Home made fount vise

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StanDahl
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Home made fount vise

#1

Post by StanDahl »

Using a vise with a large wrench clamped in it, I’ve never met a valve that I couldn’t get out of a fount. The toughest one I ever met was a 220B that eventually gave in to that set-up and a pair of grippy gloves bought for the purpose. But along the way I’ve bent a few tip cleaner housings, so I’ve been wanting to make a fount vise ever since seeing one posted here a few years ago. I can’t take full credit for this, someone else [Sam!] came up with it. I've never been able to find the post, but I remembered the basic idea and set about reinventing the details.

Supply list:

⅝” [16mm] plywood, 10½” x 8 or 9”, x 2 [205mm x 270mm]
2 - 12” x ⅜” threaded rods [300mm x 8mm(?)]
2 - ⅜” wing nuts [sized to fit threaded rod]
2 - ⅜” nuts [sized to fit threaded rod]
6 - ⅜” washers [sized to fit threaded rod]
2 - 2” x ¼” bolts [50mm x 6mm?]
2 - ¼” threaded inserts
1½” wood screws [40mm?]



This assumes you have some woodworking skills. I didn’t take pictures until I was finished, so I'm hoping that between the description and the photos you'll get the idea. Sorry to the non-United Statesians out there, I use nothing but the metric system at school, but at home, I measure as Home Depot does. [I've tried to add metric conversions, but I'm not familiar with the hardware that is available in other countries. I'm sure you'll be able to improvise.]

I started with ⅝” [16mm] Baltic birch and cut two identical pieces about 10½” x 8”. I planned to go wider, but forgot and had to make it a little tighter. No big deal, really.

On the table saw, I set up a ⅜” dado and cut slots, 3/16” deep, lengthwise, centered about ½” from the edge of both pieces. This makes a channel for the threaded rods.

I centered a 220 fount on one piece so that it was about 1¼” from one end, and traced the outline. I cut that in half across the center of the circle, then cut out the outline of the fount on the jigsaw. Unfortunately, I suck at using that machine because I lose focus too easily, but it didn’t come out too badly. A little touch-up with a drum sander bit on the drill press cleaned it up reasonably well.

I cut the bottom piece crossways about 2” from one end. I then assembled and glued the upper and lower pieces to make what is shown here:



I put it back together and drilled a ¼” hole all the way through the top and bottom for the hold-down clamps. (My thought was that these would keep the two pieces from buckling under stress, but this probably isn't necessary because of the threaded rod. They could be changed to lag screws and be used to clamp the vise to a benchtop.) I drilled another about an inch closer to the fount hole on the top only, then cut a slot to join them. (I got lazy and didn’t feel up to putting a router to the task for such a small job.) You can picture that in the photo above and below.

Using 2” x ¼” bolts and a washer, I cranked them into the threaded inserts on the bottom and pulled them up into the bottom of the vise. (I had to drill a slightly larger hole for the threaded inserts.) The bolts are a little long, I may cut them down some. Wing nuts would be better here, but I didn’t have any on hand.





I cut a block of double-thick plywood to fit across the bottom of the vice, drilled pilot holes for 1½” wood screws, and glued/screwed it down. (See above photo) This gives a vise something to grab onto. If I was to make another one, I would cut a dado slot for the clamp bar to help brace it against the strain of trying to get the valve loose. If you don’t own a vise, you can leave the clamp bar off and use wood clamps to clamp the vise to a bench. I believe that was how the original version worked.

Cut two strips of sheet rubber (I used an old bicycle inner tube), and lay the strips around the fount before tightening to help the vise grip and to protect the fount.





To put it to use, clamp the bottom bar in a vise, loosen the wing nuts, loosen the clamp-down bolts a bit, open the jaw and slide a fount in. Tighten the wing nuts, then tighten the clamp-down nuts finger tight, then finish tightening the fount. Tighten the clamp-down bolts before proceeding.



I thought about making another for a 200A size lantern, but realized that I could modify this one to work with smaller founts also. I took the half-round remnants from the original round cut, put them back in place (this is where a slightly jagged cut is a good thing), then centered and traced a 200A fount. I re-cut the scrap pieces, and now I have a 200A fount vise. If it’s a little loose, more rubber sheet around the fount could help to take up the slack.







I could make another insert for a 242 fount, but...

I can’t guarantee that this won’t scratch or otherwise mar the paint on a fount, but it could be handy for your less than pristine specimens. The pay-off for using this is that you don’t have to risk tweaking the tip cleaner housing, or dumping fuel all over if you don’t want to empty the fount and the fuel cap leaks, and you can actually see what you’re doing as you’re doing it. There's probably less risk of bending the top of the fount if you put uneven pressure on it while turning too.
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Home made fount vise

#2

Post by Gasman64 »

That looks really good, John. Thanks for all the pictures, they are very helpful.
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#3

Post by Deanofid »

Nice work on a super handy tool any Coleman nut would be glad to have.
Well done, John!
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#4

Post by brucesheehe »

A good man with a sharp brain at work!
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#5

Post by Rocinron »

Thanks John, for a really cool tool and pictorial.

Can I ask the approximate cost ?

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#6

Post by Carsten »

Hi John,

very well made! Interesting idea, now i have to make one by myself.

Best regards Carsten
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#7

Post by curlyjoe_99 »

Good Job.

I like that the whole thing would fit into a shop table vise if you wanted it to
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#8

Post by dbosch »

I wanna see pics of the equipment you used to make it.
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Home made fount vise

#9

Post by Darren »

Well done!
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StanDahl
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#10

Post by StanDahl »

Thanks for the kudos! Since Carsten reminded me that we have a world-wide audience, I've tried to add metric measurements to help. I'm sure anyone who is at all competent with woodworking doesn't need measurements anyway, but there it is.

The cost for me was mostly in the hardware. It couldn't be more than $10 for the threaded rod and wing nuts. The rest I had laying around. I bought a bunch of pieces of Baltic birch at Rockler a long time ago for making jigs and such. They've often got odd pieces left over from a factory run or something. It's ten times better than the crappy plywood available at Home Depot and Lowes. Those were 22" x 21.5" and they cost about $4-$5 each. I could almost make three of these from one sheet.

Dan, I might be able to get a picture of the 1954 Delta Unisaw if I took all of the (lightweight - not heavy) junk off the top of it, but you know what those look like! Otherwise, a basic Craftsman benchtop drill press and a small Delta? jigsaw...oh, and a Craftsman sliding miter saw.
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Home made fount vise

#11

Post by Carsten »

Hi,

...Since Carsten reminded me that we have a world-wide audience, I've tried to add metric measurements to help...

that help´s! Thank you so much!

Best regards Carsten
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#12

Post by DoogieB »

Nice job! Looks like a fun afternoon project that I'll have to put on the list.
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#13

Post by dbosch »

Dan, I might be able to get a picture of the 1954 Delta Unisaw if I took all of the (lightweight - not heavy) junk off the top of it, but you know what those look like!


Yessir, know it well. I've got plans for all of mine at the end of summer when the weather gets cooler and the kids are back in school. Coleman will take a back seat for the other fetish, working with old cast iron and making some kitchen cabinets.
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Home made fount vise

#14

Post by hurricaner »

John, here is one I posted a few years back. Same basic idea but not quite as fancy as I just drilled through the oak and used 1/4 20 rod.
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#15

Post by StanDahl »

That's where I got the idea! I never saved the thread and I searched for that a number of times later on, but it got deleted long ago. How did you drill those holes so straight? That's why mine is more complicated, I couldn't figure out how to drill the holes lengthwise with enough accuracy to make them line up.
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#16

Post by StanDahl »

What you could do is screw the back piece to the bench, make the slots on the front piece, then screw it to the bench through the slots so that it is adjustable, and use a 12" long bar clamp to gently squeeze the other half toward the attached half.
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#17

Post by StanDahl »

Playing around on Sketch-up... This is Huckleberry's idea drawn out. This design could also be attached to a board and clamped to the bench instead of being screwed in, making it portable and stowable (see the next post).

5 inches = 127 mm
6 inches = 153 mm
9 inches = 229 mm

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#18

Post by StanDahl »

Like so...now with dimensions. This would be for those who don't have a drill press to make the channel for the threaded rod as in Sam's original version. This could be done like mine at the top, with channels and threaded rods, and then clamped to the bench if you don't have a vise to clamp it in.

5 inches = 127 mm
6 inches = 153 mm
9 inches = 229 mm
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#19

Post by hurricaner »

StanDahl wrote: That's where I got the idea! I never saved the thread and I searched for that a number of times later on, but it got deleted long ago. How did you drill those holes so straight? That's why mine is more complicated, I couldn't figure out how to drill the holes lengthwise with enough accuracy to make them line up.
I don't remember exactly how I did it but obviously you need a drill press, as I recall it was no big thing. The other thing you have to remember is I used 1/4 20 rod which is a lot smaller than 3/8s which would be really tough to do.

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#20

Post by RolandChevalier »

Great write up John. I bet that set up will get a lot of use.
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#21

Post by StanDahl »

I posted this without ever actually putting it to use. Today I used it to reassemble a nice painted 220, and it worked beautifully. Being able to adjust the tip cleaner with the lantern upright was a life-changing experience. Not having to flip the lantern over, fight with the bail and the loose frame, not having to keep checking to make sure I've got the tip cleaner housing where I want it...not worrying about bending the tip cleaner housing... it was wonderful. And, not a scratch or rub on the paint either. The collar seems much less likely to dig into the paint of the fount too. You may keep telling yourself that you're getting along fine without one, and if you're only rebuilding 200A's and 242's, you are getting along fine. But if you do 220/228's regularly, YOU NEED A FOUNT VISE!!
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#22

Post by StanDahl »

Hi Erik, welcome to the forum! The 419 is just about my favorite stove, and I've got a ton of stoves.

I like this vise. It occurred to me that if you didn't have a drill press, you could just run the top piece (where the allthread holes would be) over the table saw a couple of times (or with a dado head. maybe just a hair over the diameter wide, and the same deep. the rod doesn't care whether it's in a square hole or round.

That's how I did mine up top.
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#23

Post by FlyingCoach2 »

Would it be possible to get this posted to the files section so that its not lost for others to have available.
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#24

Post by StanDahl »

Here are some approximate dimensions for the top vise. A 220 fount is 6" in diameter, that is the important one.

1¼" = 32 mm
1½" = 38 mm
2" = 51 mm
3¼" = 83mm
3¾" = 95 mm
6" = 153 mm
6¼" = 159 mm
8¼" = 210 mm
8½" = 216 mm
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#25

Post by gdissinger »

I had some scrap wood and cobbled this together using your plans. It works well, the rubber holds tight without scratching or denting. Thanks for the detailed post:

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#26

Post by StanDahl »



Glad to see someone got some use out of this.
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#27

Post by 242burner »

Be very very careful with those fount vises. You can tweak the fount, or remove the paint on the bottom lip. Also use a T bar to pull the valve. The socket or wrench will put force on one side and dent the top of the fount when removing.

Nice one though. You have some good wood working skills.
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#28

Post by StanDahl »

I have found far less chance of damaging a fount with this than when using a wrench in a vise. That is a very awkward set-up and makes it much more likely to bend the tip cleaner housing opening, and scratch the paint with the collar being smashed into the fount as the frame grabs it.

Like I said in post 26, absolutely not a smudge on the fount when used with the inner tube "gasket". A t-bar would be nice, but I don't own one. What would it grab on to? Would it use a modified socket, cut out on the sides?
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#29

Post by Steven »

Thanks for the info on making these jigs. I made one for 220 size lanterns and one for 200s today and have already tried them out. AWSOME! !!
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#30

Post by outlawmws »

With all due respect to Stan's great work on the vise, I always clamped the valve in the vise and turned the fount... Now I haven't done that many, and one required a rubber strap wrench from the kitchen, but for occasional use, it works..

Having said that. I'm likely to make one of those since it looks like I'm doing a lot more lantern work in the future!
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#31

Post by Miller Light »

I use a Rockwell Jawhorse Rockwell RK9003 JawHorse Material Support and Saw ... - Amazon.com This unit really grabs what you need to hold, and folds away for compact storage. Just be careful, the Jawhorse is strong and can easily dent a fount.
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#32

Post by outlawmws »

Bringing up and old thread is not always a bad thing; so long as it's not a dead topic.
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#33

Post by Kevin »

Old threads are fine with me. It's usually something interesting that I forgot about anyway. [smile]

I'll probably never have a real tank vice. I just use the "vice" method.
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#34

Post by Northman49 »

outlawmws wrote:


That's not always a bad thing; so long as it's not a dead topic!

Is resurrecting an old thread upsetting to some people?. Just don't read it. I enjoy them, it's like a refresher course.
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#35

Post by outlawmws »

Northman49 wrote:

Is resurrecting an old thread upsetting to some people?. Just don't read it. I enjoy them, it's like a refresher course.

When it get silly is when someone answers a question from several years before (and the thread ended back than) that was already answered (meaning they didn't read the thread).

I'm pretty new here, but another forum I hang out on a lot gets them quite often like the above scenario. I don't think I've seen one of those here so far.
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#36

Post by macwacs »

If it was mine I would glue a thin strip of felt on to it where the lamp would make contact then see if I could scratch the paint. Just a thought though as I have neither a lamp or gismo vice.
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#37

Post by NW Lady »

what a great tool!


Some really smart inventive people out there!

Brilliant! as the Brits might say.
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#38

Post by fuel_brained »

could this vice also be used for removing and installing a check valve?
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#39

Post by outlawmws »

It could certainly help keep the fount more stable.
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FAS #001 Confusing Future Generations of Collectors, One Lantern at a Time!

“A Human Being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, give orders, take orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook  a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.  Specialization is for insects.”            - Lazarus Long


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#40

Post by Gasman64 »

fuel brained wrote: could this vice also be used for removing and installing a check valve?
Yes, it would come in handy for that. Do you know about the tool our host sells?
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