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  • Writer's pictureChuck Hess just another sponge in the sea of knowledge

Oliver #1 Pattern Makers' Vise Refit

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Oliver #1 Pattern Makers' Vise Pre 1926

Hey All, we got this Oliver #1 Pattern Makers' vise back in 2008 and it has served very well replacing the Emmert's Pattern Makers' vise that we had on the bench before. This is our main workbench we call "Fab 1". During our recent move to Texas, that end of the bench got a little wet during a rainstorm while unloading the semi trailer. Moving is never perfect. This isn't exactly a restoration because I did that in 08, and I like the 15 years patina we have put on it, so I don't want to paint it again. The one thing I did not like was the original hinge was broken and we had to get an aftermarket replacement that was a rough casting. Here is a pic of that;

Oliver #1 Pattern Makers' Vise Reproduction Hinge

At the time we did not have a way to machine that but now we do. We have owned a little Boyer & Shultz 6" x 12" surface grinder for several years now. Here is a pic of the SixTwelve Deluxe;

Boyer & Shultz SixTwelve Deluxe Surface Grinder

Sweet little machine that everyone needs! I use this little machine to tune up a lot of stuff in the shop. Since I had to "reset" the vise anyway, and do some work to the benchtop, I thought now would be a good time to grind this to a finished surface like the rest of our vises. So here we go, a little disassembly first. The hinge pins were already drilled and tapped for very easy removal. I might have done that 15 years ago, I really don't remember.

Easy Pezy, Now lets have some fun on the grinder, backside first;

Back is done, notice the model and part number in the casting. The Oliver model number is 247 and the part number is 5. Pretty cool. Now for the top side;

Nice! So satisfying! Now reassembly and mounting; I use #14 x 1 1/4" flat head screws to attach hinge to bench. I also had to shim the mortise a little, because of the grinding.

Now the back Jaw:

Side note, for those that might be wondering. I don't change drill bits, I change drills.

Fab 1 Lots of Air Drill Motors

Now the front jaw; but first this vise has the buttress thread on the main screw. I have been told that was pre 1926, and then they went to the acme screw after that. The Oliver patternmakers' vise first appeared in the 1922 Oliver catalog. I'm not sure when they were first made. We currently have three of these vises and one has the acme screw, newer version. Here is a pic of the buttress thread;

Oliver #1 Pattern Makers' Vise Buttress Thread Pre 1926

So this vise is about 100 years old, how cool is that? It is nice to have a helper to get the front jaw screw started again. I luckily got this one myself pretty easily.

That's a wrap and it looks very natural to me. Looks just like my old bench!

Thanks for looking! Life is short, enjoy your projects!

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