Slow Days at the Shop. #12: I broke my old dunlop utility vice.

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Blog entry by fatman51 posted 05-16-2016 07:54 AM 1704 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: computer glitch Part 12 of Slow Days at the Shop. series no next part

I kinda want to blame this on my wife. But we all know that she has not been out in my shop pounding on things with hammers.

I am not sure when I broke it, but I have a good idea how, because I am always out in my shop pounding on things with hammers.

I am kind of bummed to see that I broke my vice. It is a good 3-1/2 inch dunlop vice. More importantly, it sits on the bench at the end of my shop in line with my table saw blade and the top of the jaws rest 3/16 inch below the top of my outfeed table. I suppose I can braze it, but it is raining outside and I do not have a metal shop. Maybe I can clamp the piece tightly where it belongs and bolt it back together with flat headed/socket headed cap screws. They are very tough and I can use them to align things when I do get around to fixing it properly.

Everything is secure, and I am using a 7/32 drill, which I will follow with a 1/4-20 tap once the hole is prepared.

I am drilling 1/2 inch down with a 17/64 drill bit so that my tap will pass freely as I cut the threads in the lower part of the casting. Like the tap, the bolt needs to pass freely through the broken piece so that I can clamp it to the rest of the vice body.

I need to countersink the hole for the flat head screw to seat below flush. A single flute countersink works better than the one you see in the picture.

By setting the screw upside down int the hole, I can gauge that my countersink is deep enough. I switched to one such that was ground on about the same pitch as my screw head.

I will run this tap clear down to the socket, which will just give me enough thread for my flat headed/socket headed cap screw.

Now that I have installed the first screw, I can repeat the process as I install three more, 2 at 1/4×1-1/2 and 2 6-32 by 1/2. The break is tapered and I do not need a large screw for the shallower part of the break.

You might be able to see that the hole through the broken piece is clean, allowing the screw to pass cleanly through.

So far so good. Not only are the bolts very strong, but the coarse surfaces op the broken pieces with hold things well as long as the bolts are tight.

The disc sander said that the crack was close enough to flush. You should be able to see that I decided to add a couple of smaller screws north of the first.

Back together and back in place! I will have to be a little careful not to crack the casting around the bolts on the broken piece, but it will hold up fine in normal use.

Everything checks out. Thank you for reading.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

4 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2805 posts in 2801 days

#1 posted 05-16-2016 11:36 AM

Looks like a good fix & a keeper. Now go get yourself a small anvil for pounding on.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View BurlyBob's profile


6922 posts in 2876 days

#2 posted 05-16-2016 02:51 PM

Well Fatman, you’ve certainly got me convinced that I need to find a small to medium anvil ! I seriously doubt I could repair my vise as well as you did.

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 2447 days

#3 posted 05-17-2016 11:16 AM

Thanks BurlyBob and Oldtool. I think it will be alright but it won’t really be fixed until I can braze it. I did rummage around outside and find a piece of railroad rail that I can cut a chunk off of for use as an anvil. Should of done that a little sooner, I expect.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23776 posts in 3716 days

#4 posted 07-04-2016 12:43 AM

Great repair!, That should last a long time like that!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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