Common wear-and-tear issues
- Nuts and bolts—Smaller nuts and bolts can be removed with an impact driver or hex nut driver. Larger nuts and bolts require an impact gun and a set of six-point, impact-rated sockets. In some cases, heat may be necessary to remove stubborn nuts and bolts.
- Slide bracket and slide bar—Sometimes, all that is needed to repair the bracket and bar is an adjustment of the screws. This is probably the easiest way to repair the slide mechanism, so don't be afraid to give it a try.
- Jaws—Worn vise jaws might gap in places they did not before, which causes the jaws to not hold as tightly as they should. If you have access to fabrication tools, you can always fill in the gouges and grind the jaws back to their original shape.
- Clamps—If the bolts on your clamps never seem to tighten, you may want to check for warped or damaged washers before you replace the clamps. Sometimes, placing a spacer washer under the bolt is enough to fix this problem if replacement is not an option.
- Bar clamp—Before replacing a slipping bar clamp, check to see if there is any oil residue. This can be cleaned off the clamp with denatured alcohol.
No matter what the issue, remember your safety precautions
You are dealing with moving parts after all. Here are some tips to keep you safe when repairing your vise:
- Always use a shield, goggles or proper safety glasses to protect your face and eyes.
- Make sure your vise is securely mounted and installed on your work table.
- Give the stationary jaw a little extra space beyond your work table so that it does not interfere with your work.
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