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Straightening Vise Handle - or replacement.

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bp122

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Hi all

This is my first post in the metalwork section.

I have a 60s-70s era Record quick release face vise, which I restored to operable condition myself to use it on my new DIY workbench.

The vise itself is solid and everything works fine.
Only niggle is the handle, it has a 25 degree bend in it.
At first, I contemplated cutting the edge bulge on it and removing it, then I wouldn't have a way of re assembling it securely.

I do not own an anvil or a solid block of steel heavy enough to pound the handle on to and making it straight.

So, any suggestions of straightening it whilst in the vise?
Or are there replacements I can look for? - Most ebay searches yield vise grip clamps and wooden vise handles. One lucky hit got me a replacement for a smaller bench vise, which is only 8 mm in diameter, 200 mm length.


I am guessing it is about 1/2" diameter (maybe slightly more) - from memory, haven't checked.


Please share your thoughts.
 

bourbon

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If it's for your own use. I would just live with it. There is a lot of work to straighten that thickness bar out without the proper equipment.
 

TFrench

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If you want a new one I'd cut it off and drill and tap a piece of en8 both ends and fit a couple of bolts and washers to retain it. Won't be as pretty as the original round ends but it'll work.

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novocaine

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straightening it without removing it involves locking out the vice in some way (clamping the jaws shut), heating the handle with a torch till it goes red then using a cheater bar (long pipe) to bend it back to straight. it's a lot of strain to put on the vice.
one end of it is quite possible a threaded cap that's been peaned to lock it on to the thread. it can be removed but it's a pipper to do without the right tools.

measure it, buy a length of bar to suit, get the ends threaded and fit bolts as suggested. before you fit the bolts you can lock them to a bolt and chuck it in your drill then grind them down to nice rounded ends by spinning it against a bench grinder / belt sander (I assume you don't have a lathe), it will look much nicer that way.
 

bp122

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The equipment I have to do this are just a hand drill, some hammers, a hack saw and some files.
Don't have a belt sander / angle or bench grinder / pillar drill or press and certainly not a lathe.

I might just call in a favour with my old company's machine shop. Didn't want to do it, as I've already called one in for my replacement riving knife which is laser cut for my table saw.
 

sunnybob

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Bear in mind how this got bent in the first place.
Somebody put a length of iron gas pipe over the top of and swung on the pipe.
Yes, you can ask how i know that :roll: :shock:
Its not too difficult to image doing that in reverse to straighten it back out.
Some careful alignment before applying lots of weight, to make sure the bar doesnt slip round and throw the pipe off in an instant is all thats required.
Yes, you can ask again how I know this is possible :lol: :lol: 8) 8)

Its a vice bar, not a structural component.
 

RichardG

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sunnybob":1mzk9rmo said:
Bear in mind how this got bent in the first place.
Somebody put a length of iron gas pipe over the top of and swung on the pipe.
Yes, you can ask how i know that :roll: :shock:
Its not too difficult to image doing that in reverse to straighten it back out.
Some careful alignment before applying lots of weight, to make sure the bar doesnt slip round and throw the pipe off in an instant is all thats required.
Yes, you can ask again how I know this is possible :lol: :lol: 8) 8)

Its a vice bar, not a structural component.
Seconded, that makes perfect sense. If you can’t lock the vice you may be able to get a helper to put a suitable sized pipe over one end, get the bend next to the boss and then use another pipe at the other to straighten it. Even better if you have access to some heat or a body builder :D
 

novocaine

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as it's a face vice, and depending on its age (I'm assuming it's pretty old), it's far more likely that the bend is from years of overtightening rather than a single big incident, which means it will be harder than you'd imagine to bend it back to straight (I could go on about molecular bonds and grain structure but I'm boring myself already). it's still a hell of a lot of strain to put on a vice (wouldn't think twice with an engineers vice, a face vice on the other hand......).

As Bob says, it's not structural so bend it back to straight, a bit of heat is going to make it a lot easier and put far less strain on that shiny half nut you've just cleaned up on the QR.

Edit to Add: Bob you're an animal, I bet you've pressed bearings in with a vice, you 200lb (no idea and not an insult) gorilla (complete insult). :D
 

sunnybob

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Edit to Add: Bob you're an animal, I bet you've pressed bearings in with a vice, you 200lb (no idea and not an insult) gorilla (complete insult). :D

Hey, I resemble that remark! :shock:
But for most of my life I didnt have the luxury of a vise. A club hammer and a block of softwood used wisely will put any bearing nicely in its place. I've also welded a strap across the top of a ball race and whacked it out from underneath with said club hammer. (hammer) (hammer) Didnt reuse it though, honest.

Theres a time for considered engineering systems and best practice approaches, but a bent vise handle isnt one of them
"Get the job done, move on" applies in this case =D>

And no, I dont weigh 200 lb, I've gone metric and am currently at 96.8kg, but in my defence m'lud, I am 1.88 Metre tall. 8) 8) 8)
 

TFrench

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If you did want a new one machining its something simple enough for me to do (hammer) Check the OD of the handle and I'll see if theres anything suitable in the stores...
 

bp122

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Thank you very much for the offer, TFrench, but I've put it up for sale as I can't be bothered with it anymore. It isn't just the handle that made me do it though.
 
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