Happy Thanksgiving to all you woodies out there.
Back in January, I wrote a post about maintaining your vise. I had cleaned up the half nut and everything else I could access and it seemed to work OK. But I didn't pull the fixed jaw off the vise. Since that time, I've had further issues with the Record #53E, where it is difficult to pull the front jaw out or push it in. So I pulled it off the bench and this time I removed the fixed jaw.
|The vise disassembled|
The two guide bars slide through holes in the fixed jaw. They are a not supposed to be a tight fit. But over the months, sawdust and 3-in-1 oil have combined to clog up what space there is between the bars and the holes in the jaw.
|Some gunk partially removed|
Over time, I would occasionally put a little 3-in-1 oil on the guide bars to help them slide better. But I'm thinking that's not the best choice, as sawdust will readily mix with the oil and gum up the works. If anybody cares to comment, I would be interested in knowing a better lubricant for this application. What might woodworkers have used years ago? Today, I thoroughly cleaned up the holes and the guide bars and then waxed the guide bars.
|Guide bars getting waxed|
While I had it apart, the half nut needed a little cleaning, and that was done with a dental tool and brass wire brush.
Here's a trick I learned somewhere that I love! This vise is heavy and I'm not getting any younger. To remove and reinstall the vise, I clamp an L-shaped piece in the jaw so that the longer end can rest on the benchtop.
|L-shaped piece clamped in vise|
This makes it MUCH easier to handle the vise. Before reinstalling the vise, clamp the L-shaped piece in the jaws, rest the long leg of the piece on the workbench, and the vise is self-supporting.
|Look ma, no bolts|
That's it. The vise is working beautifully now. I just didn't go far enough back in January. Lesson learned. Again, if anybody knows of a better lubricant for the guide bars (as well as the half-nut), please let me know.