Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hayward on Mitre Shooting Blocks

For the upcoming release of our La Forge Miter Jack we've uploaded an article from "The Woodworker" detailing the construction and use of a miter jack from an English perspective. Charles Hayward covered nearly every aspect of woodworking through his countless  publications, and this one doesn't disappoint. Make sure you read through the construction details, since they give clues to how the vise is used.

Download "The Mitre Shooting Block" here.

I've had a miter jack in the shop since I first discovered it early in my woodworking. It doesn't get used every day, but when its needed, nothing else will do. Shooting boards are better for repetitive, simpler tasks like mitering a flat frame member or squaring the end of a board. It's when you encounter more complex joints that the miter jack really shines. Try planing a miter on crown with a shooting board. The other plus with a miter jack is that it creates a platform around nearly the entire workpiece. This means you can pare joint shoulders in one go and know that the surfaces will be in the same plane. If you're ever screwed up tenon shoulders, you know how easy it is to chase your tail around the joint with a shoulder plane, risking blowout at each corner. A miter jack not only gives you a flat plane to work from, but also holds the work at the correct angle automatically, and backs up the work to prevent blowout.

Next week, the wooden bits for our Miter Jack Hardware ship from Lake Erie Toolworks to us. We'll start a series of posts on building the jack using the hardware, and share even more uses for this less common shop appliance.

Thanks to the folks at the traditional woodworking publishing house Lost Art Press for the scans from "The Woodworker".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cleaned Off Some Shelves

This time of year we're preparing for Black Friday. In other words, we're pondering spending that time in the shop making things other than money. We hope you do too.

Doing a little warehouse cleaning this morning we found a few vises we set aside for a moment like this. And the when the moment is right...

1. Glide Leg Vises.  SOLD
This is the previous version of the Glide, with the single Dymondwood knob, and fully machine handwheel. These are vises that may have some porosity to the cast iron hanwheel (very minor) or were used on demo benches. They are 100% functional and are just slightly cosmetically deficient on the handwheel. That's it. All other parts are brand new. We usually melt these down, but these are so close to being 100%, we're offering them for your benefit. Price is $300 with Crisscross Solo (add $40 if you want a Retro.) We only have two of these.

2. Classic Leg Vise Hardware Only SOLD
The hardware we used to take the glamour shots earlier this year. If anything, this is likely nicer than what you receive when buying new, since we already buffed out the parkerizing and oiled it up. It's a beaut. Price is $130. We only have one of these. If you'd like to pair it with a Crisscross, request that when you order.

And here's how to do that. Send an email to stating what you'd like, including your shipping address, and we'll email you an invoice to pay. Simple as that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holdfast after Camion Freres

While developing our hand forged holdfast we toyed with making one based on a holdfast by the Camion Freres company (see the CF holdfast, which we sourced in France, pictured below.)

However, the CF holdfast was just too huge to produce for a fair price, so we quickly ruled out using it as our model.

We did make one however, and we're offering it for sale. We usually don't sell prototypes of anything we make, but this is different, since our vise prototypes usually look like something out of Mad Max. This hand forged holdfast is a thing of beauty.

The CF holdfast reproduction (right) pictured with our Benchcrafted Holdfast prototype.

The CF reproduction works in 1-1/4"  or 1-1/8" diameter holes. It takes a couple whacks to release in the smaller hole. The larger hole gives up its grip with usually one whack.

Price is $250 plus shipping. If you'd like to purchase, send an email to and include your shipping address.  SOLD

In the video the stock is 5" thick ash.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tail Vise C Now Available

We're very pleased to announce that the new Benchcrafted Tail Vise C is available.

Here's a little background about the vise. A few months ago we released the Glide M leg vise, and with improvements came a price increase due to the added components. We immediately decided we needed to offer a lower cost alternative with the same performance as the Glide M. The Glide C was born. Naturally we realized folks would want a Benchmaker's Package with all C series vises, thus the Tail Vise C.

In case you're wondering, "M" denotes machined and "C" cast. These terms don't refer to the way the handwheels are manufactured (since both are cast and machined), but rather describes the final surface finish. The Tail Vise with machined handwheel will now be called the Tail Vise M. Below you can see the difference between the Tail Vise M (left) and Tail Vise C (right.) Both are made of cast gray iron, poured locally.

Aside from the obvious cost savings (our original motivation for producing the vises) the C series vises with their sand cast finish have a distinct vintage and traditional look. As a hat tip to the old toolmakers, we outfitted the C series vises use beech (acrylic infused) knobs. If you're into the vintage aesthetic, the C series nails it. I have a C series Tail Vise and Glide on my Ash bench at home at the moment. I love the understated look. The texture of the cast wheel on the Tail Vise also makes for great ergonomics, since I like to grasp the wheel itself for small adjustments.

Aside from the handwheel and knob, all other components of the Tail Vise C are identical to the Tail Vise M. It also installs and performs exactly like the M.

The Tail Vise C will be shipping shortly, and you can order now through our store page. You may need to refresh your browser.

Price for the Tail Vise C is $295 plus actual shipping.

Price for a Benchmaker's package with C series vises (with Crisscross Solo) is $699.

For those using a Classic Leg Vise in their Benchmaker's Package, the default Tail Vise choice will be the C. We will gladly sell you an M with your Classic, but you must request it via email.