Thursday, 23 September 2010

A post for JW - cleaning up an Emmert Vice

JW requested that I post a few photos of the Emmert vice restoration. I wrote about this bench a few years ago now - and sadly, I have not finished the restoration. The above photo shows it in its original condition - or at least the condition I found it in. There are quite a few photos of the base restoration here.

(the parts after the first “toothbrushing”)

I would consider myself a minimalist when it comes to restoring things. I clean and fix things that are broken, make sure that parts interact properly, but I am not a re-paint make it look like new guy. I like patina and the evidence that things have been used. I view myself as the current keeper of the vice and will undoubtedly impart my own wear (and tear) on it.

The cleaning process involved taking the whole vice apart and scrubbing it with an old dry toothbrush. It is amazing how much crud a toothbrush can remove! After all the loose dust was off, I soaked it in Varsol for about 15 minutes. I then used the same toothbrush and removed everything else. There were a few stubborn parts that I used a brass bristled brush to remove. For a few really bad spots, I did use steel wool being careful not to brighten the castings too much.

This photo shows the level of clean I was after. The little bits of green paint do not bother me - it is all part of the story of the vice.

There were no missing parts and only a single broken part. I was able to purchase a replacement collar from CS Machinery. It was not a perfect type match - but I was fine with that. For anyone interested in Emmert Vices - this site is an amazing resource - I found it very helpful.

I kept my camera handy and took a few photos as I took the vice apart to avoid forgetting how it went back together.

Here is a photo with the screw removed. I also replaced these two slotted screws - they were stripped.

The Allen screw and collar that hold the screw in place.

Here is the vice back together with leather lining the jaws. I also made a new handle for it (which is a little too long).

And with the jaws wide open.

I have used this vice many times now and I am very impressed with it. I am able to hold anything. The only issue I have to resolve is the cam seems to loosen sometimes which makes clamping a bit awkward. I suspect I just need to tweak the way a few of the parts interact and it will be fine.

Oh, one other thing - I did lap both sides of the cam and the locking nut to ensure flatness. They were a little rough. I also waxed all the surfaces.

JW - I hope this helps.


Blogger JW said...

Awesome! Many thanks, Konrad.

19 October 2010 at 08:38  
Blogger Konrad said...

You are most welcome - I hope it was helpful.


19 October 2010 at 08:39  
Anonymous Brad said...

I've recently gotten into stripping castings with an electrolysis process. It takes a while but it isn't like you actually have to do much of the work. The castings sit in a bath of water and washing soda, with a low-voltage current, and low and behold, all the grease, dirt, paint and rust falls right off. And no degradation of the casting (not so for Aluminum but we're talking old tools)

22 October 2010 at 16:53  

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