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Fixing An Old Vise (pic Heavy)


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#1 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 08:01 PM

My FIL gave me an old vise he had laying around the shop. The movable jaw was busted off (I think he likes me but I aint sure). It had been laying in his shop for about 10-15 years. Its been sitting in my shop for about 2 years now just waiting for something the happen to it. I havent paid much attention to it until this weekend, it is a Columbia 604 M3.

 

Recently I have been hanging out at weldingweb and doing alot of reading on welding and such. One of the guys just did a video shoot on welding cast iron and then there was another gentleman that did a great write up on brazing and cutting. Well it all clicked in my head and I decided that now was the time to fix the old vise.

 

Here is the write up I did on WW.

Well it worked. I am stilll new to metal working so I dont have much in the way of a proper area for working. SO instead of kicking it old school, I was kickin it 3rd world and working on the ground.

First time using brass rods. They do flow like silver braze, its somewhere between 15% and 45% silver. It is can be thick in the puddle and it can flow easily. It will follow the flux and heat when the base is hot enough.

Prep work was done with grinder and then I used a file to take away the all the grinder marks. I did this hoping that the layer of smeared carbon and graphite left from using the grinding wheel would be removed. The new piece was flame cut from a piece of 1/2 plate I had and the all corrosin and mill scale was removed from the surfaces that would be brazed.

I am new to metal working so setup tools and jigs are something I still need to aquire. For this I used a small rectangular magnet to hold the new piece in the proper position. I then used the braze to to tack the new piece into postion. I tried using clamps but there werent any good surfaces to use that would allow the piece to sit where it needed to be.

The setup I used is the small uniweld torch with a double rosebud. Running Propane and oxygen. For intial heat my inner flame was about 1/2 to 5/8 long and neutral to carbonizing. 3/32 rods and granular flux, both hobart.

After tacking it up, I added plenty of flux to the surfaces and really started heating things up. The flux melted and flowed nicely. I started on the "ears" where the vise is its thinest. Once I got the rod to start flowing, I started walking my way across the entire piece. When I hit the heavier sections I slowed down and concentrated the heat more in a confined area, this allowed the base to heat through and melt the rod in the gap that was between the new piece and the base.

Once i was done brazing on the top side, I switched over to the face side. There was a beveled gap between the new piece and the base. I added flux and heated. Once the area was hot enough I started adding rod. I started on the far side and walked the heat and rod across the gap. Once it was full, I played the heat back and forth over the area so that It would soak in good and let the braze fill any voids I left behind


Once the intial pass was done, it was nothing more than build up after that. Build up went much faster because the "butter" layer did not need as much heat as the cast iron vise did to allow a puddle to form. I did play with the puddle and torch to see how the torch reacted with the puddle. Torch closer and bigger puddle, torch farther away and the puddle would get smaller. When the puddle was smaller it was thicker, more tike mud than water. This is the same with silver brazing, at least for me.

I am letting it cool down now. Once that is done I will break out the grinder and start shaping the braze and cleaning up the piece.
 

 The first pic is the torch. Its made by uniweld. The heads are soft copper and they are to be bend so that you can heat from two differnt areas at the same time. These had been bent so many times that the copper had work hardened, I had to anneal them to get them somewhat straight.


 
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Edited by coldone, April 07, 2013 - 08:11 PM.

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#2 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 08:08 PM

Here it is after a little grinding and sanding. I plan to drill and tap the new piece to accept a replaceable jaw insert.

 

You can see that I did not get some areas hot enough to flow the braze down into the crack. I did get good wetting action on both the new piece and the cast iron base. I think as long as I dont abuse it that it will hold for many years. If it dont I will be able to braze it back.

 

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#3 lyall ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 08:21 PM

hope his does not ask for it back

 

looks great and you should have many years using it


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#4 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 08:25 PM

I think it'll hold up just fine.  The repair you did gives the vise a little character. :thumbs:


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#5 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 08:30 PM

Great write up!!!


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#6 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 08:40 PM

I think it will hold fine! I like the way it looks too. :thumbs:
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#7 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 09:12 PM

Very nice job, you got plenty of bonding to hold up well for a long time.


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#8 Arti ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2013 - 09:42 PM

It has always rewarding to fix something like this.. It will have some fond memories for a long time.


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#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 05:03 AM

Thanks for posting this. I think many new welders are scared to tackle cast iron. Brazing is something not often documented in an application like this.


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#10 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 05:07 AM

Way to go! Nice fix!


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#11 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 05:40 AM

I have seen many a vice repaired like that!! It will hold just fine!! Just don't use it as an anvil.
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#12 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 08:54 AM

Hey Coldone, excellent write-up and quite the project you undertook.  I've heard, but don't know, that brazing can be stronger than a weld and that brazing is often the preferred fix for cast iron repair.  Anyway, great job!


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#13 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 10:16 AM

Very nice Job! And a very good documentation of the process. It is obvious you make your  living with a torch in your hands.  It should hold up and if not you know how to fix it. I could not help but snicker just a bit though at the thought of being careful with it and Keiths comment about using it as an anvil. I think a Vice is probably the most abused tool in the shop?


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#14 JRJ OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 10:31 AM

I also approve of your documentation of your process, very well done. You did a project that not to many are willing to attach. The secret to help it hold is the preheating of your base metals and slow cooling when finished. Also nice pictures as you know is just about a requirement 

when taking on a task as you did.

 

Dick 


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#15 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2013 - 10:41 AM

Great Job!  Nice write up as well.  Thanks for sharing


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