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Turning Garden Ornaments in to Working Tools

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Alpha-Dave

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So, having enjoyed cleaning up and fixing a Record 112 (6” jaws) as per this thread: Drilling forged mild steel balls for vice handles, I found a Fortis 13 locally (7” jaws), with a Parkinson 7 thrown in (4.24” jaws).

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I also picked up an anvil at the same time.

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It amazes me what people use as garden ornaments!

My only slight disappointment is that the Fortis is only larger than the Record in the jaw width; the rest of the casting dimensions are pretty much identical. The flip-side of that is I’m impressed how heavy the Parkinson castings are:

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TFrench

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Seriously nice find. And hopefully it was garden ornament money and not double bick anvil money!
 

Alpha-Dave

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Honestly not sure if it was a bargain or I over paid.

I lightly tapped it with a hammer, and it bounced back well (as far as I can tell from seeing this done on YouTube), so I’m happy for the moment.

Apparently it came out of a proper workshop well over 50 years ago, so I’m certain it would have been good then. The rust/pitting seems very shallow (it will go with a light sanding), the top is flat, and the edges only have small radius’, so all seems good.

It’s a pain to move though.
 

Alpha-Dave

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Setting up for cleaning, some worktop on tressel stands is an excellent temporary work surface.
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Soaking them in WD40, pleasingly nothing broke during disassembly.
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This is the only part that worries me for re-assembly, on the Record and Parkinson versions, you can add tension to the spring once in place, but this will have to be correctly tensioned before it all goes together and be tested.
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These old vices seem to have a lot of ‘soil’ in them. Is this just decades of deceased insects?
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Very pleasingly the screw threads and nuts on both have no wear or deformations, so no significant work needed to them. I’ll think about straightening or replacing the handles later.
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Inspector

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Honestly not sure if it was a bargain or I over paid.

I lightly tapped it with a hammer, and it bounced back well (as far as I can tell from seeing this done on YouTube), so I’m happy for the moment.

Apparently it came out of a proper workshop well over 50 years ago, so I’m certain it would have been good then. The rust/pitting seems very shallow (it will go with a light sanding), the top is flat, and the edges only have small radius’, so all seems good.

It’s a pain to move though.
I have a little tip for moving anvils, some motors and bench grinders. Take a V-belt, holding it in the middle such that a pair of loops are formed at each end. Slip them on the anvil and pick it up. A slight variation is to slip one of the two halves into the other so you are only holding one loop and the other slides down a bit to self tighten. Makes it way easier to hold than with a hand on each end especially things like motors that are awkward to grab. If you don't have an old belt handy a piece of rope works too.

Nice score by the way.

Pete
 

Alpha-Dave

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Stage 3 of the clean-up, bath time & degreasing.
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It seems that the Parkinson was light blue, while the Fortis has hints of light green.
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Alpha-Dave

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Stage 4 is using a cup-brush on an angle grinder to get the surfaces back to clean metal.
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The Fortis has some interesting marks, finding this sort of thing is my favourite part.

On the backs of the jaws and the main castings are the numbers 03247, could this be made on the 3rd of Feb 1947?
Or is it C3247?

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On the sliding jaw are the numbers 14 91, with a stylised ‘F’ between them; at least I’m hoping that’s what it is and not a swastika.
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On the fixed casting is 4 and 87 with the same ‘F’. I’m guessing these could just be mould numbers.
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Alpha-Dave

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The only issue I found was that the cover plate for the Fortis is slightly bent. It doesn’t affect the function so I’m tempted to leave it as is because heating it to straighten it is not likely to give a significant improvement but will risk breaking it.
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I was surprised that the castings for the Parkinson and Fortis weigh almost the same; usually the space behind the jaws is hollow, but on the Parkinson it is solid!
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And all done. Now I need to decide whether to replace the handles, and spend a week painting them, or just use or sell on.
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dannyr

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those are beauts especially the anvil oh and the vices - great find and do please finish off the job - we'd really like to see

you got responses but I suggest you just mention vices or anvils in your thread title next time as more would pick it up
 

Vono

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Brilliant stuff.
As a big fan of both Parkinson & Fortis vices this is fascinating to see, I look forward to future instalments.
That big Fortis 13 is really cool. I know from my own Parky's that they really are well made solid things.
 

Alpha-Dave

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Back at it today, some work with the angle grider again, but with a wheel rather than cup to get into more corners.
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A little smoothing of the saw marks in the upper casting.
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And some paint stripper to get the last traces from the ‘grain’ in the casting off.
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Alpha-Dave

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The jaws on the Parkinson had rolled over edges, I guess some serious hammering must have been done to it.
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The high spots were removed with a file, and the saw marks smoothed with a flap disc.
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Alpha-Dave

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Looks like the Parkinson has been refinished before; there are hints of red under the blue; possibly an oxide primer, but I heard that Parkinsons were red, so could be either.
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Washing the paint stripper off caused some flash-rusting;
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... but that was sorted with a light brushing with a wire wheel in a drill.
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Now we are back to the plain castings, I just need to decide whether to either: use the 2-part paint process of zinc primer and roundel blue that I have from Record vices; or use primerless Hammerite (I have some dark green).
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Sachakins

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Lovely, skip the hammerite, it will look amateurish and you have put so much work into this project. Go that extra mile and go for the 2 part paint job, it will be far more authentic.
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
don't sell em if you can use em.....
I have 3 BIG vices on different benches....and would buy another if one turned up at the right price......
Big qual vices are now very expensive used in the UK.....
I'm a bit out of touch now but either would bring you £300-400.......
the newest vice I have is a Record no 36......paid £25 for it 10 years ago......bargain or what......
the other's are still in packing crates waiting for the light of day.....
personally I would have left the surface damage alone, add's o the charm....
always wanted a big anvil to USE but the very heavy RSJ cut off does me OK......
glad u saved em for the future.....
happy day's....
 

Alpha-Dave

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Another weekend, more restoration!

A quick wipe with white spirit to degrease the bare metal.
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Then masking tape on the machined surfaces, which apparently took 2h20min!
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Alpha-Dave

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Then on to the first zinc primer coat. This is 75% solids so goes on very thick!
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Working out how to hold the parts is always fun.
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This step only took an hour, another coat will be needed to catch any misses. The parts are raised off the wood on small aluminium triangular offcuts from the scrap bin.
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Alpha-Dave

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A second go with the primer today, mostly to do the insides, which will probably only have this one coat as no one will care about the colour. This heavy-build zinc primer is really all that is needed for rust protection, but a more cheerful colour will look far better.
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Getting into the depths is always a pain, a ‘stippling’ technique has to be used.
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The small bits and the outsides of the bodies just needed a few minor misses touching up.
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The second coat always goes on much smoother and quicker than the first where you are having to fill the ‘grain’ of the casting that has replicated the texture of the sand used to cast it.

The colour coats should be relatively quick, so hopefully will get done over a couple of days this week
 

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