Our wagon vice has been undergoing a bit of a make over and today I’d like to share the first photo of the prototype.
The handle, its most recognisable feature remains the same. I’ve always loved it’s balance and size and certainly didn’t want to loose any of it’s aesthetic through change. So many of our tools are beautifully made and a pleasure to both use and admire and I aim for the same with this vice, vices are often too cold and rough! The peened bronze mixed with aged steel and walnut maintains a lovely handmade touch whilst the remaining components are now made on top of the range CNC mills (you wouldn’t believe how many zeros are on the price tag of these things!) to give absolute precision.
The changes have been possible since we’re now requiring a much larger quantity of vices than we’d first anticipated. We stumbled upon a fantastic engineering firm right on our doorstep (its literally two minutes walk) and so we’ve gone through each stage of the design with an engineer who’s just as enthusiastic for his work as we are. We’ve been able to achieve a couple of tweaks that we’d be wanting to do from the off.
Update: At the present time we’re not building any workbenches or vices for sale, however we have many resources on this website that will help guide you with your own workbench build.
Our English Workbench Video Series takes you step by step through a traditional bench build, starting out with a discussion on choosing the ideal dimensions, demonstrations of how to cut the joinery, right through to flattening your workbench top and building the face vice from scratch.
If you’d like us to guide you through your build with detailed videos and PDF plans, then you can find full details for this Workbench Series here.
The thickness has been reduced right down to keep the under workings of the vice as discreet as possible. It had always annoyed me to have such a beautiful handle and then allow so much of the mechanism to be visible at the underside of the workbench.
We’ve also incorporated a ‘support platform’ on the moving carriage that sits directly under the screw thread and ensures the thread remains level all the way along it’s travel and doesn’t ‘drop’. This might seem picky but it’s amazing just how smooth and consistent you can get the action by adding this.
Together with the engineer we’ve gone to the ‘nth’ degree with all tolerances to get the feel just right. When you’re going to this extreme the slightest change in a measurement can make a huge difference. We’ve put versions of the vice in super cold conditions (not hard at the moment!) as well as warm and the movement in the material can noticeable affect things if the tolerances are too tight.
With the prototype approved the first run of vices are now under way and these will see some additional finishing. We’ll let you see some detailed photos once we have them assembled.