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He Made His Own Custom-Built Vise
As a metalcrafter and blacksmith who needs excellent tools in his shop, Alexandre Bigunas was continually frustrated with his old bench vise that could no longer hold objects tightly. Rather than buy a new one, which might not be tough enough for his needs, Bigunas decided to build his own.
His new vise has a 1/2-in. thick carbon steel circular base that he cut out with his Sumig gas torch. He honed the rough edges with his hand and bench grinders, and bolted it to his metal workbench.
Bigunas made the slide from 1/2-in. thick carbon steel tubing that glides back and forth through a channel opening that he made from 1/2-in. steel plate welded to the top of the base. He inserted thin metal wafers around the slide as he welded the channel together to avoid pinching.
Bigunas made the screw from a 3/4-in. thick shaft and welded a 2-in. anchor nut to the base at the opposite end of the slide. He trimmed the radius edges of the nut flat on two sides so it could be welded securely in the U channel and still allow the slide and screw to glide freely.
Bigunas made jaws for both sides of the vise from 1/2-in. thick by 2-in. dia. pipe, tracing the angular outline with chalk before cutting with his Sumig torch. Metal spacers and magnets held the jaws in place as he welded them with gusset supports to the main vise frame.
The anvil was made from solid XS300 metal and welded to the base of the stationary jaw, providing more structural support for the vise. He made the free-sliding handle from 1/2-in. metal stock and welded bolts on both ends to keep it from sliding through the hole in the screw shaft.
He says his new vise is built stronger than anything he could’ve purchased.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Alexandre Bigunas (www.facebook.com/alebigunas).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1