I was doing a workbench upgrade (really just a vise upgrade). I originally had my small (7″) Eclipse vise installed without any support on the outside edges to give it a bigger clamping range. When I cut 2 small blocks to put on the outside I first thought I was not cutting/planing straight. I then checked with my combination square which indicated the vise was not perfectly square around the edges. Having some self-doubt that perhaps my square was out-of-square since I assumed the vise was machined perfectly in the factory I checked again with a different (non-adjustable) square. Sure enough, it is the vise that is not square! Not that it has any impact on the functionality of the vise but it surprised me no less (or is it designed that way on purpose?). In any event, I’m thrilled with the upgrade to the jaws with the leather pad–talk about a different experience! Love, love, love it.
That’s perfectly normal David. Most of the vise isn’t machined at all – just mating surfaces, holes that have to be bored or tapped or things like that. It’s pretty much exactly as it was cast with a little clean up to get rid of the sharp edges. My 10″ is out maybe 3/32″ down the right side but the left is almost square. As you said, it doesn’t affect the function.
I know this isn’t how the topic started, but I’ve always had a small issue with my 10″ Eclipse quick release mechanism. About half the time, when I move the jaw and release the quick release handle, the mechanism doesn’t fully re-engage the lead screw and if I don’t notice it, as I begin to tighten the vise it will suddenly drop into place and loosen the grip. It’s quite annoying! Has anyone else run into that and what can you do to fix it?
That’s a common problem with these vises. I know it has come up in a discussion before. It happens with mine as well. I think the solution is to back it off about a half a turn before re-tightening. It’s a jarring clunk when it happens…I’ve almost come to anticipate it and just make sure to hold the work in place until the vise has cycled through (or not) and locked things into place. I’m not sure the cause but I am curious if Paul will experience it at all with his new bench on WWMC now that he’s using it and, if it occurs, whether it will be edited out or if perhaps he’ll provide further insight as to why it is happening.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by David B.
He was getting some clunking and skipping in the vise install part of the workbench vid. He said it needs broken in. Between that and other complaints here I tried my luck and patience on eBay. Since then I’ve found two record 52 1/2 vices both shipped to me in great shape for cheaper than the eclipse and already “broken in”
Thanks David. For some reason, and it may just be the design, the nut is not able to re-seat completely in the threads of the lead screw unless you get lucky and have it positioned just right. I’m going to take mine apart and see if I can figure out an easy fix. I’ve actually dropped material out of mine when that happens and I wasn’t expecting it and that is very annoying. It’s always done it and I originally thought it might need a break-in period, but I’ve had this thing for two years now. Break-in time is over.
I recently installed the 10″ on my bench. First off, I do like this vise. I can hang a 10′ board off of it and it doesn’t move. I’ve also noticed the notchy “chuck” when I use the quick release to close the jaws on a piece, followed by a turn of the handle. At first I thought it was odd, but now I anticipate it as a quirk of the vise. I “assumed” it was because of the non-standard design of the vise screw. Mine are more tapered than a simple screw thread design. Because of the taper, it seems like it allows this quick re-engagement of the threads after sliding in or out. IDK – just a thought.
Mine, too. The only thing I’ve found that helps is to unwind a turn or so any time I’ve used the QR. I’ve stared at it, scratched my head, but so far do not see an obvious thing to try. For what it’s worth, I find it interesting that Paul’s Record vise seems to slide and spin much more freely than the Eclipse.
I remember being a little surprised when I got that vise and saw the lead screw. You would usually expect to see an acme thread for that application but that’s not what’s there. The threads were also very rough and while they have smoothed out a little over time, I’m thinking about dressing them a little to see if that helps. The nut also needs to be able to slide front to back a little so that it can lock into the threads properly so I might try to open up the clearances on the carrier for the nut just a little. If I figure out anything, I’ll post it. Sorry to hear so many others are having this problem. I’ve watched the flawless operation of Paul’s vises for years and haven’t been able to figure out what I was doing wrong. Apparently it’s not me, it’s the vise!
[quote quote=549999]I remember being a little surprised when I got that vise and saw the lead screw. You would usually expect to see an acme thread for that application but that’s not what’s there.[/quote]
Actually, what you should hope to see on a quick release vise is something OTHER than an ACME thread.
The classic record 52 1/2 series used a proprietary conical thread which was slightly undercut on the pressure side and had a steep slope on the other to help in engage better. It was under patent protection for years, but has been out of patent for a while now.
Record touted the designe as being more secure when engaged and easier to engage. Is was supposed to avoid the KLunk regularly reports here concerning false engagement of the quick release. It was a big part of their marketing.
In the picture attached of the threads of a Record 52 1/2 QR, the movable jaw is to the left.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Larry Geib.
The first picture is of the threads in the Eclipse Larry. Virtually identical to the Record design. The second picture shows the acme thread in one of my other non-QR vises. This was my first experience with a quick release system and I never thought about how they did it. But after looking at it and how it works, the thread design makes perfect sense. It’s supposed to let the nut to re-engage with the lead screw even if the positioning is slightly off (which it almost always will be). The undercut on the pressure side pulls the nut tight into the lead screw under torque. What you can’t have in an application where a threaded connection has to tighten and loosen repeatedly are machine threads that would deform in the nut. That’s why acme threads are normally used for lead screws – this just happens to be a special application. The problem with the Eclipse is elsewhere I think. I don’t believe the nut carrier is allowing enough axial movement of the nut so the threads in the nut can slide down the back side of the conical lead screw threads unless you happen to be pretty close to synchronized when you release the handle. I’m going to do a little tuning to see if I can get it working better.
@harryawheeler I’m not sure I would say,
Sorry to hear so many others are having this problem. I’ve watched the flawless operation of Paul’s vises for years and haven’t been able to figure out what I was doing wrong. Apparently it’s not me, it’s the vise!
Given Paul’s years of familiarity with this style vise, I would hope would explain why his seems so fluid – and given that they are filming/editing. I do occasionally hear him make a comment about the new vise – don’t remember exactly what.
I don’t consider my stated “issues” as problems. I understand that when I slide the jaws closed on a piece of wood – there is almost a 50/50 chance that the teeth on the lead screw are not engaged into the locking nut on vise body (or however it works).
I’ve also read about other QR vises and commonly see instructions telling users to back off on the tension handle a quarter or half turn, etc. I’m sure this is to help those teeth line up with the nut. Anyway, interesting discussion. I do like this vise though. I’ve had Irwin (crap) and Jorgensen (slightly better crap) but this Eclipse is better by leaps and bounds.
When I start to tighten the vise and it suddenly jumps back a thread and my work piece falls to the floor, I call that a problem Doug. I disassembled my Eclipse this morning and cleaned up the machining in the nut and it works much better now. I removed one partial thread at the front end of the nut that may have been hanging things up plus cleaned up the ends of the nut a little and that did the trick. It’s a good vise and I like everything about it except when it decides to revolt and start dropping things. If simply backing off would have worked, I would have been fine with that – I read the same things you did, but it didn’t work on my vise. Now I don’t even have to do that. After I release the QR, all I have to do is give the front jaw a gentle pull and the nut drops into place.
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