Wilton vise restoration

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Forum topic by thor2015 posted 11-27-2017 03:35 AM 1905 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 2488 days

11-27-2017 03:35 AM

It’s been awhile but thought I would share a recent project with you all. I’ve recently been experimenting with electrolysis for rust removal and decided to try it out on an old bench vise that my dad recovered from a storage shed fire we had in 1991. It sat outside for about a month after the fire at which point it was recovered and buried in the corner of our garage for the past 26 years. I decided it was time to attempt cleaning it up and getting it to work.

Here is the vise as it was given to me.

It took some effort but it did come apart into its basic components. I found out later that part of the reason it was so tough to take apart was that the threaded rod was bent but a few hits with a sledgehammer and a 2×4 to protect the threads put it back straight. I was ok with this method because if there are any hidden stress fractures that cause the rod to fail it poses no hazard to the user. The vise will simply cease to clamp anything.

Here is the vice after electrolysis and some wire brushing to remove the surface rust after it dried. I let each component run in the tank for about 12 hours using about 3 amps of current and then baked it in the oven for 3 hours at 375 degrees.

All that is left to do is do some detail work to remove the rest of the surface rust, prep and paint the main components (minus the slides and threads) and fashion a new handle for it. All in all I am pleased with the results and best of all, it seems to work just fine!

2 replies so far

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3859 posts in 3207 days

#1 posted 11-27-2017 11:29 PM

Very nice save that looked pretty neglected.

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46 posts in 2488 days

#2 posted 11-28-2017 05:09 AM

Thanks, Tim. I know the vise means a lot to my dad which is why he bothered to dig it out of the ashes but I’m not sure he had a plan on what to do with it which is why it sat collecting dust for so long.

The project has given me a lot of insight as to just how useful electrolysis can be. This one is going back to my dad after all is said and done but now I want to find another old vise that has seized up from rust and neglect and try to restore it for my own workbench.

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