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By SparkHawk
Hi guys, I recently purchased a very old Record 53 quick release woodworking vice from ebay, the condition is fairly good except for the fact that the quick release only works when pushing the vice forward with a lot of force and it sort of clacks along the main screw instead of having a smooth action. It doesn't pull out at all, it's impossible no matter how hard I pull on the vice with the quick release trigger pressed.

I decided to take the vice apart to clean and re-grease all of the components, all of them look fine with no visible damage to my eyes, so I put everything back together and now it's actually worse than it was before. I had no problem applying pressure or opening the vice with the main screw before but now I can feel that it takes a lot more effort to open the vice and it stops about half way open and then starts jumping out of the half nut so it doesn't go any further. I also can't push the quick release in any more if the vice is open more than around two inches.

I'm honestly not quite sure what I did wrong, I put it back together exactly as it was before and it functions a lot worse now after cleaning it so I'm feeling pretty stupid at this point, I'd appreciate any help as I'm not really that familiar with the mechanism of these large woodworking vices.
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By toolsntat
You may like to have a closer look at the orientation of the rear plate which is the (edit to say "double round") bar and thread carrier.
Although you may have put it back exactly as found,when upside down, it causes just such a problem as your having.
This may have been someone else's doing.
Cheers Andy
Last edited by toolsntat on 22 May 2020, 00:45, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By toolsntat
Unfortunately not, the plate I refer to is right at the end of the screw and two bars.
If you remove the q/release lever and bar the front jaw should pull in and out without effort.
If this works ok your problem must lie in the q/release assembly.
Cheers Andy
By Dovetaildave

Sorry to hear the frustrating news, (just want to kick oneself sometimes, but we'd never progress otherwise, so its necessary, It was some years ago,i think i took some WIP photos but have long since deleted ).

I do have the 53E attached to my bench, can take photos (within reason) if that helps you.....(but not going to dismantle no matter how nicely you may ask :D ) .

User avatar
By nabs
It sounds like the original problem was that the lever was not disengaging the half nut from the screw thread properly.

I'd take it apart again and take some photos, perhaps we can advise if there is anything obvious amis with the parts (for instance, if the flat bar is twisted you could have problems similar to what you describe).

Having said that, the position of the quick release lever in your first pic suggests it has not been put together properly, so it may be that simply reassembling it will fix things. Per the above, it might have been fitted wrongly by a previous owner, so have a good look at the disassembled parts before putting it back together. The mechanism is not complicated and I am sure one of us can advice if is not clear what goes where.

I think you are better off measuring the threads yourself since the replacement bolts are likely metric and whoever did it may have re-tapped the holes to fit them.
By SparkHawk
I flipped the plate at the end of the guide bars around and now the vice opens and closes just as it did before, which is perfect. I'm still having the same issues with the quick release though. I think the diagnosis of the lever not disengaging the half nut properly is correct and after looking at some pictures of 53 vices I can see that my quick release lever is definitely not on correctly. Here's a picture of the mechanism itself

As for the threads of the bolts, I have no idea what thread type they are, I will confess that I did have the original square headed bolts but when putting the vice back together one of them sheared off inside the hole so I had to remove the thread and luckily I had those allen bolts lying around which fit pretty well besides being too long, so I cut them down and they worked perfectly.
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By nabs
I'd check to see that the flat bar is not twisted and also make sure there is no damage to the notch in the half-nut where the bar engages. From memory there is a little bit of adjustment possible by slightly rotating the castellated nut in relation to the spring - this changes the tension on the spring and may help pull the half nut further away from the screw.

I think you will find it much easier to diagnose the issue with the vice off the bench again (sorry!).
By SparkHawk
The flat bar is straight and there doesn't seem to be any damage to the half but. The problem I'm having is to do with the castellated nut in the spring as you put it. I can't figure out which position it's supposed to be in, the lever is either way too far forward which is how it is in my first picture and then I have the same problem with the half nut not fully disengaging or the lever is 180 degrees to that so it's basically pointing straight at the floor.
By SparkHawk
Here's a picture of all the parts, I can't see any obvious damage but then again I'm no expert on these things. It seems like I'm just putting them together wrong but I can't make sense of how the bar interacts with the quick release lever and the nut on the spring, like i said, it seems like i only have two positions to put it in and they're both wrong.
By Bod
The hole in the flat bar is not central, it matters which way up the bar is.
It puts the bar at an angle, when it's wrong, which means the vice will not operate at some distances.
The bar should be parallel to the rods when assembled, at both fully open and fully closed.

SAM_0030 - Copy.JPG

These show a slightly different version than yours, but the positions of the parts are the same.
It's the spring that holds the half-nut up, so that needs to be quite heavy, it's fiddly to adjust, with mine the castle nut showed which parts had been in previous use, so I just used them.
It is much easier to work on, rather than under the bench.

By SparkHawk
I can't wrap my head around this mechanism at all, it seems like I'm missing something obvious but everything I try is wrong. The flat bar only enters the slot of the quick release lever in two ways, either pointing straight down (or up with the vice upside down) or so far forward it hits the main screw and can't go any further.

Is it possible that the QR lever I have is not the original lever? I'm wondering if the person who owned the vice before me replaced it with a similar lever but not the correct one.