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Proof positive, you get what you pay for...
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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LOL...that's Harbor Fraught for you! There's some good savings to be had there on some items (I've got one of their aluminum racing jacks that's worked great for twelve years) but also a lot of crap. Gotta be careful and read the reviews, but I've gotten some decent stuff there.

Having just gone through buying a new vise, I've learned that your options these days are for the most part: (a) junky and cheap or (b) good and really, really expensive. As Brad suggested, try to find an older, American-built vise as there are deals out there and they're well-nigh indestructible if you keep them properly lubed.

I ended up buying a Yost combination vise, which seems to split the difference between the two extremes I listed above. It's ductile iron, not cast, so it's theoretically twice as strong (60,000#).

Yost 5 in. Heavy Duty Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Pipe and Bench Vise-750-DI - The Home Depot

Note that it's significantly bigger than it looks in pictures!
 

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I welded mine although not the same brand. I ground out the joint to get a deeper weld, pre heated with a torch and welded with a wire feed. Also I had drilled and tapped for a connecting bolt. It is good for light duty. Maybe not worth the effort but I wanted to try welding cast.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hey, great idea. I was going to try super glue but JB Weld will work much better! ;)

It was a pretty big shock - I must've stood there still for 30 seconds with a big "what the heck" look on my face trying to take in what had happened.

I got a couple of good years of service out of it for my $75. Happened Friday night and just posted it now. Wish I'd thought to look at Craigslist - that's a good idea. I already replaced it though with a Bessey which is nothing special either, but must have close to twice as much material at the point where the HF vice broke so it should be beefy enough.

The Bluehouse skis are the closest thing to Harbor Freight there. $500 new including bindings. But made in Salt Lake and kick *** in deep powder!
 

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My high school shop teacher

I remember my shop teacher telling the class to "never tighten the jaws too hard when you are done using it". His thinking was that if there is a big temperature change in the shop the vise might break due to expansion of the metal in the jaws.

May or may not be true but I still use his advise. 0:)

.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My high school shop teacher said "stop f-ing with the g-d d*** vise, Moore!!". ;)
 

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Which high School?

Chris:

I would guess that you did not go to a school
where the lady teachers that wore long black outfits. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Definitely not! And actually it was 9th grade metal shop at Centennial Junior High in Boulder, CO.
 

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Don't bother. Just throw that HF junk in the trash. The Denver Craigslist has this Columbian vise that is well worth the $95 asking price.

Last time I bought something that weighed twelve pounds and was labeled Columbian in Denver it was a lot more than $95. Maybe legalization of vices has changed things. :wink2:
 

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Unlike the tech and joint venture firms that produce most of the consumer and export commodities coming from China, most of the major heavy industry in China remains in the hands of what are called SOE's— State Owned Enterprises— the inefficient, poorly managed, corrupt remnants of the old Communist system in which product quality has no meaning and the lack of it has no consequences.

I spent some time in Chongqing (large city in central China) a few years ago and got to know the American manger of the Cummins Diesel plant there. He told me that the quality of Chinese steel wasn't too bad but the cast iron was contaminated with impurities and generally so bad that they had to junk a very high percentage of their engine castings.

From the looks of that Harbor Freight vice, things haven't changed much…
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Yeah, it looks like all of the blue HF vises have 2 star customer ratings. That's a warning if I've ever seen one!
 

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When I was about 12 or 13 my grandfather gave me his "old" Littlestown #25 Vise. He was going to throw it out but I had great memories of helping him work on his "POS" imports as a tot (bugs, fiats, toyota coronas etc).

When I got a place of my own I rebuilt it and mounted it on my workbench. After nearly 30 years of use it's still going strong without a single issue.

If you look on ebay you can find old Littlestown vises for less than what you'd pay for a new chinese import. With a little elbow grease you'l have a vise that will more than likely outlive us!
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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I have that same vise or close to it (its not blue) and have beat the cr% p out of it, tightened it with a 5lb sledge, used 4ft cheater bars, hammered the jaws with the same sledge and it keeps taking it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
See, that's what I'm talking about. Nothing wrong with the vise at all - I'm just way too strong.
 
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