It amazes me that in a world where we can communicate with the other side of the planet practically instantly, send aircraft into space, etc, no company seems to be able to produce a quality quick-release vise! As with many other tools in our craft, we have to depend on the vintage or used market. When I first became interested in wood working with hand tools and built my first bench, I bought the large model Jorgensen quick-release for the face vise and the small version (non quick release) for a tail vise. From day one I had trouble with the quick release mechanism and contacted the company on two separate occasions. My second call resulted in being assisted by a very nice young lady who explained that they had been having a lot of problems with the casting being misshapen on the quick release and that the manufacture was “outsourced”. She mailed me, at no charge, two slightly different shaped castings to try. The second one works most of the time. The other problem, even with leather linings and/or shelf liner, I still have problems with the work shifting. This, as you can imagine, is not only dangerous to my hands but to the work piece as well. Please excuse my lengthy rant, but does anyone have any suggestions? I’d love a nice old Record 52 1/2 or 53 or the Woden equivalent, but it seems that anytime I see one for sale, it doesn’t fall within my limited budget.
Gary, I use one of these. Have had it for several years and no problems. The release mechanism engages as you reverse the jaws.
Thanks, Dave! I had seen those in their new catalog, but hadn’t heard anything about them. On a related subject, I tried Lee Valley’s aluminum bar clamps and have been extremely satisfied with them. I now have 6 of them & will buy more when I can. Their thick walls make them work great for Paul’s “clamp in the vise dogging system”. And, interestingly, Lee Valley has the best price on them I’ve found! Thanks again for the help.
I have a couple old ones a Morgan 200A and a 10″ Colombian QR The Morgan was not working well when I bought it so I went online and read a message someone had posted with the same problem and he found a phone number for The Milwaukee vise company. So I called him and was able to order replacement parts that worked just fine. Long story even longer the ones Tools For Woodworking sells are the Milwaukee/ x Morgan Vise . The man there told me he bought out Morgan in 1971 I think. He offered me a 10″ QR for $154. 00 Which is considerably less than the retailers. If you like I can Look up his number. He also taught me that these vises need to be level in order to work properly. He said If not they will not engage the screw nut in the right place and they will grab and not fall into the threads properly. Just let me know and I can look up his phone number I have it tucked away in my receipts. Take Care
I’d appreciate the contact info if you still have it. Wish I’d gotten mine for that price! I’ll have to check and see if it’s level but generally it works well and the installation instructions and hardware were first class. The only real problem I’ve had has been with the end caps of the wooden handle. Over time they want to crack across the middle, fall apart and the handle shaft drops out. Easy enough to fix with a little glue but a bit annoying. Still, this vise was such a big improvement over what came on the bench that it was a revelation. I’ve never used the Record or Jorgensons so I can’t really comment on them but I thought I’d go American for this purchase and I liked the color 🙂
Take a look at a Nelson bench. There are a lot of ways to plan a item also go to the site English woodworker he has a vid on using a batten with a hook. I have never owned a vise, no need I only own about 6 clamps again no need. Look at the old systems of using wedges and pin bars. Save a lot of money.
I also have the Lee Valley York vise. A good vise, but one thing that bugs me about it though is that there is no way to delay the clutch disengaging when backing off (opening) the vise. Sometimes I want the vice to screw open (and then closed) rather than having to pull it open and then push it closed. It’s quicker to screw open, screw closed, work, screw open, screw closed, work, etc. when you need to adjust the workpiece many times.
I’ve sort of come up with a solution whereby I jam a thin piece of wood into the side of the clutch housing. This stops the clutch from rotating when the vise is backed off and will therefore allow the screw to remain engaged. It only sort of works. I need to refine it more to make sure the wood stays put.
Anyone else have this problem, and unique methods of solving it?
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