Just posted a quick Lake Erie Toolworks Wooden Vise Highlights video on our website home page. If you have a minute to spare take a look / see. I suspect you might even like the ‘bluesy’ music the video is cut with. Enjoy!
Whenever we attend a trade show or woodworking event we normally haul around our small Lake Erie Toolworks Demo Workbench to demonstrate the feel and functionality of our wooden vises (shown below here with the amazing Frank Klausz in action). We usually hear phrases like “smooth like buttah”, “fast as lightening” and “holds tighter than two coats of paint” when someone gives the vises a test drive. The challenge has always been, how best to replicate this very tactile vise experience so that people could try it out.
Our distributor in Germany, “Dictum” decided to provide this experience to their customers by commissioning a fully functional replica of our demo bench for use in one of their showroom floors in Germany. The bench was built by Jarek Ostaszewski who also happens to run a successful DIY construction and tool review YouTube Channel called “Domidrewno” in Poland.
Here’s the fantastic end product for your review.
The workbench is made out of solid beech along with Hard Maple for the vise components and is extremely sturdy and heavy. It also makes the perfect workbench for people who have limited space in their workshop, garage, basement or apartment but still want a fully functional and robust workbench.
For those of you who have further interest in this type of workbench, here is the link to access a series of nine (9) YouTube videos from Jarek on Domidrewno that will show you how he constructed the bench. If you don’t speak Polish, you will still be well served in watching the videos to see how he made this great workbench.
If you have any other comments on this workbench that you’d like to share with us, just drop us an email or give us a call.
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks
Here’s a great way to start out the new year with a workbench idea featuring a retrofit Shoulder Vise added to a 24 year old workbench by Jesse H. from Kingsport, Tennessee. Jesse also built an amazing chest using the shoulder vise. As he says below, the proof is in the pudding. Enjoy!
This past summer I had purchased a shoulder vise screw from you guys and using your detailed instructions (I did dovetail the nut to the arm instead of using lag bolts, but I am sure the lag bolts would have worked just as well), I retrofitted a shoulder vise on my existing bench, which has been through several metamorphoses through its 24 year life!
I had always just dealt with my front vise racking and slipping. I had kept blocks on my bench to keep the vise from racking and there was always a bunch of fiddling. Lots of times I was trying to saw and hold the work with the other hand so the stock wouldn’t slide around in the vise.
Not so with my shoulder vise! The screw is smooth as silk, and the slightest turn will release or grab the stock. My bench is not much to look at….I believe in building furniture, not a shop. But the “proof is in the pudding”…in this case in the using. I built the chest of drawers in the pictures using the shoulder vise for all the joinery. Cutting dovetails and tenons was a joy! Great work guys! ….and for me, money well spent!
Here are some pictures of my old bench, retrofitted with the Lake Erie shoulder vise…and as you see in the pictures, no leg under the shoulder vise. So far, no problems from the absence of the leg. Now, it may seem like a little thing, but even though I didn’t replace my rigged-up wagon vise when I installed the shoulder vise, I did order an extra handle….love the handles!
Jesse H. – Kingsport, TN
Help up celebrate a tremendous vise form factor known throughout the world – namely the Shoulder vise as we announce our new Lake Erie Toolworks Wooden Shoulder Vise installation instructions that are now available via our website.
You can also hear what master woodworker Frank Klausz has to say about the Lake Erie Shoulder Vise via the following link.
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks
We were recently visited by our local TV News (WJET-TV) in Erie, PA where they profiled Lake Erie Toolworks for their “Made In America – Made Right Here” news segment. It was a neat experience having them film us discussing our wooden vises and our new “ClampGAUGE” product line which allows a woodworker to achieve the correct clamping pressure for panel glue-ups as recommended by glue manufacturers.
This quick video is now posted on our Lake Erie Toolworks website home page as well as our YouTube channel for your viewing enjoyment.
We have had great success with our wooden Wagon and Shoulder Vise Kits that we launched in 2013. One aspect of these kits is that it requires that the standard wood nut included with the kit be ‘built up” or sandwiched with additional wood. This would then provide you with the proper dimensions needed for a solid wagon vise end cap or a shoulder vise arm. Once you have the proper size wagon end cap or shoulder arm constructed and installed, these vises are fantastic and will provide you with many years of use.
But wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take the wooden nut out of the Lake Erie package, trim it to length and then dovetail or bolt it into place without having to “build up” and create the vise end cap or shoulder arm?
Effective immediately, Lake Erie Toolworks is offering an Extended Wooden Nut option for all of our Wagon and Shoulder Vise Kits currently available today.
This new Extended Nut is properly sized (2-3/4″ thick x 4″ wide x 28″ long) so that you can trim it to the proper length for your wagon or shoulder vise application and then dovetail or bolt it into place and you are ready to go. No need to “build up” or sandwich additional wooden boards onto a smaller wood nut to construct your final vise end cap or arm. The vise hole is even counterbored for you so that your wagon or shoulder vise can screw in closer to the bench top.
Also, adding the Extended Nut option to your Wagon or Shoulder Vise Kit order couldn’t be easier. Simply select the “Extended Nut” option where it lists the “Wood Nut Style” selection on the Wagon or Shoulder vise ordering page. The pricing will automatically re-calculate to display the correct final kit price.
For those of you that don’t mind a little extra work, we will still continue to offer our wagon and shoulder vise kits with our “standard wood nut”. You will just need to build up the nut as previously mentioned to arrive at your final vise end cap or shoulder arm size.
Here are some additional pictures that will give you better details as to what the new Extended Nut looks like.
Adding our February 2013 Workbench of the Month from Gordon C. of Calgary, Alberta Canada to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.
This bench was modeled after Duncan Robertsons’ work bench. This workbench fragment is, like his, set beside my hand tool bench, but at a more comfortable working height for sawing, chiseling and layout. It is made of maple and black walnut. The plate in front of the screw head is torrified maple. Figured wood can be used for the bench top because a bench like this for doing precision work is worked on, not into.
The hound’s tooth dovetail between the maple and walnut was a bit scary to cut, because any mistakes are very obvious, but it was worth it in the end.
I built this bench at Duncan’s School of Quiet Woodworking.
Gordon C. – Calgary, Alberta – Canada
Adding our October 2012 Workbench of the Month from Duncan Robertson – School Of Quiet Woodworking, Cochrane, Alberta Canada to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.
Lake Erie Toolworks Note:
We have a very special Workbench of the Month feature for October 2012. As you can see by the above vise screw it isn’t our normal wood vise product that many of you have come to know and use for your bench vise clamping system. That’s because it is featuring our brand new Shoulder Vise Screw system that has just launched. We have been actively conducting internal testing of this new vise as well as working with Duncan Robertson – from the School of Quiet Woodworking in Cochrane (Calgary), Alberta, Canada for some time now to confirm the functionality of this new product, and judging by his comments below, we think we have a winner here. We hope you enjoy this.
(Final note: Duncan chose to plane his vise hub with “flats” on it instead of keeping it a round hub. The shoulder vise product that we now offer has a round hub.)
Good Day Nick,
The bench is finished and your screw is flawless!!! This is the first time I have ever used a Scandinavian style single screw vise that does not creep when you tighten it the least little bit. What a joy to use. Thank you.
Here are a few pictures of the bench with your screw adapted to fit. The bench is hard maple, the accent wood is Cherry and the vise handle is Vietnamese Rosewood. The dovetail on the end of the front arm is a royal pain to cut but, it sure looks great in the finished product!
Oh, one other thing, going from full tight to full loose in about a 1/4 turn is also sheer heaven. In my dovetailing I am constantly taking the board that I am working on out of the vise, turning it around and placing it back in the vise. The functionality of the 2 TPI is awesome!! I leather faced the moving jaw and the whole thing is great to use. I am the featured presenter at the Lie-Nielsen show in Calgary coming up in March. I will have my bench there and will be singing your praises.
Here’s a second note from Duncan regarding our shoulder vise screw and referencing the class photo shown above:
Good Day Nick,
I finally found the class photos. Here is the entire group with their benches on the last day of the course. Me in the middle of course.
Running this class with all four students electing to go with your prototype shoulder vise kit made for some beautiful, incredibly functional benches. The process of building up the front arm to include your “nut” took most of the first evening. It is straight forward but, as it involves 7 separate pieces of maple, it is a little involved. With these four benches, I have now built and/or helped build 12 benches with your wooden vise hardware. I have also built over 20 benches using more conventional metal vise hardware. There is absolutely no comparison. Between the 2 TPI threading and the super smooth action of the thread your wooden screw is head and shoulders above any other screw that I have tried. It is also wonderful to build the entire bench with the only metal being the bolts holding the base together. In my dovetailing, both my own and in the classes that I teach in my school, you are always taking out the piece of wood being worked on and turning it around. The 2 TPI really shines at this. The closest that any metal hardware ever came was a vise out of Germany, it was still 3 or 4 TPI and, compared to yours, really slow in action. Some of the current crop of vises being offered are 5 or more TPI and you have to read a book while waiting for the vise to make enough turns to grip the wood. I have had a number of people go ”Aha, it’s not a quick release vise!!!!!”. When I point out that your wooden screw goes from full tight to full release in about a 1/4 turn of the handle, the gainsayers tend to become very quiet.
In short, please keep doing what you are doing and I will keep buying your wooden screws for both all my benches and all my students benches. I currently have the 10/4 hard maple for my next bench acclimatizing in my shop. This bench will incorporate both your new wagon vise and shoulder vise in its construction. I’ll send pictures as it goes along.