I got my woodworking vise this morning, and I think I got a pretty good deal. It's an extremely heavy duty vise that came out of the old Missouri State Sanitorium in Mount Vernon.
The vise is a Parker 25, with a 4" x 7" face and an opening span of 9 1/4" before adding a wooden face. The screw action is continuous, instead of quick-opening, but for $50 I'm not complaining. Mama's not too happy about the money spent, but I'm selling off more books, the old vise (a cheapie), and some computer stuff, so I'll make the money back pretty soon.
Now I've got more reason than ever to re-work that bench top.
What really makes this vise special is where it came from. The old Missouri State Sanitarium was a TB hospital that has been turned into a multiple use facility. They still have a TB ward, but its primary use now is as a veterans' home and clinic. There is also a floor devoted to traumatic brain injury, and a vocational rehabilitation section. I spent a week in the Voc-Rehab section, so this vise is one I'll want to keep for years to come. Not to mention the fact that it is built like a tank. All it needs is to clean and lubricate the screw and slide rods, and mount new wooden face plates.