Green Tractor Talk banner

21 - 40 of 50 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,896 Posts
I add one additional step if I can't get a US made product: Do I REALLY need it, or can I make do without. If I can get by, I'll keep the money in my wallet.
I do the same.

my vice is over 100 years old. its inherited and I'm its 3rd owner. you can buy restored old vices in like new condition. mine is Chas. Parker semi steel . ebay it or try FB marketplace for some one local who restores them. you may also easily find them un-restored in varying states of pretty good to rather bad. Same for anvils if you are looking.
Used is a good market to look at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
It's often difficult if not plain impossible to buy some American made products. The company I worked for produced large and expensive rubber & plastic processing equipment. The last thing, prior to loading on the truck, was to place a "Made in America" sticker on the side of the $500,000 machine. What's NOT mentioned anyplace is that it was "Made in America" with 95+% of the parts made offshore! Bob
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
40,542 Posts
my vice is over 100 years old. its inherited and I'm its 3rd owner. you can buy restored old vices in like new condition. mine is Chas. Parker semi steel . ebay it or try FB marketplace for some one local who restores them. you may also easily find them un-restored in varying states of pretty good to rather bad. Same for anvils if you are looking.
Used is a good market to look at.
This one weights as much as my Subaru. :LOL:
I tried to sell it once, no luck. It can just sit in the barn for all I care.
Vise (1).JPG Vise (2).JPG
Vise (3).JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,166 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,128 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,896 Posts
I wish I was closer. . .
Me too.

Anyone that has the sense to appreciate the quality of a good tool love to have that vise.

Unfortunately, good sense seems to be in short supply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
I have a pretty old vise in my shop, I'd have to look at the brand. I found a couple old smaller ones in my wife's late grampas barn, I took those for my other workbenches. I would honestly watch the local ads for estate sales, old vises for sale, business liquidations, etc and find an old US made vise.
I am guilty of using quite a bit of stuff from Harbor Freight, but when even the big name brands are made in China what difference does it make? However, the Harbor Freight vises are known for breaking right in half, I would not get one myself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,999 Posts
The best work bench tops for many uses are repurposed bowling lanes, which are available in many areas. Usually a tick under 21" or 41 7/8" wide and 2.75" thick, these are beautiful and very durable work surfaces. I see them in our area from time to time on CL and Market Place and they are usually sold for $5 to $7 for the 21" and $8 to $12 per linear foot for the 42", which is a steal for what it is............Just make sure you have help to carry it.............

I bought a 12' long 21" section for a work bench at our last house and was only able to get it down into the lower level after taking out a basement window. I bet that workbench will be there till the house is demolished some day as the only way out is either cutting it into sections or back out the window...........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
I like quality, and will typically pay more if the product has a good fit an finish. My father told me when I was little, don't ever buy cheap tools. I try to go by that rule for the most part. My vise is one that was passed down to me from my grandfather. If for some reason I had to replace it (which I hope never happens), I just couldn't see spending hundreds of dollars for a Wilton, especially since I am not a profession that requires a vise. If I was a welder or fabricator maybe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,128 Posts
Why, what is wrong with it?
On ebay similar charles parker vises are $3-500. There is a both useful valve and vintage collectors value. Some of the parker vises date back to the late 1800s. Not sure the one gizmo has is that old but it's probably in the 1920-30s vintage.

It's the kind of thing that will probably be in perfectly good usable shape 200 years from now bolted to the bench of a homeowner.
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
40,542 Posts
Me too.
Anyone that has the sense to appreciate the quality of a good tool love to have that vise.
Unfortunately, good sense seems to be in short supply.
Why, what is wrong with it?
Way too big for what I do now, those days are pretty much gone.
I, my father and my two brothers used this vise A LOT when we boys were growing up.

I just couldn't see spending hundreds of dollars for a Wilton, especially since I am not a profession that requires a vise. If I was a welder or fabricator maybe.
As stated (above) those days are pretty much gone.
My new Wilton cost me ~$150.00
 
  • Like
Reactions: rtgt

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Wow, a lot of good information. I took some nuggets with me. I enjoyed the video Gizmo2. I never thought that Fireball was so good! It also got me thinking about a used vise. Seems like older name brand is worth looking into (Chas Parker, Wilton, etc.).
 
  • Like
Reactions: rtgt and Gizmo2

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
All this stuff however is super heavy and the cost to transport from overseas would likely outweigh any savings.
Um remember the whole chinese sheetrock issue a few years back. Seriously shocked it was cheaper to get ROCK delivered from China! How shipping and import taxes still made that a cheaper product for the McMansion Builders is shocking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gizmo2

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
40,542 Posts
I recently bought a vintage craftsman off eBay that I’m thrilled with. Some of the old wilton bullet vises are really cool but they’re pricey View attachment 782047
That's a NICE vise IMO. AND the mounting ears will not be close to the edge of your work bench or right on the edge when mounting (that drives me NUTS).
I'd for sure hag on to that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trailerparkjackson

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Trailerparkjackson - now I am getting the itch to refurbish an old vise. Seems like that would be fun for one straucturally sound (no chips, breaks, bends).

I have spent some time looking at older vises. For some reason, when shopping for vises, I get the "bigger is better" mentality - really shouldn't be. A 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 will be fine for me. I found a Columbian no. 603 1/2 vice close by for $90 - no chips, repairs or anything wrong. Just needs cleaned up and repainted. It's semi-local, being manufactured in Cleveland long ago (I am also from Ohio). I wonder if it likes rock and roll!

I am surprised I haven't heard this yet, but for anyone who takes pride in the look of their workshop (I understand some don't and that's fine), there are a few things that stand out as shop centerpieces, if you will. When someone walks into your shop what do they notice? For me, when I walk into a workshop, I tend to check out the workbench. Is it functional, organized, even used!? Yes, this may seem superficial but the vise is part of "shop aesthetics" as well. If I walked into Trailerparkjackson's shop, I would definitely comment on the sweet vise! Not that you can't work off a Work Doer Chin Tzee vise, but I don't know, just doesn't give off the same vibe as a wilton, yost, chas whatever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Interesting update. My grandpa, knows a guy, who knows a guy, who is the class of "collector" you can see his collection from space. Literally acres of things. He has five buildings filled with rando stuff. I went there this weekend - I had no idea what to expect. He probably has 50 vises, most of them outside. However, he has one Wilton bullet, made in the USA, sitting in his barn. He said he would sell it for $250. I only had $200 cash on me so I would have to come back. I plan on getting the cash, looking at it in more detail, and bringing some more cash for other possible purchases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
I've been beating up a tekton 8 inch vise for 4 years. It's made in taiwan. It's probably not the greatest vise but it was affordable and I haven't broken it or made a dent on it yet. I chose this one based on how far it can extend the jaws. I put very large items in the jaw.

https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-8-Inc...=1&keywords=tekton+vise&qid=1618229262&sr=8-2
782637




On a related note from other post above. I worked in a Japanese owned company in KY (USA) a long time ago. We would pack parts in the shipping containers and the last step was to slap a "made in japan" sticker on everything we made. I saw it personally every day for over a year.

So I'm a skeptic now of believing anything is made where the sticker says it is.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Treefarmer and Boar

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
I'd probably echo a lot of the comments posted here, so I won't bother to repeat them. Hands down, the made in USA items always get a purchase preference. As to how much of a preference, that depends on what it is. I almost never buy cheap. The best lessons in life are those you pay dearly for. Probably 40+ years, I bought an import vise. It was likely a Japan or Taiwan vise back then, as I don't believe we were trading with China then. While it looked massive and strong, the fit and finish was poor. There was a LOT of slop between the receiver and the moving section. The screw also had a lot of slop. The vise had a tendency to bind up when operating it, from time to time, despite efforts at lubricating it. It finally broke in the middle of a weekend job...and I wasn't abusing it.

I couldn't finish the job, which was a repair on a service truck. So that cost me money in loss productivity the next business day. It also cost me a customer, when I couldn't arrive to perform the work as scheduled. That cost me a LOT more money, in the future.

So it was one of those hard learned best lessons in life that the cheap vise actually didn't save me any money---it cost me far more than a quality vise. The same lesson applies to weekend warriors. A cheap tool that fails never does so when it is convenient. It results in lost time, the cost to replace it, the trip and/or shipping to replace it, and the repair or replacement of the damage inflicted by the cheap tool.

The vise I purchased as a replacement was a Wilton 450S machinist vise. What a machine! There is virtually no slop between the receiver and the moving section. The mechanism is as smooth as silk. I remember choking on the $250 price tag near 40 years ago, but I didn't want to re-learn the lesson again. I've never had a regret.

That vise sits on a floor mounted stand in my shop today.

782690


I had an old Mercury, made in the USA, as a bench mounted vise, in my shop. It wasn't in the same class as the Wilton 450S, but even at that, it was frustrating to use. Mainly because the serrations of the jaw plates were virtually worn flat. So it wouldn't grip anything and things would slide in the jaws or become damaged from over tightening the jaws in an attempt to grip something so it wouldn't move. Of course, searches to find replacement jaw plates were always fruitless.

So one day when scanning Craig's List, I came across another Wilton 450S...for $400!!! At the time, I thought that was a bit nuts---until I looked up what a new one was going for--north of $800 with shipping. It was 100 miles away, but we were leaving for FL in a few days and would be passing within a few miles. My bride just "loves" my Craig's List/FB Marketplace side excursions. I phoned the guy in the hope to negotiate a lower price. When I mentioned I already had one, he replied, "Well, you know the quality and what they are worth." He, obviously, knew what he had. He agreed to hold it for me. I purchased it and replaced the old Mercury with it:

782694


I've never seen another one show up on Craig's List or FB Marketplace.

If you want a great vise that will last for generations, go with a Wilton Machinist' model.
 
21 - 40 of 50 Posts
Top