A metalsmithing whatzit

Hi, Guys. Here's a link to the page I put up about a metalworking tool in that I saw recently. We sure would like to know more about it.
http://www.spaco.org/Whatisit/ViseLathe.htm
Pete Stanaitis -----------------
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It looks like the sort of thing someone might try to sell as an all-in- one machine, vise, anvil, manual drill press, lathe, and pipe wrench...possibly intended for some sort of mobile shop/maintenance vehicle where the weight of separate tools would be an issue?
To some degree, a cole drill and vise set might fill a similar niche. A competitor's attempt for a similar market, perhaps.
Don't know, but it's fun to guess. Thanks for sharing. --Glenn Lyford
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Seems like the sort of thing you should get put up here:
http://55tools.blogspot.com /
This guy's been posting photos of unusual tools for people to guess what they are for years and has a large following across several groups.
--
Stuart Winsor




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I've never seen anything like it.
My best guess is that the gearing is just there to clamp the vise closed very tightly like a shop press. The square socket on the end of the hand wheel shaft might just be the bolt that holds the shaft in place and not intended to act as anything on the work piece that is being clamped.
The top wheel (1) was probably a hand-wheel like (3) originally?
I think your guess for the small knob is probably correct. It would at one time engage the gears to close the vise. Because you see no mechanism to implement that, it might have broken off? Does it pull in and out? Or turn?
The thumb screw doesn't look original from the photo since it's so shiny. I would guess those might have been set screws or little square head bolts that tightened some adjustable ways to make the jaws align correctly vs something to hold the vise at a fixed location.
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Looks like a machine lathe for a rail road crew.
The large flat wheel is a power take on wheel. Likely a belt ran over it to an axle of the train.
The had wheel is for setting up.
I suspect it trued out wheels or other work like that. Deft pins need grinding if they get bent or marred.
But I bet it was for working on railroad stuff.
Martin
On 9/20/2011 9:51 AM, Curt Welch wrote:

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An afternoon with google answers most the questions:
Ok, I've found a few related links:
http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?pnQ6288&idC064
http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?pn 28250&id588
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/stewart-handy-worker-combination-anvil-vise
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/stewart-handy-worker-blacksmith-anvil-vise
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-history/combined-anvil-vise-grinder-213273/
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t 7020
It looks like the device is either a combination vise/anvil/drill, or a vise/anvil/grinder or maybe both.
For use as a grinder, the gear train seems to be configured to allow a crank to be used on the lower gears so like all manual grinders, the grind wheel spins much faster than the crank.
I don't understand that the knob on the bottom gear is however.
Pete - does the removable anvil piece have some sort of pivot point that matches the square drive so a grind wheel could be placed between the two jaws? Your pictures don't show enough to tell.
For the vise anvil drill...
For interesting history, the HiLift Jack company:
http://www.hi-lift.com/company/index.html
Was founded by Philip John Harrah. One of his first inventions was an Anvil-Vise-Drill
Ah, just found his patent:
http://www.datamp.org/patents/advance.php?pne2674&id 442&set=1
Note the "pipe jaws" on one side only! What's up with that???
Another vise and drill patent:
http://www.datamp.org/patents/advance.php?pn 309&id996&set=1
And that one includes a gear train to drive the drill!
Ah, here's the google patent of that link at the top:
http://www.google.com/patents/about?id pMAAAAEBAJ&dq=vise+anvil+grinder
Check out the details and we see it can be configured as EITHER a drill or grinder!
And, for the pipe jaws, we see the drawing includes an extra missing piece that fits in the jaws, to create the missing side!
Oh, and look, the fun continues! That was patented by "Henry B. Keiper - Lancaster, PA" who's name is also on these patents:
http://www.datamp.org/patents/search/xrefCompany.php?id@9
Which are all for the Champion Blower and Forge Company and are related to their blowers! So he's the guy that invented the blowers we use all the time!
Yes, and from this, Keiper was the founder of Champion Blower and Forge!
http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id 5
Bingo:
http://www.google.com/patents?id=GDdDAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing#v=onepage&q&f lse
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Information on the Champion combination repair outfit on anvilfire:
http://www.anvilfire.com/anvils/af_anvils_024b.php
And here's one called the "Detroit Combination Tool" from 1906 (20 years before the Champion version):
http://books.google.com/books?id=GgsAAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA325&dq troit+combination+tool&hl=en&eiOV6TtuuDKr50gH8v7HdAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved DEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&qtroit%20combination%20tool&flse
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com (Curt Welch) wrote:

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Hello, Curt. Thank you for all the research on this tool!!!
You asked if there was a hole in the anvil jaw that could have acted as the "tailstock" bearing. Yes, I think there is one. But, remember that that the whole anvil "jaw" is removable, so any number of components could have been used there. I've gotta think that one of those pieces of tooling had to be a base plate for drilling.
The entry below your "bingo" certainly looks like the right basic patent, even though the machine my friend has shows some differences. I will pass all this info on.
Thanks again, Pete Stanaitis
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Yeah, some of the designs in the links had a base-plate like option for drilling. But the anvil/vise side in the drawings had a hole for when it was used for driving a grinding wheel or doing simple lathe work.

Yeah, it's clear the one your friend had was a direct descendant, or predecessor, of that patent. 90% of the design seems identical where all the other designs for similar tools were distinctly different.
Not that thumb scree is the original intent and it says it was for securing the vise when it was shipped, or being used as an anvil. And for the pipe vise, we see in the other patents that they had removable pieces for the missing side - which no doubt was lost long ago.
It's odd that I could not find _anything_ else on that style combination tool, or the inventor, and no company name was listed on the patent as the assignee, even though I could find multiple things about the other style tools of similar design.
Not only that, but the patent wasn't even listed on that one site that had old-tool patents, I only found it on Google patents. That seems to indicate the old tool collectors that set up that site have never seen one of these tools of that design.
I suspect this means that tool is a very rare example of that patent. It might even be a prototype that is a one of a kind or from a very small run. That could make it worth something.
It would be interesting to try and hunt down more about the inventor and see if it could be determined who made that tool!
It was fun digging this up because I had never heard of this odd-ball idea of combing an anvil, vise, drill press, and grinder into one tool but yet there seemed to be a collection of companies that made this type of tool around the turn of the century.
It also seems to have been how most modern bench vises today ended up having an "anvil" as part of them.

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