Here’s a dawn vise that I picked up quite cheaply, secondhand, in November 2016. It’s not in the best of shape, the paint is totally worn out, there is a rough spot on the vise thread, and a sharp burr on the end too. The handle itself has been abused with a pipe, and needs straightening out. I intend to clean and degrease it, fix the damage and give it a fresh coat of paint.
Underneath is thick with grease, and could really do with a clean. I can see a split pin under there, and a washer or two between the split pin and the casting. The split pin and washer arrangement is what pulls the vise jaw back, when you unscrew the thread. To get the screw out of the casting, we’ve got to get that pin out.
The handle was carefully straightened in another dawn vise, using the same kind of tool that damaged it in the first place, a pipe! It also needed a touch up with the file to take out some burrs and deformities it had.
That split pin came out easily with pliers, but it did break in the process. I use my drill bits as poor mans pin-gauges, and here I found out that the hole for the pin was 5mm diameter. So, I bought a replacement (and spares for future - I always try to do that).
Here’s the interesting bit. Taking the jaws off. You might think that it would be easier to leave the jaws in place, if they’re so reluctant to come off, but I like the idea of having some mild steel smooth jaws, and perhaps even some solid copper soft jaws. Also the jaws on the vise right now are in terrible condition, so it’s important to me to get them off. I tried every method I could to get them off. Penetrating fluid, heat, recutting the slot with a dremel, using a screwdriver with a hex shank, along with a spanner. Nothing worked. I ruined a couple of screwdrivers. I even carefully drilled the centre of the screw, and tried to use a screw extractor. That didn’t work and it broke the screw extractor.
- Degrease all parts
- Deburr the leadscrew
- Remove all paint
- Clean with wax and grease remover, prime and paint
- Lubricate and reassemble.