Setting up shop, plate under vise leg?

My shop has a dirt floor, and it's pretty soft. I'm guessing once it gets a bunch of rust and scale worked into it, it will toughen up some
but for now I'm thinking that I'm not going to get a lot of support for the leg of my post vise unless I add a plate of some kind under the foot. I have a bunch of lumber scraps about, 4x4, 2x8, etc. about a foot long. I also have a 5# weightlifting plate which might also serve if bored out a bit. Which would you think would work better? I'm thinking the chunk of 4x4 would be less likely to split, and dug in a little deeper might be less likely to move? Or is this just a case of doesn't matter much, just grab something...
I got the vise mounted this week, I was a little concerned initially because once bolted up it was rocking quite a bit, and the spring was also a lot less effective than I thought it should be. Further investigation revealed I only had one wedge, guess the dog ears kept it from getting lost. So I ran a chunk from the scrap pile through the bandsaw and tapped it home, now everything feels solid (no wobble) and the spring actually has enough tension to open the jaw. Excellent.
I've got a beat up flea market anvil on a stump (seriously dished with lots of cut marks, I'm debating running a few passes of 7014 on the horn to at least round it out...while not really the correct filler for the top, it might well hold up for the amount of use it's likely to get). I've got Dad's old anvil in much better condition, but it's also smaller. I'm debating making a few fullers and such from some rail I have around. I'm sure there will be spring fullers and such made once I get going. I need some racks for hammers and tongs and to see if I can find where I put them all. Somehwere...in the garage...a decade ago (has it been that long?). I remember where I thought I put them, but...
Thanks, --Glenn Lyford
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Some guys use a piece of railroad TIE sunk in the ground for the post of the vise. If your table/bench is steel, I have seen guys weld a heavy piece of iron to the bench leg closest to the postvise leg for the postvise leg to sit in. If you aren't totally married to the idea of having the vise mounted on a bench, see:
http://www.spaco.org/postvise.htm
Pete Stanaitis ---------------
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Thanks, I had seen that and I appreciate the input. As it stands, bolted to the bench is the best place, for now. The space is a compromise snd a little small, so a vise in the middle of the floor, while optimum in and of itself, would seriously impair the other uses.
I have an import bender, one of the hossfeld knock-offs. I'm trying to decide if it is better to put an angle under the base to just clamp in the vise, or to have a post outside I can walk around from all sides, with some sort of quick mount.
--Glenn Lyford
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I have a piece of angle bolted to the base of my HF "Hossfeld" and use it that way also. I think I used 1/4 X 2 X 2 angle iron and welded a 1/4 X 2 bar to it to make a flat surface wide enough for the mounting bolts. Pete Stanaitis ----------------

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I have a railroad tie plate (8x36 niches or so) under the leg post vise.
i

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So is the vise mounted on a post in the ground, or to a beach or what?
Sounds like it's just a case of "grab something" and try it.
Are you just talking about supporting the bottom of the post vise because it's currently just sitting on lose dirt? It's common to attach an angle bracket (2"x2"x6"L type of thing) to the post with either a hole for the post leg to fit in, or weld a short piece of pipe to the angle that the leg sits down inside of. The angle is then bolted to the post/leg that the vise is mounted to.
However you do it, remember that it has to be strong enough to absorb the force generated by hammering down on the vise.

Springs are easy to make if it's not working well enough. I make them out of mild steel and they hold up just fine. You don't have to use spring steel or anything special to make them. If you want any pointers about how to do that just ask.

7014 is just mild steel. Not a good surface for an anvil face or a horn, but if the anvil is really bad anyway, it won't hurt. Just don't hit it with your hammer or when the steel is cold because it will dent and then those dents will texture the bottom of anything you try to forge on that spot.
You can buy some hard facing rod and do a better job if you want but it will cost money of course. You can also hard face on top of the 70xx later if you want.

It will hold up for a very long time if you only hit hot steel. But every time you mis-hit or let the steel get too cold and keep hammering, you will quickly leave marks (that can of course be cleaned up with a grinder and more 70xx rod quickly).

--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
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Sorry, yes, it's bolted to a bench.

Yes.
OK, will see where that gets me and go from there.

Now that the top end is clamped firmly against the upright it works fine. It was just one more clue that the bracket was loose.

There is that, thanks.

Noted. Thanks, guys. --Glenn
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Curt, I thought the horns of most anvils were mild steel anyway. (only the face being tool steel). Except, of course, for more modern anvils that are made from solid tool steel.
Not true?
Pete Stanaitis
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You could be right. I don't really know. Certainly the old anvils that had a steel top forge welded to them must have been only mild steel for the horn so that sounds right!

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