Monday, June 11, 2012

The Benchcrafted Crisscross

Summer is flying by and we're scrambling to get all our new stuff rolling as quickly as possible. We know there are lots of you who are chomping at the bit to get your benches built. Summer is a slow time for woodworking, but not for everyone. We think it will be worth the wait.

But summer is also about not rushing. Slowing down. Taking it easy. Fishing (yeah, I just bought a new fly rod--my first--and I can't wait to take a day and reenact this scene.) We take our vises very seriously here, and we're not going to rush through anything at the risk of excellence.

There are lots of companies that keep stuff secret right up until its ready to sell. We're not entirely like that. We don't just make this stuff for money. We use it. We enjoy the design process. We love tweaking things so they work better. Our goal is the same as your goal. Being thrilled with your tools and loving every second of using them.

This week we're finishing up  the first run of our new Tail Vise handwheels. There are still a couple operations to finish, but they are 95% there. And they look simply incredible. Once we get some good photos taken, we'll post them here.

But the main purpose of this post is to talk about the Crisscross, our new version of the St. Peter's Cross mechanism. We've finished the design and engineering and are now working on the patterns for casting these in iron. We know that many are thinking about incorporating the Crisscross into an existing bench, or an upcoming bench build.

Take a look at the video above for an animation of how the Crisscross will install. This should provide enough "rough" information for those planning their bench. If you have questions, please comment below. There are a few aspects here that will change. Fasteners in the video are simply representative. They will change. The long mortises in the leg and chop are sized for the bracket width. We will most likely instruct builders to narrow the mortise below the bracket for a cleaner install.


  1. Good Afternoon
    First let me take a moment of your time in gratitude for what appears to be a very elegant solution to a difficult problem. I have two questions if I may (I suppose that would make three)?
    First do you have a length dimension from the top of the bracket to the bottom of the wear plate (assuming the wear plate is placed according to manufacturers recommendation)?
    Second, do you have a sense of when you will be taking orders for these gems?
    Kindest regards

  2. My wife and I were just talking about that movie. Don't know if they make trout that big around here, but good luck! I have been wanting to go out myself sometime.


  3. Craig,

    The length of the mortise is about 19 1/2" with the wear plate positioned at the bottom of the mortise.

    Can't say for sure when these will be ready, but we're shooting for early fall. We may take pre-orders once we have a firm handle on pricing.


    When I used to work at Fin & Feather (the local tackle shop) I saw several huge trout come through the door. They are out there. Just have to know where to look.

  4. Congratulations on developing this hardware. It looks awesome!

  5. that you in the picture? Priceless!


  6. For those of us who already have the Glide Leg Vise, will the cross system require an entirely new wheel/screw assembly, or can the existing one be used. Even if you don't offer the cross by itself for a retrofit, it would be nice to know that at least some of the work for the install has already been done.

  7. Thanks Tico.


    You will be able to retrofit a Crisscross to a Glide by simply purchasing the Crisscross on its own. No need to purchase an entirely new vise. It will also work with any leg vise hardware (metal bench screw or wood screw.)

  8. Looks good Jameel. Mind sharing who's playing that sweet guitar music?

  9. Cosmo,

    It's called "Arriving Abroad" and I got it here:

  10. A great innovation, thanks, guys!!!

    Are you still anticipating that the roller bracket kit will work smoothly with the cross?

  11. You won't need the roller brackets at all with the Crisscross. So it not only replaces the parallel guide, but the roller brackets as well.


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