Let me start this off by admitting I'm cheap. I don't mind spending money when needed, but I couldn't see paying $200+ for a decent vice stand. Unfortunately I live in a tourist destination and thus don't have access to junkyards for building materials. So here's my first attempt at DIY. I do need to lower the table height by about 3", and want to reengineer the top to post connections.
Step 1: Find Some Suitable "Junk"
While at work one day I was called to the airport to shut down the fire line to a building that was "accidentally" demolished. Job done and bs'ing with the site foreman I found out they needed to remove the PIV's (Post Indicator Valve's). Seeing that they just threw them away, I asked for one. Acquiring "junk" completed.
Step 2: Disassembly
Pretty straightforward, grab tools, curse like a sailor, walk away, repeat till finished.
Points to keep in mind.
1. There is always one more bolt holding it together, search throughly.
2. Bolts are expensive, save everything.
3. Have a plan and stick to it, but allow for some updates along the way. I completely skipped this step and wanted time and energy.
Step 3: Measure Once, Cut Thrice
The general plan.
1. The top of the valve would be the base of the stand.
2. The red pipe would be a decorative shell.
3. The black pipe would be the structure of the stand.
To remove weight I only needed enough black pipe to go past the existing bolt holes in the red pipe.
1. Measure out your cuts.
2. Clean the area to be cut.
3. Construct janky rollers to aid in cutting and cleaning.
4. Safety being an after thought, I ran a catch chain through the piece being cut. Definitely didn't want the cut section to fall on my barefeet.
5. Cut with reckless abandon.
Step 4: Test Fit, Prep for Paint, Paint
I test fitted the top of the valve (blue) to the black pipe. Then the red pipe slid over and bolted to the black pipe. Finally the red flange bolted to the red pipe to create the attachment point for the top.
Cleaned off the rust and crud that had built up over the years.
Painted and stained it. I used High Performance Enamel Gloss Safety Blue and Red Spray Paint from the Rust-Oleum Professional line for the metal parts. For the top I just bought a premade 1 in. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. Pine Edge Glued Panel Round Board from Home Depot and used a minwax stain.
Step 5: Assembly, Tally the Total, and a Celebratory Beverage.
I used some old crank handles (remember "save everything") as feet, attached them to the blue valve top.
Reassembled the black and red pipe.
Bolted the top to the red flange and bolted that to the pipe.
Total cost was $31.05
Celebratory drink was free as I had the necessary components on hand.
Step 6: Wrap Up
I need to lower it about three inches and figure out what to do with the top section of the PIV, but for now it'll work. It'll have to wait till my "winter projects" are done.
Current winter projects are.
1. Build out a HD sportster a friend gave me.
2. Refurbishing a 1954 Craftsman 8" table saw.
3. Refurbishing a Wilton vice
3. Convert a 8mm Mauser to .45acp.
Not sure if any of those would be instructable worthy or not. If you think one of them might be, let me know.