|Review by Hoakie||posted 01-08-2011 06:52 PM||8255 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
- York 10 1/2" Quick-Release Steel Bench Vise from Lee Valley
- Brand: York | Category: Other
I have never had a true woodworking vise before this and have been making due with clamps and a “Craftsman 6 bench vise with makeshift wood pads.
I purchased this vise for myself after Christmas ($159 + free shipping) to go on a workbench that I’m planning to build (either Holtzappfel or 21st Century). I did a little bit of research online and read some reviews in FWW and realized that there are just as many opinions as there are vise styles and manufacturers. However, this type/brand was recommended by several sites for use in the tail vise on both benches so I went for it.
My first impression when I picked up the box was that this was a hefty vise. It was around 40lbs according to UPS. I was a bit disappointed in the packaging because part of the vise was able to puncture through the cardboard. I wasn’t too worried since it is mainly large chunk of steel, but I thought it would be a protected a little better. You can see in the photos below it was pretty loosely packaged.
After opening the package I inspected the vise an did not notice any damage to the vise. My first impression was how nice this vise looked. The paint job was very consistent and the parts looked very well constructed.
The installation is fairly straight forward. It has a four bolt/lag pattern on the bottom. My biggest issue was beefing up my current bench to accept it because I do not have a bench with a solid top (read reinforced particle board). Since I know that this is a temporary resting spot, I didn’t do much more than laminate some 2×4’s to reinforce the area where I was going to install it. Once installed I the vise seemed hard to close all the way. I was initially disappointed in how it operated, but when I inspected further I realized that I installed the vise so the screw/slide mechanism was not parallel to the underside for the bench. This caused the screw/guide mechanism to wedge against the bench bottom as it reach the closed position. After a bit of shimming and planing, the mechanism now works very smoothly and I am very happy with it.
The one thing I see a lot of people question about the QR vises is how many “turns” it takes to disengage. My experience with this vise is that it only takes about one turn to get it to release. The only thing that is going to take some getting used to is that I just need to pull to open and not keep turning to open it up like I had to do with my other vise.
I think this is a great vise and would recommend it to anyone. I know it will serve me well as I build my bench and live a long an productive life on my bench once it is built.
If you have any questions let me know.
-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]