Fix vise jaw

My main vise I bought new many years ago-late 80's I think. It's a Craftsman 5 1/2". I've used the crap out of it. Mounted to a rescued stand-Its where a good bit of my shop time is spent.

fix vice jaw

One day grinding on something- I noted a change in spark colors but didnít really think anything other than thatís odd. Wasnít until I removed piece discovered I had ground into one jaw. No pic so colored above to show material I removed. The one jaw, starting about midway and tapers to 3/16" deep at edge I ground a 1/8"' wide edge off top corner. Kinda bummed but they were pretty wore-oh well, replacement time.

However looking on line Sears no longer has parts. Why'd I buy a Craftsman? oh ya USA made and parts availability. Neither are true.. apparently there are 3 different vises with the same model number, #391.5187, (oddly to search parts, its #51871 on the parts.sears.com & other sites?). An older USA made vise and 2 Japan made vises, one like mine, the other has vertical groove in jaw-different bolt spacing. No where could I find replacement jaws to fit mine. 5/12"x3/4"x5/16" thick jaws with 3" bolt spacing. Bolts are offset to one edge so arenít reversible, cant redrill because counter bore is too deep...

What few sites that actually show the vice, list for example, 3 different vice nuts, 3 different handle & clamping screws, 3 different bases?etc for the same vice? Some will list 4 1/2" or a 6" replacement jaw inserts-even ereplacmentparts.com, neither of which will fit? Sears- on some of the parts, they are non returnable-so you order & take your chances its the right part? my rant..If a manufacture makes an item, then changes it so parts are no longer interchangeable at minimum it needs a revision number. I finally gave up.

I need new jaws, but more important is I need to use vise. It may be I end up with another vise but for now I tried to fix. Removing jaws (a 2-hour event soaking/heating, beating with impact) finally got them off. I use to remove and anti-seize the bolts on occasion, guess it has been a while.

Took to shop and seriously cleaned. Wire wheeled the cut I then clamped with brass bars making a 'dam'. I wanted to ensure I didn't over weld or drop onto faces. Using the mig I welded up the groove. Built up using short 1/4" welds staying only in same place to get enough height, didn't want to over heat and cause drop or too much warpage. Ground and filed corner square.

fix vise jaw

Not to bad but there are 2 holes, between weld puddles. Hopefully no dirt but so far works well, at least vise is useable.

Still looking for jaw replacements. Iíve found folks who custom build them but haven't priced-why these are so non-standard puzzles me. Any way thatís my fix. Using short spots, building up weld bead.

More info on glorious vise stand is under repurposing section of main page

Back to top of page

Back to shop tool mods

Back to Our shops home page