Wilton Shop King Vise Restoration – Part 1

A couple years ago, I received a vise from my wife’s grandfather.  They moved out of their house and he said I could take whatever tools I wanted.  Unfortunately, there was not much, but I did take his old Wilton Shop King vise.  This vise dates to the mid 50’s, and I believe that he purchased it new.  I did some research and came across Junkyard Tools that has a good write up about Wilton’s history and this vise.  It appears that my 41/2″ Craftsman was made by Wilton also, that was a surprise.

To get started on the restoration, I completely disassembled the vise.


I found that one of the jaw inserts had a sheared off screw, so that was next.

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Now that the broken bolt has been removed, time to clean off the years of grease, oil and paint that has accumulated on this vise.  I used Super Clean with a wire brush, putty knife and rinsed with a lot of water.  After it dried in the sun for a while, I masked off all the areas that should remain paint-free.  I just used some blue painter’s tape.  I then applied a few coats of a white primer.  I probably should have used a darker color primer, but this is what I had on hand.

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After that dried, I sprayed one (of several) coats of a fire engine read paint.

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The pictures above were taken after a single coat, and at that point it looked almost pink, with some white showing through.  I laid down three coats total.  After it cures all week, I will assemble it and complete the project.

Click here to see the completed project.



2 comments for “Wilton Shop King Vise Restoration – Part 1

  1. richard
    April 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I have an old shop king as well. Can you provide me with a picture of how the washer and fastener ring go? My vise will close fine, but will not open the vise when I turn in counter clockwise. I have to pull it out.


    • Dave
      April 27, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Hi Richard,

      Click the link above to see part two, the completed project. In that series of pictures, it shows the assembled vise.

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