Cleaning up a Charles Parker number 474 double-swivel bench vise

brino

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Hello,

I saw this bench vise at my local used tool place back in March.
They had just put it out and didn't even have a price on it initially.

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Well at the beginning of May it was still there.....probably due to the price tag.
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I could not justify that price either.
However the owner was willing to move a little, and I found several unused items in my shop to "trade in" for additional discount. That brought it down to my limit.

So the next pictures of it will be from my shop!
I have already dismantled it, got some parts thru the electrolysis bucket and even some fresh paint on.
Stay tuned!

-brino
 

RandyM

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I love a good resurrection.

That is one heavy duty vice.

Don't make us wait to long.
 

woodchucker

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No way that much for that vise.
That would go for about $100 on the retail side around here.
It's a nice vise though. I have a Parker from around 1902. I understand you cannot use a heavy hand on the casting, they will crack. So I use it for filing, bending, light peening. But no sledge or full swing PEENing.. They say it is gray metal.. not modern cast iron.

I like the lock on the ram. Like my Parker the jaws look integral. They just slid on and have 2 pins holding them.
 

BrianT

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Nice vise! The double swivel is unique, dont see many Parkers like that. I have an old Parker as well and also treat it with respect as I would hate to damage it and the jaws are not easily replaceable.
 

brino

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Thanks for the interest!

I wanted this vise for two main reasons:

1) I often wish my current vise had that double swivel feature for holding long items with one end on the floor and the part coming up thru the vise jaws.

2) When I use the Record quick-adjust vise that is my current main vise I am often disappointed by it.
The problem?
The damn quick-adjust mechanism misbehaves, it lets the jaws go slack, and drops my precious work into the pile of grit on the floor!
It's usually when I'm doing something critical and trying to keep it clean, I can spin the handle to loosen, then pull and push the jaws to the work, then while still holding the work piece with my left hand slightly tighten the vise with my right hand. So far so good the vise seems to be holding. But then I move two hands on the vise handle to just snug it up carefully and "CLICK" the quick-adjust mechanism lets go and my work is on the floor. I fume and swear.....and in fact that vise has a battle scar where I smacked it with a hammer when it dropped my work once again. It doesn't happen every time.....only when I start trusting it.

Okay, maybe there are three reasons I wanted the Charles Parker........this old piece of history is a beauty!

Will I miss the quick-adjust feature?
Maybe, but I won't miss crawling around the floor looking for a part that rolled way under the bench.

In fact, I bought two of those Record quick-adjust vises when I found them on close-out. One is my "daily driver" the other was new, still in the box. It's one of the items I traded in for a discount on the Charles Parker vise.....a good investment I figure!

I'll probably keep the Record one I am currently using just for those jobs that need a bigger hammer, or perhaps on the welding table.

Those kinds of thing won't be allowed in the "new" Charles Parker!

-brino
 

mikey

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Nice find, Brino! Parker vises are awesome and your double-swivel vise is an uncommon model; first I've ever seen, actually. The jaw inserts are made of tool steel and are individually fitted to each vise. They are held in with tapered pins tapped in from the top and then filed to match the profile of the jaw. The vise is very strong and fairly precisely machined where it counts. If they have a weakness, it is the cast iron main nut - they can crack. I suggest you identify the nut and watch ebay for a replacement to have on hand if it ever goes.
 

brino

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Like my Parker the jaws look integral. They just slid on and have 2 pins holding them.
Thanks Jeff!
I looked close at the jaws, and tried to look into the holes below but could make out nothing.
Is there any easy way to pull those pins?

I'll have to have another look.

-brino
 

woodchucker

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I don't know. I did not take the jaws off. I could not make out if the pins were blind or were through. So I left them. Also I didn't want to pound on the casting. They say the vise is a good vise, but there are not a lot around because they cracked from hammering on them. So, I'll use it for work holding, and use my rail (anvil) for pounding.
I was able to see the pins, if I remember from under, but not above. Or the other way.. Mine close so nicely and the jaws are so nice, that even cigarette paper or rice paper would be held . Some vises don't fully close like my old wilton. I would like to put it on a stand, so I can fully swivel and hold without the table interfering.
 

woodchucker

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Nice find, Brino! Parker vises are awesome and your double-swivel vise is an uncommon model; first I've ever seen, actually. The jaw inserts are made of tool steel and are individually fitted to each vise. They are held in with tapered pins tapped in from the top and then filed to match the profile of the jaw. The vise is very strong and fairly precisely machined where it counts. If they have a weakness, it is the cast iron main nut - they can crack. I suggest you identify the nut and watch ebay for a replacement to have on hand if it ever goes.
I thought they might have been tapered, impossible to find the other end. Glad I didn't try that.
As for the nut, I would say if you break it, better to do one out of steel.
I didn't know the nut was the problem, everything I heard or read said the casting could not take the hammering. But the nut maybe weak spot . So if that's what they were warning about, I would make a new one from steel and be happy.
 

mikey

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I thought they might have been tapered, impossible to find the other end. Glad I didn't try that.
As for the nut, I would say if you break it, better to do one out of steel.
I didn't know the nut was the problem, everything I heard or read said the casting could not take the hammering. But the nut maybe weak spot . So if that's what they were warning about, I would make a new one from steel and be happy.
The vise itself is very tough. You would have to hammer on it or put a pipe on the handle to break it. The reason the nut is the weak spot is that it is cast iron so not the toughest material around. In addition, each nut is fitted by hand in a loose dovetail slot and then retained by another tapered pin. Depending on how well the nut is fitted in the slot, excessive pressure from tightening can put stresses on the nut and it cracks.

A steel nut would be good but the issue is that this is a double lead square thread, I believe. It is not an Acme thread, that's for sure. If you are capable of cutting such a thread then yeah, a steel nut would be a good option.
 

woodchucker

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I wonder if all nuts are the same for the parker. Brino, take a look at my signature, follow it to Parker Refurb. You'll see a shot of the parts, with the nut sitting there. I doubt it, but you never know.

I wonder if a bronze nut would be a possible substitute. I figure if you can copy the thread, you can make a limited use tap and make it yourself. I realize the double lead is the tough part.. I have not done a double yet.
Or would the only way to do it, be single point threading?
 

brino

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They are held in with tapered pins tapped in from the top and then filed to match the profile of the jaw.
Great thanks, I had to look real hard to see them but they are there!
I'll try to get some pictures of those too.

-brino
 

brino

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A few more close-ups before I show some disassembly.....

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The only reason that the wrenches are still with it is that they are captive, yet you can rotate them out of the way.
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I suspect the one circular spring clip is original, but that the flat c-clip is a replacement.

Still more to come!

-brino
 

mikey

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I may have been mistaken about the double lead but it is a square thread, I believe, not an Acme. Square threads need to be cut very accurately or they bind.

Some models shared the same nut. The nuts are numbered - mine are number 2's. To my knowledge, all of them are cast iron.

Brino, you're lucky that the ears on the brake shoes in your base are intact. They often crack at the ears around the hinge pin. This is due to over-tightening of the locking bolt. It doesn't take much to lock the base so don't overdo it.

There is a spring and pin under the screw in the center of the handle. It keeps the handle from slipping in the head of the handle and causing a nasty pinch, which is a nice touch.
 

mikey

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It sure is in nice condition, Brino. That looks like the original factory blue, too.
 

brino

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I wonder if all nuts are the same for the parker. Brino, take a look at my signature, follow it to Parker Refurb. You'll see a shot of the parts, with the nut sitting there. I doubt it, but you never know.
Thanks for that path to your refurb, I did NOT find that in my initial "Charles Parker" searches.
Your black paint really looks great!

That looks like the original factory blue, too.
Thanks. I did not know what was original, I've only seen other refurbs.

I hope my Tremclad "hammered" silver is not sacrilegious.

I will check for numbers on my nut (I says pardon?).
The thread looks very square, I'll get some close-ups when it's cleaned.

Thanks for looking and for all the great feedback!

-brino
 

brino

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For anyone that has not tried electrolysis for rust removal, you don't know what your missing!
It saves so much wire brushing, and is so easy and cheap to use.
In this case it's also working so well on the old paint, that that it's almost dripping off into the electrolysis bucket when I pull the parts out.

I am using a plastic bucket from the hardware store. My current recipe is rain water (since my well water is so hard, and there's so much rain around!), about a 1-1/2 cups of each TSP and "washing soda". My TSP is the real stuff (I've never understood how they can sell phosphate-free trisodium phosphate!). The washing soda is Arm and Hammer "So Clean" super washing soda (aka sodium carbonate). I am using an ancient 12V battery charger as the power supply.

I could even leave the rig powered up and parts in the bucket thru the day and pull them out at night.

Here it is bubbling away:
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...and some parts being pulled out:

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I'd pull them out, give them a gentle scrape, a light wire brushing and leave them to dry under a heat-lamp.
I've read about problems with "flash rusting" but I've never seen it.
I typically masked and painted them the next day and left them under the lamp again to dry.

-brino
 
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brino

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Last two shots for the night......I gotta go clean some more parts!

You can see that a previous owner had used the back-end of the movable jaw as an anvil or cut-off block.
20170509_182912.jpg

...and here you can just make out the top "fat-ends" of the taper pins that hold the jaw on:
20170509_182921.jpg taper_pins.jpg

-brino
 
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BrianT

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Wow, looks good...makes me want to restore mine as well now. The double swivel is really nice and somewhat rare, I think the original price could have been realized if it had the right venue to sell it.
 

EmilioG

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Great find. Thanks for documenting. The photos and information will come in handy for anyone doing a resto on this model vise.
I'm still looking for a good CP vise. I'd like to buy one of the larger CP vises. They weigh over 70#'s! Mikey has the beast of CP vises.
Very hard to find the larger vises intact w/o cracks or missing parts with a swivel base, pipe jaws, wrench and in good shape.

Nice work Brino. The vise looks excellent now. You did a great job.

A lot of sellers don't even know if there is a crack somewhere, so I would have to buy in person from CL and do a careful inspection.
You have to get lucky. It's like hitting the lottery.
 

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EmilioG

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The Charles Parker 824 is THE vise I would like to find in good shape. These were the best of the best. Top line models, of which Charles Parker made two.
The superior line is the best they made. Super rare.

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