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Here's a refurbishment of an Australian-made Dawn offset cast semi-steel engineer's bench vice. As found, it was stiff and dusty:
It disassembled with the usual resistance of something which hadn't been greased in recent memory:
Broadly, it didn't look abused - just neglected. One interesting thing I found when removing the jaws - the edges of the bolt head faces are just about rubbing on the casting:
This makes it functionally impossible to get a socket on it - there's a good deal less than 1mm clearance, which necessitated using an open ended spanner to tighten or loosen the bolts. Compared to a 100mm SG:
This makes me suspect that the vice is a very early example or that the hole was drilled erroneously (or both?). The bolts are 5/16" 18G. The nut is marked "4OS" and is the same general shape as later models:
Cleanup was unremarkable - the casting was of good quality and and was nice and smooth. With a fresh coat of paint (the automotive paint code found on this page) and on top of it's big older brother:
The split pin/washer/spring/washer arrangement as usual:
The machining marks were still visible on the sides of the slide:
The vice had minimal slop and cleaned up very well, moving smoothly with fresh grease and clamping tightly. Offset vices are incredibly useful if you ever need to hold something vertically - which personally I find myself doing frequently, so an offset much like this one is my own go-to vice. Highly recommended.
To see more Dawn restorations, check out the tool reviews page.
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