Restoring an old post vise

This small post vise was in need of a little attention. It obviously hasn’t been used in quite some time. It was covered in heavy rust and was not working properly.
For anyone not familiar with this tool, a post vise is a blacksmith’s tool, used to hold hot metal or tooling. It is identified by the leg or “post” that extends to the ground, helping to support the force of heavy blows and other abuse. They were forged from wrought iron, and were much stronger and more durable than cast iron vises.
The first step in restoring this tool to working order was to completely disassemble it. In clockwise order from the top, the parts are: the screw box, washers, pivot jaw, spring, the post jaw, the retaining clip, the mounting plate, the reading clamp wedges, and the screw and handle.
Once apart, all pieces were gently cleaned with a brass brush and detergent. I could have used something more aggressive and really removed all of the rust, but I like the old patinated surface as long as it’s not interfering with the functionality of the tool.

After cleaning, I oiled all the parts with machine oil and greased the screw box and the pivot area. All the parts were then reassembled. The vise is now fully functional, and so I mounted it on a post secured to the floor in our forge area. It’s a welcome addition, as you can never have too many vises.

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