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Easy Home Made Freewheel Vise

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Easy Home Made Freewheel Vise

Old 02-23-21, 09:18 PM
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Easy Home Made Freewheel Vise

In the "Unlikely Tools" thread, I mentioned a home made freewheel vise I have in my workshop. Some folks asked for photos, so I thought I might as well create a stand-alone thread showing how it works and how to make one. You will need two chain whips, at least one of them being an SR-1 or SR-12 by Park Tools.

How to make it:

Step One: Drill two holes in your work table about 1 foot apart from each other
Step Two: Run a short bolt through the hole on the left, with a spacer on it. It's effectively a peg (see photo below):


How to use it to remove cogs from a freewheel:

Step One: Place the freewheel over the hole on the right
Step Two: Put the freewheel remover in
Step Three: Secure the freewheel to the table by running a front QR skewer through it. Note that I've added a couple of extra spacers to the take up the extra space on the skewer. If you have bolt that'll fit and is shorter, you don't need the extra spacers.


view from below:


Step Four: Secure the largest cog with the chain whip. You may need to loosen the bolt holding the freewheel to the table in order to get it on. Afterwards, tighten down the bolt or QR skewer. Slide the end of the chain whip, which has a hole in it, over the peg on the left.


Step Five: Use your second chain whip to remove the first cog on the freewheel. The lower chain whip will prevent the freewheel from moving, allowing you to put maximum force on the top cog.



How to use it to reassemble and tighten cogs on a freewheel:

Repeat steps 1-3 above.
Step Four: Secure the largest cog with the chain whip, in the opposite direction from the disassembly procedure.


Step Five: Tighten down cogs.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:04 PM
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Thanks, @Catnap. I'm one of the people who was curious about your DIY freewheel vice. I appreciate the write-up and photos. I may try a "portable" version I can mount to my workbench when needed.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:07 PM
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Thank you. I was looking at buying a freewheel vise. You just saved me some money. Looks simple and workable

Last edited by WGB; 02-23-21 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:11 PM
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Sorry duplicate!
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Old 02-23-21, 10:30 PM
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You ever break a chain whip doing this? I've had some extra recalcitrant freewheels where the chain comes off the chain whip before I can get the little cog off. Been meaning to machine a wrench with the pins like the old Suntour freewheel vise, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I bet the chain whip on the bench wouldn't be the one to break, since it's under less strain being on the big cog and having more leverage per chain tension.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:02 AM
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No, I've never had a chain whip break. I've even had to put a breaker pipe on the upper chain whip before, to unscrew really stuck cogs. the only tricky part in that scenario is making sure that the chain whip stays level with the cog while applying pressure, so as not to break any teeth or bend the cog.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:04 AM
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Old 02-25-21, 04:29 PM
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I do something similar, although not as involved.

Clamp one whip down to the bench, position the freewheel, then mount the second whip and push. Easy peasy every time.




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Old 02-26-21, 07:25 AM
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Do all freewheels come apart like this?
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Old 02-26-21, 06:26 PM
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Nifty. Two thoughts:
1. It might be easier to use a bolt and wing nut rather than skewer.
2. You could clamp a piece of 2x4 to the edge of the bench to rest the top whip on to keep it from going out of plane.
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Old 02-26-21, 11:53 PM
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This is an interesting way to skin a cat. I took a 2x4, put the freewheel on it, and screwed four wood screws around the largest sprocket to hold it in place. Clamped the 2x4 to something, then chain-whiped away. Or in my case, hammer a punch on the teeth of the smallest sprocket until it came loose because it’s toast anyway and broke my chain whip...
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Old 02-27-21, 05:51 AM
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Brilliant!

This is brilliant — and, given my freewheel vise has been misplaced for a while and I want to rebuild some Regina CXs now, very timely. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
I do something similar, although not as involved.

Clamp one whip down to the bench, position the freewheel, then mount the second whip and push. Easy peasy every time.
I'd be a little concerned that the clamps might fail or slip if I was wrenching really hard on the freewheel. Has that ever happened?

Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
Do all freewheels come apart like this?
Most do. There's always the possibility that there's some obscure freewheel out there that uses an alternate system, but generally this is how it's done. Some freewheels have all the cogs screwed on, while many others only have the first and sometimes also the second cogs screwed on, the rest of the cogs sliding on splines like a freehub.

Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Nifty. Two thoughts:
1. It might be easier to use a bolt and wing nut rather than skewer.
2. You could clamp a piece of 2x4 to the edge of the bench to rest the top whip on to keep it from going out of plane.
Both of these are great suggestions. There's room for improvement in this system, interesting to see how others do it,
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Old 02-27-21, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
I'd be a little concerned that the clamps might fail or slip if I was wrenching really hard on the freewheel. Has that ever happened?
Not a single time in over 40 years of doing it.
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Old 02-27-21, 01:51 PM
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Yes I did; and after bending one another time I gave up before breaking #2.

Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
You ever break a chain whip doing this? I've had some extra recalcitrant freewheels where the chain comes off the chain whip before I can get the little cog off. Been meaning to machine a wrench with the pins like the old Suntour freewheel vise, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I bet the chain whip on the bench wouldn't be the one to break, since it's under less strain being on the big cog and having more leverage per chain tension.
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Old 03-01-21, 09:38 PM
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Pics of my description above:


And yes, that’s a home made chain whip.
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