Leg-Vise Smashes Finger for the Last Time!

Last updated: April 18, 2020

Pete at the anvil (62K) my blacksmith shop

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Having just smashed the end of a finger for the last time between the handle of my 6" leg vise (or post vise, as they are sometimes called) and the ball-shaped end of the screw with the hole in it, I thought I'd suggest how to avoid it from ever happening to you.
The situation: The handle that twists the leg vise closed has a ball on each end. This ball is necessarily bigger than the hole in the end of the screw that sticks out from the vise and has a large hole in it. As the vise is operated, the handle is often allowed to drop down into the hole. When the ball at either end of the handle hits the end of its travel, it tends to move metal away from the hole, forming a pocket that sort of matches the ball on the end of the handle. On this leg vise, this pocket had grown to almost 3/16" in height and it was pretty darned sharp.

Soooooo-----, after the usual negative thoughts as the pain began to tell me that, yes, indeed, I WILL become temporarily crippled, and as I watched the blood blister begin its inexorable rise, I decided to ACT!
All I did was to get out the angle grinder and take off all of the "extra" material, as best I could. Then I finished up with a file. A final check to make sure there were no sharp areas left, and it's back to work.
In retrospect, I have seen some vises with rubber washers on both ends of the handle to act as bumpers. Maybe that would stop this deforming action.