17th January 2014, 02:18 PM #1
Putting an Acme saw filing vise back to work
I picked up an Acme saw filing vise on Ebay a few months ago. These vises were used on the Acme saw filing machine and apparently most have been removed for bench mounted use. As a result many of these vises lack any type of base on which to stand properly.
The vise was listed as having a stuck adjuster but otherwise was in good shape. The vise arrived and indeed the jaw adjuster was completely locked with rust. I took no pictures of the process but it involved a thorough wire brushing to remove the paint applied by the seller and years of accumulated grime and rust, multiple applications of penetrating oil and the use of a 1/2" pneumatic impact gun fitted with a drag link socket to free it up. That done I set the vise aside.
In succeeding months the vise sat unattended as I worked on other projects. During a spate of cold weather recently as I hurriedly closed up shop I managed to topple the vise over and snapped the end off of the closing handle. I then resolved to put the vise into use beginning with a repair of the broken closing handle. My first attempt at repair was made using oxy-acetylene brazing. Try as I might I was unable to get the cast iron handle to wet with braze. I tried 5 different types of brazing rod/flux combinations to no avail. Using an oxidizing flame I managed to burn out some of the graphite over time and got just a dab of 40% silver solder to bond. I then decided to give it my all. The next day I pulled out my arc-welder, mounted a 1/8" MG260 55% nickel rod, clamped up the broken bit, dialed up 90 amps and let it rip. This is the result after filing.
Now for the base. I had a couple of pieces of angled plate steel that had been part of a shipping pallet for a piece of equipment that I scrounged. After thirty minutes of sawing, grinding, drilling and wire brushing I had two mounting plates for the vise. A quick search in the parts cabinet yielded suitable 3/8"-16 bolts and washers.
new mounting brackets.jpg
Remove years of crud from the mounting holes,
chasing the mounting holes.jpg
Now to tune the vise jaws up a bit. The jaw faces had obviously seen some rough handling and were in need of dressing. The bases were attached and the whole assembly was clamped to the workbench for corrective action. Fifteen minutes of draw-filing with my Big Bastard file trued them up easily.
bringing the jaw tops even and removing file cuts.jpg
A quick check with the straight edge,
straight she is.jpg
shows all is well.
The day was getting on so I thought to proceed directly to painting. First the filth was removed with de-greaser.
A wipe down and compressed air blow dry was followed by the application of Krylon gloss Sage Green paint.
a nice layer of snot green paint.jpg
Two coats, allow to dry to the touch, re-assemble and back to the bench for final dressing.
Final trueing of the jaw tops.jpg
Clean the rust from the jaw faces,
clean jaw faces.jpg
Now apply two coats of clear lacquer, clamp the vise to the bench top, insert saw and we're ready to go!
Ready to go.jpg
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17th January 2014, 04:53 PM #2
These are the kings of saw vises, pity we don't have them over here.Ö..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands
17th January 2014, 05:30 PM #3
Could you also use that for weight training
Just am idea lol
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18th January 2014, 11:13 AM #4
18th January 2014, 11:22 AM #5
It does look solid. I bet there is no chatter working a blade clamped in that. It would be best suited in a permanently mounted position as it must be a chore lifting on and off the bench. Good to see nice old tools saved.
18th January 2014, 02:29 PM #6
I am still getting it adjusted but it is much more solid than the Disston #3 I have been using is. I made holes in the mounting brackets for permanent fixation but the C clamp shown combined with the mass of the vise produces a very steady filing platform. I don't know what it weighs but it is no problem for me to move it around.
18th January 2014, 02:39 PM #7Member
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Hey Rob. Is yours the aluminum version? I just finished having my cast steel version, 28", reworked. Haven't even had a chance to use it yet. Too many post in the fire. Best wishes, Ron
18th January 2014, 02:53 PM #8
Mine, at least from what I can tell, has no aluminum parts. The handle is made of very high graphite cast iron - I couldn't even get it to take braze using silver-solder. I'll put it on a scale tomorrow or Sunday and post the weight. I am guessing it goes about 35-40 lbs.
19th January 2014, 03:55 AM #9Member
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That sounds about right. If you should decide to get rid of it. I know a guy that might want it.
26th January 2014, 12:04 PM #10
The ACME saw vise
I finally got around to weighing this thing - 46.5 lbs.
24th December 2017, 06:35 AM #11
And then there were two
Like many saw enthusiasts I'm always on the lookout for saw making and maintenance tools, particularly unique items. Not too long ago I happened across another Acme saw filing vise. It was listed as a "Buy it now" with the "Make offer" potion. I quickly put in an offer and much to my surprise it was accepted. I paid and waited.
The iron vise discussed above is on the left and the new one on the right.
In my rush to submit an offer I didn't read the full listing and when it arrived I was very surprised and doubly pleased to find that it's the aluminum version (28.6 lb.). It also has the original feet/supports and something I hadn't seen before - a chip tray on the back jaw.
This shows the chip tray from a different angle.
I was again surprised to find that the aluminum vise is a bit shorter than the iron version. The casting markings and all other features are the same. The overall appearance of the vise suggests that it may be unused.Innovations are those useful things that, by dint of chance, manage to survive the stupidity and destructive tendencies inherent in human nature.
24th December 2017, 09:21 AM #12
Just curious, do all the ACME vices have the facility to attach a chip tray? Is it something they all came with but were discarded as a bit of a novelty?
Nice pickup btw.Those were the droids I was looking for.
24th December 2017, 10:08 AM #13
The iron vise I have has the screw holes so I assume that at one point it had one too.Innovations are those useful things that, by dint of chance, manage to survive the stupidity and destructive tendencies inherent in human nature.
24th December 2017, 10:54 AM #14
Putting an Acme saw filing vise back to work
My recollection is that the acme vices came with saw filling machines. On a machine the chip tray would be more relevant than when used for hand sharpening due to volume, would it not?
Couldíve an explanation why so do, some donít.Ö..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands
24th December 2017, 01:40 PM #15
I've seen pictures of some filing machines but don't recall seeing the chip tray. Very little information available on the net about the company and products compared to Foley/Belsaw.Innovations are those useful things that, by dint of chance, manage to survive the stupidity and destructive tendencies inherent in human nature.
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