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Vise Recommendations (SOLVED!)
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Gents,

Looking to outfit the shop with one piece that's sadly been missing this whole time - a bench vise. There are a million of them out there, and I know some of the classic ones can be a real treasure find if you can get them. Does anyone have any recommendations about a good home shop vise, either new or something used I should be searching for?

Let me hear them!

Thanks,
Brandon
 
Posts: 1126 | Location: Gilbertsville, PA | Registered: 08 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wilton industrial. You won't be sorry.
 
Posts: 721 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: 04 April 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1) Wilton.
2) Palmgren.

Pretty much cannot go wrong with either.
Either available, in significant configurations from low $100s to high $300s from WW Grainger.


Doug Wilhelmi
NRA Life Member

 
Posts: 7503 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: 15 October 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A rule of thumb I learned long ago: A vise should not open further than jaw width; i.e. a vise with 5" jaws should open 5". A vise should weigh 10# per inch of jaw width, so the 5" vise should weigh 50#. There are so many cheap Chinese vises out there these days that sorting them all out can be difficult. I keep hoping to find a nice Wilton machinist's vise at a garage sale but so far no luck. They are expensive.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 977 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by kda55:
Wilton industrial. You won't be sorry.


+1. They cost a little more but they are worth it. Might I add BIG.


Dave

In 100 years who of us will care?
An armed society is a polite society!
Just because they say you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you.
 
Posts: 899 | Location: Ammon, NC | Registered: 31 December 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some of the Wiltons are made in China but priced much higher for the name, than you could buy an equivalent fron Harbor Freight. AMHIK, I bought the wilton 5 1/2 w x 3 1/2 deep for general shop use from Grainger and got it home and unpacked it and found that it was Wilton-Chinese. So much for buying American, very frustrating!


DRSS(We Band of Bubba's Div.)
N.R.A (Life)
T.S.R.A (Life)
D.S.C.
 
Posts: 2162 | Location: Houston, TX. | Registered: 18 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That sucks. From what I have heard there is almost nothing made of cast iron or cast steel that is produced in the U.S. any more. Even the heavy hitters are having the casting done in China and then finishing and assembling over here. I have also heard that if the company having the castings produced doesn't have a a Q.A. guy on site checking every casting, then the quality will quickly go to zero.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 977 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember seeing a plant in China making Table saws. They painted White for Jet and Blue for Delta.
 
Posts: 5289 | Location: NY, NY | Registered: 28 November 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So, it sounds like unless I really wanna spend mega $$ or happen to find a deal at a yard or estate sale, anything I buy is made in China? Granted, my requirements aren't super heavy-duty, so I suppose something that isn't total garbage will work fine.
 
Posts: 1126 | Location: Gilbertsville, PA | Registered: 08 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://www.wiltontools.com/us/...inist-vises/MachVise
They say 'Made in America". I wonder if it should say 'Assembled in America"? Might be worth a call. For the price it should be hand made here.
That said my vise is an old Chinese one that I inherited from my father.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 977 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When in doubt, go with a Heck-Heuer. They cost a bit more but I don't think you can ever wear one out. Leave to someone in your will.


Dave

In 100 years who of us will care?
An armed society is a polite society!
Just because they say you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you.
 
Posts: 899 | Location: Ammon, NC | Registered: 31 December 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I emailed Wilton and asked them about their 'Made in the USA' vises and they claim that the few that are labeled as such are made here. So if you just have to have one...
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 977 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It can sometimes be painful to buy stuff on Craigslist, but around here there are always a few heavy duty bench vises for sale. Some are pretty well beat but most just need a good cleaning and replacement jaws. No question about the Wilton bullet vises. Other brands to look for are Parker (same company that made the shotguns), Starrett, Columbian. I've seen the Heck-Heurer in European factories. They do look nice, but I don't think they make any swivel models.

Whatever you get, make sure to mount it so the face of the rear jaw is slightly ahead of the edge of the bench. It bugs me when you can't hold a long piece vertically.
 
Posts: 244 | Location: Upstate NY | Registered: 16 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have starret and wilton, and an old craftsman I use a lot , reed is also good, but buy old good shape stuff and you will be happy.


No matter where you go or what you do there you are! Yes tis true and tis pity but pity tis, tis true.
 
Posts: 522 | Registered: 09 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Depends on what your going to do with it..If your intention is to do gun work, then the Kesey Kimball vise is really nice as it turns in all directions..Kesey is dead, but I think Brockman Guns in Gooding Idaho has a supply of them..

I have an old 5" Wilton, a Palmgren on my drill press, and a Kimball, and a few other smaller vices.. Brownells has a number of gunsmith vices that are real handy with lots of adjustments.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 38051 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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