Questions on Old Vise


Picked up a hunk-o-junk vise on EBay more as a curiosity than anything. Shipping was about the same as my winning bid ($41.50 vs $35). A picture is at
http://web2.airmail.net/xleanone/index.html/Vise/vise.jpg
It's a fairly massive hunk of cast iron, about 35#. Faces are about 9"X3" and max opening about 13". After cleaning it up (surface rust - 150 grit AO cloth and oil got it off), it seems to work fine. Taking it apart and cleaning was an adventure in torn up fingernails and rust stained hands, but WTH.
BTW, the carrier that engages and disengages from the screw thread DOES have a "fore and aft". One way the quick disconnect works, the other way doesn't . DAMHIK!
Interesting thing is that the manufacturer's name and the model number have been struck off, obviously with a cold chisel. I suspect the reason is that this was a factory second. There are obvious imperfections in the front face casting (deep pits, probably from too much moisture is the casting sand).
Questions:
1. Is my theory of a factory second reasonable? Was it common to deface such products after production?
2. The part of the name that can be discerned is
"???? (Rock?) Island ILL"
The manufacturer and model number are totally illegible.
Anyone have an idea of who manufactured it and the model? DAGS was no help here.
3. The throw on the handle is limited to about 350 degrees by stops cast in the front face and the handle boss. It's obviously designed so that one disconnects the screw thread by loosening, moves the vice jaws into contact by sliding the front jaw in or out as needed, then tightens with a 350 degree throw max. This limits the pressure you can put on the object in the vise, but 350 degress moves the jaw almost 3/4 inch, so that shouldn't be an issue. Is this a common way of tightening a quick release vise?
Any ideas appeciated. I'm going to mount this monster in the little Sjoberg bench I picked up (EBay again), as a replacement for the current front vise. Next is a Veritas twin screw shoulder vise!
Regards.
Tom
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Tom Banes wrote:

I've got an old W. C. Toles No. 20 that is somewhat similar. Faces are 10" wide and it opens to a bit over 12", but lacks the dog on the front face. Chicago, not Rock Island.
Lots of lettering on the front face - lots of cold chisel work to remove it. Makes sense that it might have been sold as a second, or to an employee.
I don't recall seeing anyone other than Toles use that type of quick release, but who knows?
John Martin
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wrote:
John:
Thanks.
1 goof in my OP, metal faces are 9 3/4", not 8 3/4 as stated. Measured it, walked in to the puter and forgot it. Getting old is such fun! Found my car keys the other day and had to ponder "what are these for?".
Maybe it is a Toles. Rock Island, Chicago, not a bunch of difference.
Thanks.
Tom

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John:
Thought you might find this of interest. Catalog listing for Toles vises.
http://www.old-woodworking-tools.com/index/pages/096.htm
Regards.
Tom
wrote:

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I have an old Morgan vise that near as I can tell, looks exactly like that, right down to the popup dog on the top. I took it apart to clean it, found that the quick release was just like you say - put it in wrong, and it won't release. :-) And the handle only goes around a little less than one revolution; you're supposed to use the self-releasing quick release to position the jaw.
It says Morgan, Chicago ILL on the front, and "rapid action". I've hunted and can't find any real info on Morgan. They might have moved to or from the town on your casting.
I've been using it in the bench I built for about a year. That thing is so massive I don't think I could make it rack if I used a five foot pipe. The guy who gave it to me said he remembers it as a kid, from his grandfather's farm, and he's of the opinion it was old then.
Cleaned most of the rust off, got it operating nice and smooth, put a nice big piece of oak in the jaw.
What's the problem? I don't know if this vise was originally intended for woodworking but I have been unable to find anything that it can't hold, and hold SOLID.
I can think of no reason to deface the name other than the one you mention. Back in the day, name recognition meant something to people and businesses.
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Thanks for the info. I'm still working on deciphering the names on the front. If I can get them in cleartext, I'll post.
As you say, it is a massive hunk. Haven't mounted it yet, but plan to this weekend. Cleaned up it moves smoothly; just keep your pinkies out of the way 'cause when that front jaw slides, it doesn't slow up for a finger!
My jaw faces will be hard maple. I picked up a piece of 5/4 today and that will get cut and trimmed for faces (not all of it, as it's about 8 BF of wood). I plan to extend the jaw faces out about 2" on each side, giving me a 14" width and about 4" on either side of the guide rods. Seems to me that more might cause excessive racking. I'll also cut and rout a cover for the dog - slip it over the metal when extended - - that should be a fun little blind mortise as the dog is not square, but a truncated triangle at about 10 degrees off square on the sides.
Regards.
Tom
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