Record Vice re-fitting - screws missing

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Established Member
22 Jul 2008
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West of Bristol
I want to fit the Record 52 1/2, that I purchased from the tip, to my new bench. Unfortunately I bought it over a year ago and took it apart for cleaning and never quite got round to fitting it back together again...Which of course means I've lost all the screws.

What size do I need? Reading through other posts it looks like the face screws are 5/16 Whitworth CSK. I'm less worried about these, but I'm assuming the other missing screws will also be Whitworth. How do I size these up (the outside of the hole looks to be about 7/16 but not sure what that equates to in thread terms)?

The screws I'm missing are labelled R in this diagram (which I found when working out what pieces I need to dig out from the depths of the pile).

Would it just be easier to tap a metric thread? I've never tapped a thread before, how do you go about re-tapping an existing thread? Get a slightly larger tap and then wallop it with a hammer?

I'm also missing screw K and the pin that holds the screw in, but I'm assuming I can bodge something to keep them in place.

As an aside, why are the spares priced so highly? The screw assembly is over £100, you can buy a new vice for less than that.
Write out 100 times " When I take something apart I must remember to put the screws back in the holes they came out of as I go!"

My 52 1/2 vices don't have screw R or the piece P. So i can't help you there.
On mine, the nut is retained by a much smaller bracket to the one drawn and is held on with two screws one either side of the nut.

The small screw you need is 3/16 BSW.
PM me your address and I will put something that will fit in the post to you.
Yes, the jaw threads are 5/16 BSW

Most screw threads are characterised by the outside diameter measured over the crests of the thread. Not easy when you just have the tapped hole although you can measure this diameter and then look up the tapping drill for the thread you think it might be.

Retapping for another thread type means you have to go up a size otherwise the thread you cut will be incredibly weak.

As an example, a 3/16 thread is 4.7mm OD so you need to drill this out to 5mm which is the correct tapping size for an M6 thread.

For the jaws 5/16 needs to be drilled out to 8.5mm which is the correct size for M10.


Hi Toby,

You should be able to tap the threads easily using even a cheap thread-cutting set. I bought one from Toolstation which 'enlarged' the 5/16" threads on the front of my Record 52½ vice up to 8mm. I then found an eBay supplier for small quantities of M8 machine screws, with a hex head (allen key). :)
Hello Toby,

It will be far better to use the existing threaded holes and source the correct screws.
I do a lot of work on old machines and cars, and my local FWB an engineers merchants, are very very helpful. Take the vice along to a similar place and I am sure the lads will be able to try differnt bolts/screws in the various holes.
Te problem you have with re-tapping an existing threaded hole is that you should really drill out the thread to a size compatable with the "Tap" you want/can use, thereby you may weaken the assembly or drill through the sides and ruin the vice.
Please contact me if I can help further, but look out for an FWB or similar.
My thanks to all on the thread and sorry for the slow reply. I don't get to spend as much time in the shed as I would want.

With the helpful delivery of a suitably sized bolt from 9fingers (thanks again!) and searching on ebay I put the vice together. Of course once i had done so I found the original hardware in a small pot where I had put it to be secure...

If anyone else is in the same situation the requirements are as follows
Bolts for holding QR plate (R in diagram) = 1/4" Whitworth. Sold in small quantities on ebay for motorcycle restorations.
Bolt to hold QR rod to QR lever = 3/16"
Bolt to hold oil plate cover to front = 3/16"
Washers to fit between back plate and pin hole on screw = 1/2" x 2

I knocked the rear retaining plate off and sprayed the individual components with hammerite.

The vice in place

And it's fixings

Knocking the back plate off was pretty easy, it's only held in place by friction and the pin through the screw bar. This made it easy to mount the vice without dealing with a large proportion of the weight by just measuring and bolting the rear vice jaw. I used 12mm bolts and widened out the two rear holes in the bench to allow for expansion.

I cleaned up the orginal rust using a combination of Elctrolysis, Hammrite de-rusting gel and elbow grease. The electrolysis worked best but due to the size of my kit could only be used for the smaller parts. In the last image the retaining plate was cleaned using the gel and the nut screw using electrolysis (ignore the spot of rust on the end, I forgot to seal this bit after de-rusting).

The vice is now temporarily fitted with softwood jaws from the scrap bucket. I just used screws through the bolt holes to fix both. I wonder how long 'temporarily' will be.