Sunday, August 4, 2013

Parker Bench Vise Mod. No. 2200

Something drew me to buy this bench vise at a local estate sale; I think it was a combination of the unusual rotating mechanism, the nice form, and the great price?

It was caked with at least three layers of paint over the dirt & grease so I took it to George's Collision for sand blasting. I decided to try a finishing idea I had and this seamed too be the perfect project. Vices by there very nature typically have painted and unpainted portions on the same part. After completely dissembling it I did a full taping of the parts to be primed & painted and gave them 3 coats of color

For the unfinished parts I used Perma Blue Paste Gun Blue, I really like the paste gun blue over the liquid stuff; I apply it with a tooth brush smearing it over one whole area quickly and then working it in until even. The problem with liquid blue is that it goes on unevenly and so is difficult to balance out.

Now why did I go thru all this trouble for a vintage vise? Well when I checked out the C. Parker Co. from Connecticut I discovered that Parker made some highly respected guns. This connection makes these Parker vises collectable. Just by using it and taking it apart it becomes clear that it is a cut above the typical. The jaws are steel and fit tightly to the machined surfaces of the castings. Unlike most vises this one has very little free play around the moving jaw slide and interesting too is that it has a large spring around the screw to assist opening and eliminate the backlash.

Note the little keeper casting on the front with "Parker" cast into it.

And lastly the rotating system that caught my eye from the start; its a nice, easy, fast, & secure way of rotating the vise on the vertical axis, however... the down side of this system is that you have to have open access to the underside of the bench, not always possible.

Charles Parker / Parker / Chas. Parker: Parkers are this author's (mjozefow) favorite vise. They are famous for the shape of the jaws on their machinist vises. The jaw shape allows for more complete access to the workpiece being clamped. Some history on the company and Charles Parker himself:

"The Meriden Enterprise Center is a large manufacturing plant that is home to over 60 businesses, located in the center of Connecticut.

The plant was the former home of companies such as the Charles Parker company, known for the manufacture of the Springfield rifle and the development of one of the early repeating rifles in the mid- nineteenth century. Charles Parker was born in 1809 and rose from poverty to become one of Connecticut’s leading industrialists. He also became the city of Meriden's first mayor. He started his manufacturing career inventing and producing coffee mills in a small shop in 1832.

By 1860, he owned several large factories and employed hundreds of people, in and around Meriden. Parker products included hardware and house wares, flatware, clocks, lamps, piano stools and benches, vises, coffee mills, industrial machinery, and, after 1862, guns. Guns, however, never amounted to more than 10 percent of Parker’s business. Charles Parker died in 1901 and his descendants carried on his businesses until 1957. The Great Depression of the 1930s took its toll on the Parker enterprise and it never fully recovered. Parker products have now become “collector’s items,” especially the Parker shotguns. The Charles Parker Company sold its gun facility and the rights to the Parker gun to Remington Arms Company in 1934, and Remington continued the Parker shotgun line until World War II.
The attraction by collectors to the Parker shotgun comes because of the gun’s inherent quality and beauty.
The Parker gun is an American classic".  

Base & washer (under bench)