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Bench Vise Problem

Posted by dudsiam ( on
Wed, Sep 9, 09 at 15:45

I have an antique bench vise on my shop bench. It is made by the Abernathy Vise and Tool Company which was a Chicago company. I think the company folded in about 1925. Stamped on the vise is "Rapid Acting Vise" and "#20 Clutch". I have had this vise for probably about 40 years.

It is the kind of vise that was fairly common in woodworking classrooms in High Schools. I can verify they were common about 50 years ago. You can release the tension on the vise with merely a half-turn of the handle. Once loosened, you can reposition the vise by either pushing in.....or pulling out.

Here is my problem. It is stuck in the closed position. I cannot open the vise. The handle is free. I can turn the handle a half-turn, but the jaws of the vise are not moving.

I hope I have explained my problem clearly. Would anyone have a suggestion on what the problem might be? I would not even know who would work on an old vise such as I have. I thank you for your thoughts.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bench Vise Problem

I have the problem solved. I called an old friend....a retired woodworking teacher. He is 93 years old. It took a large screwdriver leveraged in the right spot....and a couple of squirts of WD-40....and vise freed itself up.


RE: Bench Vise Problem

Congratulations. It's always nice to succeed in fixing a solid old tool like that...

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