Bench vise thrust bearings

Hi Jason-
I have a 6” Colombian vise currently mounted to my bench. After watching your hardtail vise videos I want to attempt to upgrade my current vise. This vise has sentimental value in that it belonged to my grandfather and dad both. I would love to ultimately have your hardtail vise, however, space is more my issue for purchasing one. The other reason is I’m not a fabricator, welder, mechanic etc and I’m not sure I could justify the cost to my better half :grimacing:. Is there any way I can add thrust bearings to this vise or anything else I can do to make sure I can keep the vise nice so I can pass it along to my kids when that time comes?

Pictures would probably be helpful :man_facepalming:

@DsLRN Here’s a video that i modified a vise with thrust bearings. This will give you some ideas to make it possible. You don’t need the hardtail portion, but the other info might be helpful.

Thank you for responding!! I’ll definitely check out this video! Thanks again

After watching your video multiple times I think want to do this to my vise, hard tail and all. Where did you get the thrust bearings and backlash spring from? Was this McMaster Carr or just a local shop? I would be getting help with this from a machinist and millwright friend of mine. Also, do you know of places that would rent a pressure gauge like you use to test the clamping force? If I were using the gauge day in and day out to make money with, I would spend the money on the gauge you have. I’m only going to use it twice. Any help you can offer up would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again

Yes all the hardware can be bought at McMaster. As for the load cell, I’m not sure if you can rent one or not. They do make something called pressure paper that can get a ballpark load.

Jason, that is a lot of work ! I am always amazed how long one-off projects take.
The vise came out great, though, and I hope your father gets long use of it.

Meanwhile that video is a good example for “the roll of OA torch work in this day and age.” I did a lot of brazing in my welding training, and it still has a huge role in fabrication, especially one-offs and repairs in cast iron. I have some very large ancient grinders and I needed one on its back to put wheels on the base. Too damn heavy for me and It dropped, and the heavy cast iron wheel shields cracked. With brazing I was able to put the jigsaw pieces back together. Looks really weird but is back to functional safety. Moral of the story: don’t try to move heavy equipment by hand, but continue brazing work!