Restoring A Record Vice
I recently purchased a number of old Record Vices from a chap on the Stationary Engine Forum. Two No 5 Vices and One No 6. I started with the No 5 (as the other one was for a friend, and the No 6 is for my future use), and un-seized it using plenty of WD40. Here’s a picture of it before I started:
I’m a big fan of “Proper” old tools, the like of which I doubt we’ll see again with the large quantity of Chinese Made, microprocessor controlled equipment on the market these days. Even the current Record vices are only Record vices in name only, they’re made in China now and even though they claim the QA is better than on the older ones, thankfully lots of the older ones are still around! And at a fraction of the price too! (£40 got me 3 of them, versus £150+ each new).
When the world explodes, amongst the Audi 80’s that will fly out there will be these lumps of metal, still fully functional along with the older drills and lathes built in the 50’s and 60’s. I once owned a lovely pillar drill that was more of a milling machine, but lost that a few years ago when the company I worked for and had lent it to went under. One day soon however I hope to get another, along with a bigger lathe. Anyway, on with the article on restoring the vice…
The process to get it apart is very simple, start off by opening the jaw as wide as you can, and turning it over.
If you look between the fixing hole on the left of the image, and the rectangular cut-out in the centre, there is a small round pin. Smack that out using a drift and it will free up the captive nut held into the main body with a tongue and groove style fixing, with the pin stopping it from coming out when you unwind the vice.
Looking at the Jaw end, you see the spring, washer and in this case a split pin holding the two in place. Remove the split pin, mine helpfully cracked off at the end and I was able to lever it out. The No5 I did first (these pictures are of the No 6) had a steel pin in this position that I couldn’t get free. I got that one apart by striking it backwards and forwards and working the washer & spring over the pin until they were free of it, then drawing the screw back so I could strike the pin all the way through the screw bar into a recess in the jaw.
Once these are free, unscrew it fully and withdraw it. This older No 6 has it’s turning bar held in with a split pin also, so I was able to remove that entirely, which should make painting easier. The No 5 had a fully formed turning bar which was not removable.
You can now slide the jaw back, and tap the captive screw back also until it falls out. The jaw can now be withdrawn fully and set aside.
You can then remove the Jaws from the vice, the No 5 had flat head screws, the No 6 had imperial hex head screws. If your jaws are in poor shape, Farnell sell new ones fairly cheaply and they come with new screws.
You can now clean the vice up with a angle grinder & wire brush, lots of de-gunking agents and a dremel for the hard to reach parts. A re-paint later, and you’ll have something like this:
So, for the record, here’s a picture of my Record No 6, which I’ve started work on today. I’ll post again when it’s finished. The No 5 was re-painted using a white undercoat and a red enamel overcoat, but I don’t recommend this combination as it was a pain to get the red to sit properly without looking white underneath. As a consequence I think I have put too thick a coat on, but hopefully as this sets over the next week or so it will harden a bit more. The No 6 I intend to paint using a Hammerite direct to metal blue.
Edit on the 17th of May 2010 – Finished the Blue Vice today, I’d mainly completed it about a week after writing this article, but had to replace a cotter pin, which took me a while to find a suitable replacement, and get round to fitting it. It’s at about 96% completion, there are a few bits that need touching up and the handle needs a clean on a wheel at some point but other than that is functional and neat enough for me.
As you can see below, I’ve not cleaned the jaws from over painting, and there’s a bit of a dirty mark in the paint, but I’ll sort these in the next few days.
Posted in Proper Tools