't have that design but is stamped 9-46.

Actually both your vises have that unusual design. The patent was filed in Sept 1941 and wasn't approved until 1942. And thanks again for giving me the heads-up on the patent search a while back.

Steve
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Last edited by kc-steve; 02-27-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc-steve View Post
The thing that made me think it is old is the unique casting design on the sides. Spongerich has one similar and he says his was stamped 1-46 making it one of the first if it is the warranty date (+5 years). Yours not having a date might pre-date his, ya think?

Actually both your vises have that unusual design. The patent was filed in Sept 1941 and wasn't approved until 1942.

Steve
That'd be very cool if true. My larger vise has "171" stamped on the bottom which I've taken to mean it's from Jan 1971. Could you detail what makes the casting on the sides unique?

Thanks,
David
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
That'd be very cool if true. My larger vise has "171" stamped on the bottom which I've taken to mean it's from Jan 1971. Could you detail what makes the casting on the sides unique?

Thanks,
David
No problem. Here's my 3" with the date code 9-46. Notice the lack of the encircled text. I've seen many Wilton bullets like mine though.

Steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Wilton-01.jpg (55.6 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg Wilton-02.jpg (89.4 KB, 82 views)
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc-steve View Post
No problem. Here's my 3" with the date code 9-46. Notice the lack of the encircled text. I've seen many Wilton bullets like mine though.

Steve
Ah I see now. FYI I look forward to when you get your webpage or post up on the History of Wilton. Hint Hint
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Thanks, my dot com business has EXPLODED with new business in the last two weeks so I'm afraid that site will have to take a backseat temporarily. I'm guessing maybe a month or two more.

There is so much we still don't know about Wilton. The casting differences could be different models such as the Tradesman versus the Machinist, yours being a Machinist vise because they are more expensive and likely more rare. Just guessing though.

Steve
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
That'd be very cool if true. My larger vise has "171" stamped on the bottom which I've taken to mean it's from Jan 1971. Could you detail what makes the casting on the sides unique?

Thanks,
David
The date code "1-71" doesn't match the casting that shows it was made in "Chicago." Wiltons were made in Schiller Park after 1957 or so.

I suppose it could be possible someone replaced the dynamic jaw, or it was in the factory for repairs in 1971. Who knows.

Steve
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

davidb , very nice write up
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Well done.

Not to threadjack, but the rear cap on one of mine is dented up pretty badly.

I'm going to remove it and try to bang out the dents... my question is heat or no heat? I was thinking that heating up nice and hot would soften the metal and make it easier to get it round again. Is this a bad idea?
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

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Originally Posted by spongerich View Post
Well done.

Not to threadjack, but the rear cap on one of mine is dented up pretty badly.

I'm going to remove it and try to bang out the dents... my question is heat or no heat? I was thinking that heating up nice and hot would soften the metal and make it easier to get it round again. Is this a bad idea?
There's actually a tool for that. It is a stainless steel disk (shrink disk) you attach to a grinder. Then use it to rub the surface heating it up and spraying it with soapy water to cool it down. The heating and cooling contracts the metal and smooths out the dents. However, on a convex surface, you would have to be fairly well experienced to do it well.

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Old 02-27-2011, 02:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Thanks for the write up. I've got a Wilton I would not mind cleaning up and giving a nice restoration to.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Thanks! I'll link to this in my articles if that's ok with you...
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by spongerich View Post
Well done.

Not to threadjack, but the rear cap on one of mine is dented up pretty badly.

I'm going to remove it and try to bang out the dents... my question is heat or no heat? I was thinking that heating up nice and hot would soften the metal and make it easier to get it round again. Is this a bad idea?
Now worries on threadjacking. Mine is dented too and I'd like to know how to get the dent out. For a "dust cover" it is made of a lot thicker material than I'd have guessed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjozefow View Post
Thanks! I'll link to this in my articles if that's ok with you...
Feel free to add this. It's your links that got me interested in vises is the first place! Trouble maker!
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Updated section on the pins holding the nut in due to the linked post. http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=95773
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

I was buming around the net looking for a guide to confirm my 1780 was similar (it is). Thought this link might be relevant. Its a exploded diagram from grainger. Needs quicktime i think.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/rp_...&iw=800&ih=454


Will be restoring my 1780 after i finishing bending straps for my gas tank.

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Old 12-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Wilton Vise Disassembly Guide

Excellent Documentation job; and great vise!
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