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Prentiss # 21 Swivel Jaw 5-1/8 Jaw Width Bench Vise

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$135.00 (Fixed shipping cost)

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 Product Description

If you could have seen this vise before I started, then you would say like other friendly vise collectors,  "Why are you wasting your time on this beat up vise?"  Well I saw "something" in this vise, and to be honest, it did not disappoint me. Yes, I did put a lot of work into this guy, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  Vise is estimated at over 80 years old.

First, I started by stripping all the different paints this vise has seen.  Then I machined the underneath flat and true.  Next, I set the vise in my milling machine and started removing material where the jaws used to be, at one time. This vise was used without jaws for years and the cast material was all chewed up. Someone added two more tapped holes for some kind of jaws but that was long gone too.  I finally ended up with clean casting where I could fit the fresh set of jaws. The original Prentiss 21 jaws were 5/8 x 1-3/8 x 5-1/4 wide. I ended up with a 5/8 x 1-1/2 x  5-1/8 wide set of jaws that are a perfect fit and hard as a rock at 54/56 Rockwell. They are hard, straight and align up like a vise should.

 The swivel jaw taper hole was re-machined after I had the new jaws installed. I closed up the jaws and then used a carbide 3 degree taper end mill and trued up the hole on my CNC mill.  It did not take much to clean up. I also made a custom SS taper pin and fit it to the new tapered hole.  I built this one with a 1" ball to grab, it fits and works really well.

The square slider has battle scars but there is not the crack in the rear of the slider that you often see on Prentiss vises.

I did not like the spider type collar that Prentiss used (see pic's).  I had to heat and chisel two tabs off.  This type of collar has 6 tabs, so it could be replaced three more times after this first removal. Instead, I replaced the spider collar with a collar I had from another vise, but I also added an Aluminum Bronze washer on the inside to take up some slack.  The front flange that acts like a dust cover was removed on this Dynamic Jaw Support, so I made a custom Aluminum Bronze wear plate behind the spindle meatball and added a flange to keep dirt and grime off the wear spot of the spindle. Came out pretty nice.  I adjusted the gaps pretty close so the backlash is kept at a minimum. I had to add a shim under the nut and also welded two .015 shims on the dovetail portion of the nut because this nut was very loose in its position.  When a nut is loose like this, it shows up in the back lash settings. I want the handle to instantly open the moveable jaw and I got this one down from 12 o'clock to 4 o'clock. Pretty good for an old vise like this.

 Next. I replaced the handle with a new one made from 13/16 inch Cold Formed 1144 CRS. The original 3/4 diameter was loose, so I bored out the hole for a larger handle diameter.  I added 1-1/4 round knobs with new bumpers.  The knobs are heated and forged in place for a permanent install.

The nut set pin was replaced with a new one and I added a block with a set screw to push the nut up tight for again the backlash issue. Works great. The nut has a little wiggle room to align the spindle. You should always have a little wiggle or play in the dovetail area of the nut. It is cleaned and greased for a good years work, should be cleaned and greased once a year.

 I painted the vise with Rust-Oleum Sunrise Red paint.  I used the Rust-Self Etching Primer and baked the paint to a strong hardness. The vise parts sat and baked out in the dry heat here in Colorado for 4 days.

Shipping is a guess at $135. If you contact me before purchasing then I can get a real quote.  Remember shipping to a business is always cheaper through UPS but we should look at Fastenel for an even cheaper rate.


Jaws  -  5-1/2 x 1-1/2 tall

Weight - 110 lbs.

Length - 24"

Height - 11"

Width -  15"

Square slider to top of jaws.  4-1/2"

Max safe opening  - 9"


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