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Thread: woodworking vice, too many brands to choose from

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    woodworking vice, too many brands to choose from

    I need a vice. Im using a portable one from harbor freight, and I need to upgrade when I add another work bench. Its going to be mounted on a simple plywood and 2x4 work table, I prefer under table mount, and maybe 8 inchs.
    I guess a quick release is worth it, but I dont own a vice so Im not sure if its a necessity.
    Theres always vices on sale, from everyone, but Ive hesitated since I no longer want to purchase something then have to purchase a better quality later on.
    I also dont want to spend 300 bucks Ive been watching craigs list, nothing great popped up in my area.
    any suggestions?(if so, please include a model number)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Whittier, CA, USA
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    I have a preference for older 10" wide cast iron construction with wood handles. The quick release is nice but probably more useful for production use. I bought mine on eBay. Had to keep the shipping cost in consideration as they are heavy beasts.

    Wilton and Columbian are the classics. The old Jorgensens, Craftsmans and Monkey Wards are nice too.

    Buying them used you can find a real diamond in the rough. A little elbow grease can get you nice vise that can barely be matched by most of today's products.
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Central (upstate) NY
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    I'm still kicking myself for not buying a pattern makers vise 5 or 6 years ago when a local tool supplier had a few old iron used ones for about $80. It wasn't the brand pictured, but that is what a pattern makers vise is. This kind of vise will rotate on three axes pretty much any way you want it to, and since I only have one vise on my do-all table, I wish it was a pattern makers instead of a traditional woodworkers vise.

    Have you looked at used tool stores?

    Quick release is nice. Doesn't affect the quality of work, but not having it can get irritating whenever you have dramatic thickness differences.

  4. #4
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Allen I dont think you can go wrong with one of the LV quick release vices.

    Here is a link.

    http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...80&cat=1,41659


    On a side i was wondering when you would come round to determining that you need a decent bench and vice to do woodworking.

    If you want to get the low down on workbenches and vices take a look in your local library for the Chris Schwarz workbench design book, or you could buy your own copy. This will give you more than you bargained for because it will also give you an idea of the bench its going to go on and the issues associated.

    I would highly recommend that you dont piece meal this venture. Read the book and you will know what kind of vice you really want to do the things that you feel you want to do with the vice.

    The big issue i came away from the book with was a real when one stops to realize that a bench is actually a clamping station to hold wood secure while working it. That said a vice plays a role. Then you want to consider that many workbenches have multiple vice.

    I am saying this cause you indicated you did not want to have multiple go rounds on this one. If that is the case consider that the vice is only going to be as good as the bench you mount it on and the place you put it for the intended task.

    Thats my 5 cents. Best of luck.


    By the way this is a small vortex too. It aint ended with the vice and the bench. Then there are the hold downs etc to go with it.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    maybe a real work table eventually, I dont have a problem using my plywood tables.
    I run into alot of time consuming clamping and attaching the little portable vice when I have to do some simple tasks, so a vice is something I need to save time.

  6. #6
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    alen,
    when i built this house 2 1/2 years ago and set up the shop I saw no need for a dedicated woodworkerd bench.. Boy was I wrong. I am now in the process of re designing and enlarging my shop and one of the primary considerations is to have a proper woodworking bench with a couple of vises. If you are not going to build a proper bench now keep in mind that you will want one in the future so make don't skimp on the vise as you will want to incorperate into your big bench when you build one.
    JMHO
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    ozarks
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    i have two of the vices mark linked to.......they work well.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Whittier, CA, USA
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    Hey Allen,

    I forgot to include Morgan's in the old iron list. One is on eBay for buy it now of 69.99 and $16.99 shipping, it also has the rapid action feature.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MORGAN-VISE-CO-2...item2c54089054

    and an old Craftsman without a handle, but they are easy to turn.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/industrail-Craft...item2559f311d4
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Honolulu, Hawaii
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    woodworking vice, too many brands to choose from

    Allen,

    I picked up this nice Craftsman vise on the "bay" in 07, for about $95.00 including shipping. It's got a monster opening .

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Someday, I'll built a proper bench to mount it on. Until then, it works just great. It's a quick release model too. That's even the original paint. ( That red paint on the bench was there before mounting the vise.)

    Keep looking.

    Aloha, Tony
    Last edited by Tony Baideme; 04-13-2010 at 05:14 AM.
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Decatur, Alabama
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    Allen,

    If you're looking for a pretty good inexpensive vise, try one of these

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94386

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Quic...se-9-Jaw/G9851

    I have looked at both these in person, as well as the one in a rockler store for that looks just like it. I think you can also find them under some brand in one of the home stores and woodcraft too, but I haven't seen those in person. All of these quick release vices with the slide up 1/2" x 1" keystock look identical to me that I've seen. I have the one from harbor freight and it's still doing fine after a couple years.

    It's not the best vice out there, but it's pretty fair and a great value. I might buy another vise later on, but I imagine I'll always have some use for the quick release. It's just handy working on anything around the house, even if it wasn't for woodworking.

    -Jeb Taylor

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