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Help! Something happened to my clamp!

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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  • #42620
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    I was getting started today (2017 field and sport pro) with a set of expendable knives, and I’ve gone through the grits on a couple knives from 100 through 1000, not really trying to get a great edge but rather to go through the motions. My clamp now not only has a very gritty sound as I try to open and close the clamp lever, but it will no longer open or close, and the lever itself is very loose (you can jiggle it, which you couldn’t do before) and is frozen in a range from about 11 o’clock to 2 o’clock and the jaws don’t move as I move the lever over this range. It’s almost like something internally became dislocated?

    What should I do? Take it apart and take some photos? If so, any instructions on how to do that?

    #42668
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 35
    • Replies: 1893

    I had the same experience with my Gen 3 Pro.  The jaws remained closed when I released the clamping arm.

    The tolerance between the sides of the jaws and the sides of the vise frame is quite small and friction was enough to overcome the small return spring.  Try pushing out the two pins that hold the jaws in place and try cleaning out any grit that might have worked its way in.  With my vise, the part that was locking up was the cam follower group and I narrowed this part a bit by lightly sanding on one side.

    If you remove the cam follower assembly, be sure to note the arrangement and the number of the Belleville washers, which are stacked to provide a generous amount of compression at a relatively constant pressure.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #42692
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Thanks tcmeyer. I removed the jaws and there was a fair bit of dust, but the clamp lever is still not moving correctly.

    In any case, I’ve emailed the folks at WE.

    BTW, when I removed the jaws there was a small round foam tube (black in color), about 1/8″ diameter and about 3/4″ long. That fell out when I lifted the jaws off so I’m not sure where it goes.

     

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42695
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2908

    there was a small round foam tube (black in color), about 1/8″ diameter and about 3/4″ long. That fell out when I lifted the jaws off so I’m not sure where it goes.

    That goes between the jaws, just under the top spring that pushes them apart. It’s a little tricky to get it in place but it sits on the area where the jaws transition from thinner stock to thicker stock.

    You’ll probably need to take the vise apart and clean it out. I’m guessing something is holding the cam follower up in its tracks.

    -Clay

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #42785
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    I’m back in business after disassembling and cleaning it.

    In the process I took photos and created this disassembly and cleaning instruction pdf file:

    https://view.publitas.com/p222-16215/we-clamp-disassembly-and-cleaning-12-12-17

    When this link displays, you can either view it there, or on the left, there is a button to download the pdf.

    I haven’t used this publitas before, so could someone confirm that they can download it and view it?

    PS, I need to figure out if I was doing something wrong, since obviously people don’t need to disassemble and clean the clamp after every couple knives.

    6 users thanked author for this post.
    #42786
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2020

    Graphire, nice job. It downloaded just fine.  I wish you would have photo documented the reassembly, step by step, also

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #42838
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Great document, Graphite, thanks!

    Maybe someone with write-access to the knowledge base could save it there. Chris?

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42852
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2908

    @graphite, that’s brilliant! Thank you for taking the time to create it and share it with everybody.

    -Clay

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #42853
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2020

    I disassembled, cleaned, lubricated (dry wax lubricant) and reassembled my Gen 3 Pro vice today using the pdf.  Thanks Graphite.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #42896
    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Does anyone have any thoughts on whether what I experienced here was a 1-time thing related to brand new diamond stones and the bigger diamond chunks breaking off and falling into the vise?

    I’m guessing that initially, the stones shed A LOT more debris than once they are broken in, but does that shedding decrease by a huge amount after say a couple dozen swipes of all the new stones (which I have now done)?

    I’m thinking maybe I’ll wrap the vise completely in saran wrap (except for the jaws, and also put a hole in the wrap for the clamping lever so I can leave the wrap in place across knife changes). At least until the stones are broken.

    But there is still an opening for debris to fall into the innards via the middle portion of the top of the jaws (since the clamp pressure points are on the outside ends of the jaws). For that, I was thinking I’d take a small wad of cotton, remove the jaws, and put the cotton wad just below the spring (replacing that small black foam cylinder), and a wide enough wad that the cotton mostly blocks debris from getting below that point. Then re-install the jaws. I’ll have to experiment with the size of the cotton wad so that it fills the inside between the jaws, but not so much that it affects the ability to open/close the jaws. Any reason you can think of, where the cotton wad would be a bad idea?

    #42952
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 35
    • Replies: 1893

    I put a piece of aluminum foil tape over the sides to keep grit out of the cam mechanism.  Because it’s flexible, the motion of the jaws while clamping / unclamping doesn’t affect it.  The idea of the cotton wad sounds workable too.

    PIC_0117 compressed

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #42972
    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1670

    On mine I experienced something similar but tracked it down to the cam follower (underneath the washer stack in your photos) being slightly too wide and rubbing on the inside of the vise. This also would cause the vise Jaws to stick in the closed position.

     

    Not sure what happened with yours, but I’ve done several hundred knives on my gen 3 2017 proto (which was open faced on the sides) without covering mine up like Tom, and it’s performing flawlessly with zero issues (other than the inside of the Jaws denting up from the hardened steel blades pressing into the aluminum).

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #43026
    SteveG
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 3

    I’ve had a grating noise in mine since I bought it a few months ago.  I used your instructions, Graphite (and thanks to Clay for pointing me to them, and the advice), and sanded a wee bit from the plastic cam follower, and now it’s smooth and quiet.  Thanks a bunch, easy to follow, and fun to see the innards of this device.

    Regarding the cylindrical foam piece, mine had fallen into the channel where the bullnose wedge rides. I’d be interested in knowing what it’s supposed to do, and whether it’s important. I reassembled without it, and don’t see an immediate problem. I also don’t see how it would stay in place if I try to put it back.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #43053
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2908

    I’d be interested in knowing what it’s supposed to do, and whether it’s important. I reassembled without it, and don’t see an immediate problem. I also don’t see how it would stay in place if I try to put it back.

    It’s there to catch debris from sharpening because a little will get down in between the jaws. Most of the ones I’ve disassembled have had the foam still in place, I think because it is a little wider than the gap between the bull nosed section of the jaws. It is a pain to put back in place when reassembling the unit.

    -Clay

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #43066
    SteveG
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 3

    I’m pretty sure (not 100% positive) that the foam piece fell out of place before I removed the jaws. I wasn’t going to mention it since I wasn’t sure, but it just occurred to me that I’ve use a blower to clean off the jaws on several occasions, so there’s a good chance I knocked it out of position with that – might be useful for others to know.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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