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We have about a dozen Jorgensen rapid action vises in our woodworking program which as being used by our students all the time. For the most part, my students try to treat our cast iron and steel helpers with respect and avoid over tightening them beyond the necessary pressure needed for holding our workpieces secure. But as with all mechanical contraptions, even the ones that are built heavy and beefy (and generally speaking the US-made Jorgensen were build that way) there comes a time that they are due for a routine checkup, some cleaning and a drop or two of oil. In short, some love and care. From oiling, to handle replacement, and from refitting new jaw liners to the replacement of a worn nut insert, over the years I have gained experience in maintaining and repairing these iconic vises.  

A cross-section of the rapid action Jorgensen nut and screw (left). Notice that the effective thread’s purchase of the bronze insert only engages about a third of the screw’s circumference.

Up until a few years ago, when the Jorgensen vises were still manufactured in the USA, I was able to place orders for the needed spare parts directly from the Midwest parent company, which by the way also made the famous Pony clamps.


 

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