Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Classic Leg Vise-Pricing and Availability

First off, an apology.

We've missed our release date on this one by more than a couple months. And we know that's frustrating. We make about 99% of this vise from scratch. The rest we source from folks who know how to make certain things better than us. Like wood screws. We ordered the wrong ones. One tiny part held us up. Next time we'll try to keep quiet until everything is really ready (not so easy when you're making something exciting.)

Good, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the Classic!

Here are the specs:

• Fully machined from steel components
• 2-3/16” diameter hub with integral spring plunger, Parkerized finish
• 15” handle assembly with central v-groove and leather shock washers, Parkerized finish
• 3-½” diameter flange, Parkerized finish
• Roll-threaded steel acme screw, 1” diameter with 4 tpi pitch, double lead (2 tpi equivalent, or ½” travel per turn) 16” of thread behind the flange
• 9” capacity typical installations
• 2-½” diameter one-piece acme nut
• Suede leather jaw liner included (for 8” wide chops)
• Designed and made entirely in the USA
• Includes everything you need to build the vise, except wood

Double-lead Thread
Most modern vises use a single lead acme thread. Depending on pitch, these can function slowly, but with precision and control, or more quickly. Screw pitch and travel should be matched to the vise’s purpose. Fast isn’t necessarily better. Tapping and threading metal for double-lead screws is risky and costly, as the thread is very aggressive, and massive amounts of material must be removed. Our screw is roll-threaded. That means its basically squished into shape under enormous pressure. The result is a stronger thread with a polished, smooth finish.

Face vises are generally used for a relatively narrow range of thicknesses, but when used in wider positions, the convenience of opening the jaws quickly and efficiently is a plus. Ergonomics can accomplish this, as with the massive handwheel of our Glide Leg Vise, or speed, as in the case of the Classic, which uses a double-lead acme screw. The Classic moves as fast as typical wooden vise screws, ½” of travel per turn.

Radiused Hub and Flange
The mating surfaces of the flange and hub are machined to a 5” radius. This allows the parts to nest together and distribute clamping pressure over a wider area, especially when holding slightly non-parallel work.

Balanced Handle
The sliding handle is machined with a v-groove detent centered along its length. This detent engages with a stainless steel spring plunger in the center of the hub, allowing one to quickly center the handle and thus balance it to spin rapidly for quick, gross adjustments. In most cases, one can leave the handle centered after holding your workpiece. The spring plunger tension is adjustable. A tighter setting makes it easier and quicker to center up the handle, but may inhibit the handle from sliding as freely. There is a sweet spot that allows quick engaging with the spring plunger, and free sliding simultaneously. The plunger can be completely disengaged if desired. The spring plunger also allows repositioning of the handle so it’s not interfering with your work or your body. Leather shock washers further refine the handle’s function.

Parkerized Finish
The Classic is made from machined steel, but we wanted it to have the look of darkly patinated forged hardware. To get close to this (and not break the bank) we Parkerized the handle, hub and flange. Commonly used on high quality hunting rifles, Parkerizing (or Manganese Phosphate) is a process which darkens the raw steel, which is first sandblasted, while also providing wear resistance and lubricity. The process is more expensive than black oxide, yielding a more durable surface with an attractive dull black-gray look. A rub down with fine steel wood and a coat of light oil helps give the parts a vintage look, further lubricate, and provide excellent corrosion protection. See our installation instructions for further details.

The Crisscross
The Classic is designed to be used with the Benchcrafted Crisscross for best function. The Crisscross completely supports the weight of the Classic hardware and a wooden chop while completely eliminating the need to adjust a pin (parallel guide). With proper installation, the Classic with Crisscross operates with virtually zero friction. 


Classic Crisscross Solo $294
Best choice if you’re building a new bench, or building a stand-alone high vise for use as a bench appliance. Includes the Classic Leg Vise hardware and a Crisscross Solo.

Classic Crisscross Retro $334
Choose this if you’re retrofitting the Classic (w/ Crisscross) to an existing bench, or if you’d rather install the Retro’s mounting brackets instead of drilling deep holes for Solo mounting pins (see installation instructions for more differences between the Retro and Solo installs.)

Includes the Classic Leg Vise hardware and a Crisscross Retro.

Classic Solo Benchmaker's Package: $704
Our usual Benchmaker's Package, only with a Classic Crisscross Solo instead of a Glide Crisscross Solo.

Classic Retro Benchmaker's Package: $744 
Our usual Benchmaker's Package, only with a Classic Crisscross Retro instead of a Glide Crisscross Retro.
Classic Leg Vise Hardware Only (no Crisscross) $195
Choose this if you’re building a leg vise with a traditional parallel guide. Examples include: extremely low benches (that can’t accommodate a Crisscross), angled leg vises and face vises as found on English-style benches, twin-screw vises, traditional all-wood tail vises (Continental benches) or vises of your own design. 


The Classic Leg Vise will be available for purchase on our store page beginning on Monday, April 28, and will ship at the same time. 


  1. I apologize if this is covered somewhere and I missed it, but what is the difference between The Classic and The Glide? Is it basically just the handle vs. the wheel? Is there a functionality reason you might want one versus the other, or is just cosmetic?

    1. We made the Classic purely for its looks. Some people prefer the traditional look. Buy the Glide if you prefer a more refined feel and modern look (think Porsche 911) Buy the Classic if you like things a little more stock and old-school (think '69 Dodge Charger). Both get you from A to B, just a little different way.

  2. Cool font on the video!

  3. Looks great! Also you can still say "a couple months" as "an indefinite small number" a definition that my wife and I go round & round about.

  4. Jameel, it looks like the hole on the acetal bushing has a slight vertical elongation, like the current square version for the Glide Vice. Correct? Also, have you any plans to post installation instructions for the Classic Vice in the near future (despite the redundancy)? Thanks.

    1. That's correct. We'll have the instructions posted by April 28.

  5. Hi Jameel
    really nice looking
    when will it be available at finetools in Germany?

    1. We're not sure at this point. We'll post here when our dealers pick it up.

  6. Oh my God ! I can´t stop staring at it Jameel, I am absolutly in love, this is marvelous. You has got one of this sold right now, as soon as it is in Dieter i will buy it. Really beautiful, made for purist old-school. Thanks for making such an smart and high-quality stuff.
    All my best,

  7. Very nice!. May I ask a couple of possibly dumb questions?
    1) Will this be a permanent product offering or is it a limited run like the Carver's Vice?
    2) Speaking of the Carver's Vice, are there any future plans to offer that handle on the tail vise?
    3) What is the reason for not using the CrissCross on an English style bench with angled legs? (I was wondering if it was an idea that would work but your statement above prompted the question.)

  8. 1. It's a regular item, not a limited run.
    2. No. A handwheel really is superior here. A tommy-bar is overkill on a wagon vise, and not *good* overkill.
    3. We've tested the Classic Crisscross Solo in a bench with a leg angled at 15 deg. It works. It's not quite as frictionless when making gross adjustments, since some of weight is off the vertical axis. The further you tilt, the more weight on the screw, the more friction you'll get. Angled leg vises have a nice look, but if you're working the ends of wide boards, a Moxon does it much better.

  9. Beautiful! I'm really happy to see this executed so well. Definitely worth the wait.

    - Matt

  10. That thing just oozes quality. Well done!

  11. The Classic Vise looks fantastic. Will the tail vise in the Benchmaker's Package also have the parkerized finish?

    1. No. You can darken your handwheel with cold blue for a similar look.

  12. ...waiting patiently...

  13. Available today, Monday April 28th, right? Hmm, let me go hit refresh on my browser window a few dozen more times...

    1. Ray, we're working on it. Just ran into a couple small issues, like...Monday! Check back later this afternoon. Should be up.


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