Columbian 6cm2 vise

Another visit to my parents house, and another look around their garage. I should mention here, without being too specific online, that a confluence of events over the last year has made it imprudent to throw too much money at hobby purchases. So this kind of "shopping"is ideal. My Dad (a child of the Depression) is tickled that someone will be getting some use out of his old tools too.
I finally found the lever cap to the Stanley #3 I mentioned in some earlier posts, but only after two hours of rooting around and gabbing with the neighbors. In the process I happened on a number of other interesting items, one of which was a woodworking vise, marked "Columbian 6CM2".
I don't have it in front of me right now, but the jaws are maybe 6" wide, and the maximum opening is probably 9 inches. With a little fiddling, I should be able to mount it into my workbench.
It had some surface rust on the inside of the jaws and on the two guide rods. (I don't know what they are really called, I'm referring the non-threaded rods). I managed to remove the rust pretty easily with some Scotch-Brite and a wire wheel. The threaded rod was not rusted. The nuts that fasten the guide rods are quite rusted and I may replace tham, although they were not seized andlossened easily enough.
The vise is now disassembled, cleaned of rust and coated with some 3-in-1 oil. I have a few questions.
I intend to mount some wood on the jaws to make them non-marring. Any advice as to what sort of wood to use? Would you use nuts and bolts to attach them, countersinking the bolt-head below the surface of the wood?Or would you use wood crews from the outside?
The jaws were originally painted a machine gray-blue. I'm thinking that painting them again would be a good idea, to prevent further rusting. I imagine that the type of paint wouldn't affect the functionality, as they won't touch any of my work directly. I figure some kind of Rustoleum would be a good choice.
The vise has mounting holes on the top and on the back. I can see that using both would make for a more solid connection to the bench. My bench does have an overhang, but the profile doesn't exactly fit the vise's dimensions. I'm going to have to add maybe 7/16 thickness of wood in two dimensions to properly affix it and have it have the jaws end up flush with the bench top. I'm figuring that the more robust the wood, the better.
I also think that I should make the holes in the "filler" wood alightly oversized, so the screws don't engage the wood. They'll screw into the bench proper. Or would you use bolts and nuts (and washers) instead? That would be easy enough for the back mounting holes; the bolts would go through the bench's horizontal support and stick out where no one would see them. But what about the top mounting holes? If I used bolts there they would protrude through the bench top. I could drill some flat-bottomed holes to set them in flush, but that still seems wrong. Would you use bolts for the back and (big) wood screws for the top?
As always, any advice would be much appreciated.
Greg Guarino
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I would be inclined to bolt the vise to the bench with as large a set of bolts as I can fit, backing with washers, and using nylock nuts, if possible. Otherwise, use split lock washers. The local hardware store is your friend here.
I had a similar problem with "fit" to the front of my bench. I simply glued and screwed a "filler" block to the under side of the bench top (2 x 3/8" plywood), then screwed into that block, as well as using the main mounting bolts. Tie the sucker down. There is going to be a lot of stress. Drill pilot and clearance holes as desired. If stuff starts to loosen up, put <gasp> epoxy in the screw holes.
As to the blocks on the vise jaw face, you are going to need to replace them from time to time. I'd go with sufficiently short screws from the back, versus counter sinking. Also, for one of my smaller vises that I use for stuff like gun smithing, I faced the jaws with fairly heavy sheet brass, bending it to be a close fit, so that it wouldn't fall off.
/paul W3FIS
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I used 1/2" plywood on mine, two pieces laminated together. The first is cut out in a "U" shape and fits round the jaws, the second covers the face. This ensures that if a chisel should slip whilst in use it will not strike the metal of the vice.

My vice, a "Record" had tapped holes in the jaws to take 5/16 W so 5/16 W CSK screws sunk below the surface of the wood.
--
Stuart Winsor




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On 9/26/2011 7:25 PM, Stuart wrote:

Well, there's something I wouldn't have thought of.

I'll have to look again, but I don't think the holes were tapped on this one.
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"Greg Guarino" wrote:

-------------------------------- Check with local cabinet shops to see if you can pick up some 1/2" cabinet birch (9 Ply) scrap pieces that you can laminate as req'd.
Why 9 Ply?
No voids.
Lew
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Back in the 50's Dad put a soft jaw in his (now mine) big vice.
The jar is made from soft Al.
He milled and drilled a jaw and it is still there and has press marks in it. Still functional and nice.
A bit harder than wood, softer than steel.
Martin
On 9/26/2011 6:25 PM, Stuart wrote:

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I used some scavenged neodymium magnets from dead hard drives mounted to the back of the removable wood faces. I have a good set for good materials and a beater set for the not so critical stuff.
R
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On 9/27/2011 12:06 PM, RicodJour wrote:

That sounds like a pretty neat idea, but is there any need for exotic magnets? It's hardly holding any weight, and I could even mount little dowels in the wood to mate with the holes in the jaws. That would keep them straight.
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When exotic = free, exotic is good, but neodymium is not exactly exotic. Most of the surprisingly strong little magnets are neodymium, and it's the magnetic strength that's important. You want something to keep them from slipping while you're adjusting the vice. Your dowels would suffice, or you could build the vice faces to wrap around the tops and sides of the vise jaws.
R
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On 9/25/2011 10:01 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Greg, you don't tell what model vise you acquired. If it is a good old quick release wood vise with the steel dog, you need the vise to be mounted very solid and the tops of the jaws to be exactly flush with the bench top. The lift dog is a small bar in the front jaw that raises with a small handle to make the vise work with holes in the bench and bench dog(s) to clamp large objects. See this: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/yost-7-heavy-duty-woodowrkers-vise.aspx
You also don't tell what you have for a bench top. If it is a really thick solid top, you can lag bolt up into the top. If it is even a little bit questionable, I would drill through the top and use either flat head machine bolts that are countersunk or carriage bolts that are counterbored in the top. I have a 2 1/2" solid maple top and used the carriage bolts (3/8" diameter if I remember - whatever fits the mounting ears on your vise).
I made the liners of plywood and left them quite a bit wider than the steel jaws. It has been handy to clamp some tall things that were resting on the floor and I find I use the wood vise as a glue clamp on some things (easier and faster than other clamps) and the extra wide jaws have helped with some of that.
Hope this helps.
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On 10/1/2011 5:34 PM, DanG wrote:

It's in the title, actually, but it probably would not have given you much information.
If it is a good old

No quick release.
wood vise with the steel dog, you need the vise to be

I didn't remember that that was their name, but I remember them from shop class. It doesn't have that feature either.

It's a solid-core door, actually, maybe 1-3/4" thick. I whipped up the bench one day shortly after we bought the house. It's got a 2x8 frame under it, so it feels pretty solid, commensurate with my skills anyway.
If it is a really

That's what I did, although I used 1/4-20 bolts. I also fastened the fixed jaw to the front edge of the bench top with wood screws. Those screws also hold the wooden jaw liner (countersunk)

My jaw liners will probably turn out to be temporary, although "temporary" can have a pretty long life-span around here. :) I may have mentioned that I am a musician (not my main occupation). I did the vise installation in-between an afternoon gig and an evening gig, so I just grabbed whatever scrap wood was handy. They do protrude about an inch and a half past the edges of the steel jaws in each direction.
Thanks for the help.
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