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Thread: Quick adjusting vise worn out?

  1. #1
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    Question Quick adjusting vise worn out?

    Do quick adjusting vises wear out? I am unable to get any clamping pressure between the jaws of the vise.

    This is what the screw on my (old) vise looks like.

    IMG_2210.jpg

    IMG_2211.jpg

    Are they supposed to look like that? If so, how to fix?

    The new vise I picked up from Harbor Freight.

    IMG_2212.jpg

    Is there any hope for the old vise?
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 05-28-2023 at 4:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    When you push the quick-adjust lever on the front of the vise, that raises the half-nut at the rear of the vise that engages the screw threads. When you release the lever, a spring should pull the half-nut back into engagement. Perhaps the spring is worn or has gone altogether missing. Or gunk has worked its way in so the nut no longer pivots freely. Either way, shouldn't be a difficult fix.
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  3. #3
    Yes. They usually just need some adjustment, often from an unneeded adjustment. Looks like it might be missing a nut that might be hard to find. Allowing someone to use a vise who is not competent and careful is a bad idea.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Morgan View Post
    When you push the quick-adjust lever on the front of the vise, that raises the half-nut at the rear of the vise that engages the screw threads. When you release the lever, a spring should pull the half-nut back into engagement. Perhaps the spring is worn or has gone altogether missing. Or gunk has worked its way in so the nut no longer pivots freely. Either way, shouldn't be a difficult fix.
    I am aware of how the quick release mechanism works. The nut is clean. The threads on the vise are clean. The spring has tension to engage the nut. When a load is applied to the vise jaws, the nut pops out of the threads. What are you suggesting should be fixed or adjusted?
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 05-28-2023 at 3:26 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Allowing someone to use a vise who is not competent and careful is a bad idea.
    Not sure to what that comment applies. That you should not be using a quick release vise?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Looks like it might be missing a nut that might be hard to find.
    Are you referring to the nut that is on the back bottom of the vise? A section of the vise that is not in the picture frame, but has been removed for inspection and can be seen in the top of the picture?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Yes. They usually just need some adjustment, often from an unneeded adjustment.
    I have not been able to find anything that is adjustable on the vise, hence my question about if the threads on a quick release vise are known to wear out. Please let me know if you have any specific information on how to address the issue.
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 05-28-2023 at 3:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    Can you post pictures of your locking nut? Showing it in place and off the vise so the threads are visible?

    The threads on the shaft look normal to me. A guess is something is worn on the locking nut or the locking mechanism needs adjustment.

    Does your vise locking assembly look similar to the pictures of my vise?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Anthony , It looked like a pattern makers vise . Maybe itís not. Thatís all I got.
    Pretty sure someone on Sawmill will have the answer. You might look on line at heavy duty vises new and old.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hayward View Post
    Can you post pictures of your locking nut? Showing it in place and off the vise so the threads are visible?

    The threads on the shaft look normal to me.
    IMG_2217.jpg

    IMG_2218.jpg

    IMG_2219.jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hayward View Post
    the locking mechanism needs adjustment.
    Adjustment? Where and what would be adjusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hayward View Post
    Does your vise locking assembly look similar to the pictures of my vise?
    Similar, yes.
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 05-28-2023 at 5:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Anthony , It looked like a pattern makers vise . Maybe it’s not. That’s all I got.
    Pretty sure someone on Sawmill will have the answer. You might look on line at heavy duty vises new and old.
    Until I got annoyed enough to break down and purchase a new one at Harbor Freight, I had nothing to compare it to. I had no idea what the workings should look like. They didn't look any different than the pictures I found online. Other than the sharpness of the threads of the screw, there is no difference between the old one and the new one from Harbor Freight. Hence why I was wondering if the threads wear out. Still leaves not understanding why the jaws of old vise won't supply any pressure. Everything between them appears identical. So I am hoping to find someone with some insight or thoughts. Thank you for your input.

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    The vise will need to be assembled for this test. Put finger pressure on the end of the shaft that protrudes out the bottom of the nut while you are closing the vise jaws hard enough to make the jaws slip. See if you feel the nut shaft moving, jumping. That will tell you the nut is is slipping if the nut shaft moves. The teeth, or threads, on the nut look worn in the picture you posted. Also might jut be the nut is not getting enough pressure to hold it tight against the vise shaft screw.
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    How much pressure does it take to move the thumb lever that allows the quick vise adjustment? Mine takes enough pressure to move the lever that is has annoyed me since I bought the vise several years ago.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hayward View Post
    The vise will need to be assembled for this test. Put finger pressure on the end of the shaft that protrudes out the bottom of the nut while you are closing the vise jaws hard enough to make the jaws slip. See if you feel the nut shaft moving, jumping. That will tell you the nut is is slipping if the nut shaft moves. The teeth, or threads, on the nut look worn in the picture you posted. Also might jut be the nut is not getting enough pressure to hold it tight against the vise shaft screw.
    I cannot apply enough pressure to the nut stem (point as pictured) to get any "real" amount of clamping pressure on the jaws.

    If you look at the the carefully. The right most thread looks more worn than the others. If you look even more carefully you can make out a wear spot in the lower right. If this is the cause, is there any saving or replacing the half nut?
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 05-28-2023 at 8:54 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hayward View Post
    How much pressure does it take to move the thumb lever that allows the quick vise adjustment? Mine takes enough pressure to move the lever that is has annoyed me since I bought the vise several years ago.
    No difference than to the new vise from Harbor Freight. I would say a comfortable amount. It doesn't flop around. It wouldn't get triggered by accident. But also doesn't take a lead pipe or pair of pliers to make it move.

  14. #14
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    The right thread being worn and not the others tells me the nut is not staying flat against the vise shaft when the vise if being tightened. The worn thread is riding up on the vise threads causing the entire nut to move away from the vise shaft causing the slippage. Difficult to say without having the assembly in my hands but the nut shaft may be too loose in the slot it slides in. That may have caused the wear on the nut thread.

  15. #15
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    There looks to be a fair bit of debris in the thread of both the screw and the nut. The first thing I'd do is clean all that up so the nut can fully engage.



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