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Old bench and vice, a few questions.

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Fat ferret

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I managed to pick up an old bench recently. It's small and seems to have been user made. Basically it's just 2 sets of cast iron legs bolted to a peice of 3"x12" oak beam. It's maybe 3 foot long and has a big woden metal work vice at one end. The vice is missing a jaw so I will make some new ones, roughly how hard do they want to be? They can't be very hard as I have accidentaly sawed into them before. Do they need to be hardened or can I just make some out of any thick metal sheet I can cut?

At the other end of the bench there is a 5"square metal plate morticed into the surface of the bench so it's flush, this has a 1 1/4inch square hole in the center which goes all the way through the top. Anyone got any ideas as to its purpose?

Would include photos but no camera. Cheers.
 

adidat

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sounds like a kind of bench dog, which is a popup clamping device, loads of info on google :duno:

adidat
 

marcros

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if you look around the web, there are various schools of thought. The jaws are designed to be sacrificial over the years.

Anything will do- I have some aluminium to make some for my record when I get around to it. Beware of brass because it is said to be slippery. I have read a number of posts that say not to bother cross hatching them on another forum. You can actually buy fibre ones, or make lead slips to go over existing jaws so that they dont mark the work you are holding. You may need to either find out what thread it is and get some countersunk machine screws- probably something like 5/8" whitworth, or drill and re-tap it for something metric.

Could the other be for a bench stop- the hole filled with a bit of timber that goes up and down as needed?
 

Jacob

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Sounds like a blacksmith's bench. The hole is for inserting those smithy thingies whose name escapes me, but they are different shapes for forming metal over. Anvils have them. Called "hardy holes" it sezere but may be an American term for all I know.
 

adidat

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Jacob":3rrxcjjb said:
Sounds like a blacksmith's bench. The hole is for inserting those smithy thingies whose name escapes me,
very good, swaging blocks

adidat
 

Fat ferret

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Well done chaps a hardie hole it is :) . Explanation here http://www.stormthecastle.com/blacksmit ... -tools.htm Actually I was thinking of getting a benchtop anvil to go on that bench.

So vice jaws aren't to important cause they are sacrificiall anyway. Fair enough I will get a bit of half inch plate or whatever and make some up, will have a hunt for some appropriate machine screws too.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Just a thought - it's not a tinman's (sheetmetalworker's) bench, is it? They use 'stakes', sort of shaped small anvils which have a tapered square tang at the base to fit a square hole in something solid.

Vice jaws can be hardened or soft. The hard ones last far better, and can be bought as spares from good engineer's merchants. Have to watch out for sizes and hole spacing, though.

A good source of steel bar (and brass bar) in small quantities that I've used in the past with every satisfaction is Folkestone Engineering Supplies - they're on the web, and do mail order. For bolts in small quantities, Emkay Screw Supplies will post you one only if needs be - but you'll need to find out what thread standard you need. Hoik one of the remaining bolts out and measure it for diameter and thread pitch would be the easiest way of finding out.
 
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