Before using this site please read the site disclaimer. Also please note that any links provided may be part of an affiliate programme (viz. eBay, Amazon) which helps support the site as I will earn a commission when visitors make a qualifying purchase.
Today I'm refurbishing a vintage Dawn No. 5 cast steel engineer's vice. Best guess is that it was made sometime between 1966 and 1972 (see the dating offset vices article).
It had clearly seen better days. The dynamic jaw lacked the usual patent inscription seen on the cast semi-steel (cast iron) offset vices:
Nothing written on the front of the static jaw, either, as was common on later vices:
The jaws were non-stock - socket head screws on one side and a single pan head screw in the other:
Something odd about the washer/spring/washer/split pin arrangement here...
There's the split pin through a hole... but there's at least two more holes cross-drilled through the screw. I guess someone found it more convenient to simply drill more holes as the spring compressed over years/use, rather than replacing the spring.
Unusually for a standard or offset Dawn, the screw looks to be something other than cast iron:
An impact driver got out the single screw:
Ah good, the other one has been snapped off and ground flush.
The original blue colour can be seen as the red is taken off:
There's a date stamped into the slide. Perhaps this was when the slide was replaced under warranty (did Dawn ever do that?) or, as the new owner of this vice suggested, it was a date that a worker had to remember and simply stamped it into something near to hand to jog his/her memory. The nut cleaned up:
Well that's a first for me. Works well enough, at least. The vice cleaned up and painted:
With a new spring the vice didn't seem to be any the worse off for having additional holes through the screw. It's a good size of offset - not nearly as massive as the 6" variants but usefully larger than the 4". Cast steel is a bonus - this was Dawn's first unbreakable vice variant, before the SG line was introduced.
The jaws open to almost 7 ½", and are 5" wide, as you might have guessed from the vice's designator. The handle is ⅝" in diameter (~16mm) and is 34cm from end to end.
This one seemed to have a hard life but with a little TLC should last another half-century in use - the body of the vice was in good nick and there was minimal slop. It's current owner is an able welder and last I spoke to him he intended on building up the sliding surfaces to return it to factory tolerances.
Keen on more Dawn restorations? Check out the list on the main tool page.
In 2019 the server has had to double in capacity to support the growing site... please consider dropping the site a donation to help cover the costs! Check out our Patreon for support options, buy a shirt, buy our apps, use my NordVPN affiliate link to sign up to their service or donate via Paypal:
|Paypal $5 link ->>|
|Paypal $10 link ->>|