Elastomer Vise Pads

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by SGW Gunsmith, May 20, 2021.

  1. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    I see these in the Brownells catalog, although not currently available. Are they worth the price? Anyone here have/use those?
    I do have thick leather faces on one vise, but those don't always grip as firmly as I'd like them too.
     
  2. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Do you mean these?
    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/vises-accessories/vise-jaws/elastomer-pad-for-multi-vise--prod22186.aspx

    If so, I've had a couple of sets for over 20.... maybe 30 years and get a fair bit of use out of them.
    I liked the first set enough that after I modified the bottom slot for one vise, I bought another set for a different vise. They used to be considerably less expensive and were great to buy and customize for particular, repeated jobs.
    I have probably 20 or more sets of various vise jaw pads and covers and they are among the most often used.

    Have held up superbly though, as with leather, you must always check that they have nothing imbedded in them each time you use them.

    Too, as they are considerably larger in surface than most actual vise jaws, take care that the work is properly seated 'twixt the jaws and not centered above or below.


    Todd.
     
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  3. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    I have a set of soft rubber jaws that magnet in by default, with various little grooves and so on in them. Excellent for lots of work; crank down hard and a barrel will stay there without issue, can crank a brake on etc etc.

    I do wood blocks for much other work. Since they get chewed up, I've never bothered to make them fitted to the vise, so you have to hold them in or tape to the vise.

    I rarely use the metal jaws alone. Machinist types I know usually have a few pairs, of different hardness and some all the way to bare aluminum but also rarely use the metal jaws of the vise alone.
     
  4. a5werkes

    a5werkes Member

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    I find that a number of different vise jaw materials are needed depending on whether the jaw materials need to be malleable / compressible for
    a good purchase on the firearm art. Always tape protect the firearm side and often both sides so there is not any transfer of material to the work piece.
    Oak, polymer, delrin, aluminum, brass, bronze, steel, leather, cork, malleable lead sheets. Having multiple choices makes me re-think which would be the best for the task at hand. CIMG0076 copy.JPG CIMG9342 copy.JPG DSCN1883 copy.JPG DSCN1885 copy.JPG DSCN3634 copy.JPG DSCN4142 copy.JPG DSCN4145 copy.JPG IMG_4891 copy.jpg IMG_8081 copy.jpg IMG_8004.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  5. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Leather is good; always good.
     
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  6. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    Yes, those are the ones I was referring to, but I see they are out of stock on those. The price does seem sorta high, so that's why I was asking about 'em. As I initially posted, I do have leather faces on my main vise, and all sorts of various "false jaws" made from different protective materials, but I'm looking for something like these elastomer pads that will hold Ruger Mark IV 22/45 grip frames without crushing 'em.
    Thanks for all the replies.
     
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  7. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Might be you could roll-yer-own too.

    Looking through my museum of jaws, I came across a couple we made in the shop due to getting sick of tracking them down all the time.

    Simple scrap aluminum and a padding material we got at a salvage wholesaler. I think they were base pads for air conditioning units or the like.

    Basically mimicked the Brownells units for a lot less money.

    IMG_2495.JPG

    Todd.
     
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  8. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Neat piece of hardware but the Brownell's version is a bit pricey unless used a lot. I like Todd's DIY version (above). :thumbup:
     
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  9. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Especially if you're going to custom fit them to particular vise slides. One of our guys used the very heavy rubber of a commercial floor or door mat to great effect on his sets.

    Todd.
     
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  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I have pads made from old floor scrubber rear squeegees enough to last me a lifetime, one of the few benefits of working a maintenance job some time back.
     
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  11. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Just make them
     
  12. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    I have, and use, most all of the material posted above, with my vises. I was just trying to find out about this so-called "elastomer material" and how it holds the various shapes involved with firearms, from anyone who has experience with that stuff.
    I don't mind buying once and crying once, but only if this material proves that it's a helper, from folks that have it and use it.
     
  13. BWS

    BWS Member

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    I recover rollers on old(cheap-free) stationary sanders. It was always sort of a unobtainable notion until I finally just tried it. And then,turning the thing on a lathe....

    Thought that was gonna be a problem too. Nope,razor sharp HSS cuts it very easily,leaving almost whatever "degree" of finish on as desired. A slightly rough,tractive finish is what I've settled on because you can run less belt tension and not slip...

    The point of the, almost rambling is simply,find some rubber.... maybe excersize matt? in a durometer that you deem necessary or appropriate.... and epoxy it to whatever base metal you want. I'd edge finish or shape on one of the belt grinders. It's pretty easy. Yes,I'd buy some if $$ wasn't at issue or,and this is where the breakdown is.... it was available,EASILY. Soon as I have to start jumping through hoops(recovering rollers) trying to order things.... well,that's why I said,just make them. Good luck with your project.
     
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  14. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Yup..... 'Cause,, it's hard to justify that ridiculous price on Brownell's part for one of the least expensive and easiest to reproduce items in their entire catalog.

    I wonder if being out of them speaks more to fellas willing to overpay rather than make their own or if it is merely a supply-chain issue of something that doesn't sell particularly well anyhow.

    I've had a couple of dozen items in their catalog in the past and this almost makes me want to gin-up 5-6 hundred sets at half the price.

    Todd.
     
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