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Valfor Tools Bit Vise -- Router Bit maintenance and sharpening. ( $69.95 )

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Review by philphoto posted 219 days ago 1818 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Valfor Tools Bit Vise -- Router Bit maintenance and sharpening.   ( $69.95 ) Valfor Tools Bit Vise -- Router Bit maintenance and sharpening.   ( $69.95 ) Valfor Tools Bit Vise -- Router Bit maintenance and sharpening.   ( $69.95 ) Click the pictures to enlarge them

The need for the bit vise is at first glance, not exactly obvious. Many if not most woodworkers are less than diligent with maintenance and sharpening their bits and tools. It is of importance to note that a casual woodworker may not spend big dollar amounts on their bits, however all bits should be cleaned and sharpened, to operate as designed. The casual woodworker may not be aware of the need for maintenance, and some woodworkers just throw the dull bit away. As a retired professional in tool repair, and sharpening, I still have a wide array of tools and capabilities to maintain my bits and blades. Yet in the rush of a project I too will be lax and ignore good maintenance habits. Still the primary enemy of good quality cuts and edge treatments is heat. Heat will also shorten power tool life. There have been several university studies on tool sharpening and the actions of cutting and routing. Temperatures at the cutting edge of a high speed tool like a table saw can reach over 900 degrees. Router temperatures frequently climb that high and higher – all evidenced by the burned marks on a cut. The heat damages and weakens a bit’s edge, but more than that the process of over heating at the edge, puts stress on the motor, armature, shaft, and bearings and that is no small matter either. Some motor failure can be related to poor cutting technique and load stress over heating. When I saw the “Bit Vise” I wondered if anyone would ever spend the cash (about the same dollar amount as a nice bit) on a simple device since it is so obviously simple. Yet all of us know we should not pound on the bit while it is in the router, and cinching jaws of a bench vise down on the bit shaft is never a good idea, and likely to damage the bit shaft. Then the idea occurred to me, that perhaps if the “Bit Vise” is simple enough, and handy enough it will get used when it should. I may be wrong, but – who knows? The “Bit Vise” is very simple in design and manufacture, but simple does not imply needless or sloppy – neither of those descriptions fit the “Bit Vise.” Yes it is simple, you can learn to use it in a couple of minutes. The Bit Vise is well built, of solid steel, machined to precise diameters, with thoughtful additions like a bearing tray and screw holes to secure the vise to your bench, all machined into the vise. Nothing to get lost or misplaced, just good clean design. You can mount it close to the work station or router table, where the work happens, thus the vise will be more likely to see use. Valfor Tools, might have included a good quality 1/4” to 1/2” collet adapter, but most woodworkers may have one already? Valfor Tools created the bit vise for cleaning and bearing maintenance. I believe it is all of that and useful for bit sharpening or honing touch up as well. Locking the router bit into place and the flat non profile edges can be touched up with a small flat diamond hone. All of the uses for the “Bit Vise” will work toward ending heat in the routing process. If you have wanted to be more diligent about cleaning and preserving your bits, take a look at the “Bit Vise” at http://valfortools.com/bitvise/ . You can download a “Bit Vise” manual free.




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philphoto

12 posts in 1559 days



8 comments so far

View Bogeyguy's profile

Bogeyguy

417 posts in 570 days


#1 posted 219 days ago

Are they kidding?? $70.??

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Julian's profile

Julian

443 posts in 1192 days


#2 posted 219 days ago

Looks well made but way to much money for something that small. Most people could make their own with scrap wood or a piece of aluminum.

-- Julian

View philphoto's profile

philphoto

12 posts in 1559 days


#3 posted 219 days ago

The Bit Vise has about the same amount of high grade steel as a set of rail and stile coped router bits and it is machined just as precise as a router bit set. So no they are not kidding. I have three sets of door bits and the cheapest is $90 for a Mission set, and it is not as much steel or machining as the Bit Vise. Damage to a nice Ogee door set that cost $169, is not a joke. If you try making repairs on your bits while the bit is still in the router, I can assure you that the damage to your router will add up to more than the cost of the Bit Vise.

At least that is my opinion on the subject. I have not discussed the pricing strategy with Valfor Tools, but I am sure they will answer any question you may have.

Yes many could make their own, but judging from what I have seen customers bring in—it will not get made, service will not be performed. At least that is what I have seen.

View Woodlocker02's profile

Woodlocker02

4 posts in 241 days


#4 posted 219 days ago

There is a good reason for this tool to be made of Stainless Steel. When tightening a top nut, as illustrated in the photos, you need to apply considerable torque. The router collet and the spindle lock are not made for this kind of force, so it’s best done away from the router.
If the shank is not held perfectly, it will rotate.
Even a slight rotation will cause damage to the shank’s surface, destroying the bit. The only way to prevent slippage and consequent galling damage to the shank is with a material whose surface is at least as hard as the shank’s steel.
Wood or aluminum may work to hold the bit for cleaning, but does not work to withstand the torque required for tightening the top nut. That is where this tool really shines.
I purchased this Bit Vise recently and I can fully recommend it.

View lazyoakfarm's profile

lazyoakfarm

144 posts in 1299 days


#5 posted 219 days ago

The stainless that this is made from is at least as hard as a router bit shank? Are you sure? Wow!

The tool looks very well made, I like well made tools. I have to compensate for the lack of talent. I have always used the router mounted in the table, but I am rethinking that now.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2685 posts in 989 days


#6 posted 219 days ago

Wow! I want to know what stainless is made as hard as tool steel of anykind.

I have often worked with 304 and 309 Stainless, what alloy Stainless is this you speak of, or is it just pure stainless steel with no alloys? LOL.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3032 posts in 1315 days


#7 posted 219 days ago

I just chuck my bits in the router table to hone them. Works great.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Woodlocker02's profile

Woodlocker02

4 posts in 241 days


#8 posted 216 days ago

This looks like one of the cleverest designs in woodworking tools in a long time. And a really novel idea, which doesn’t come along often.
Valfor Tools have managed to come up with a really ingenious solution: a solid block of steel, that can be bolted down tight, and yet has just enough flexibility to grip the router bit shank.
With its flawless finish, the Bit Vise is a real pleasure in the looks & feel department.
But most importantly, speaking from my own experience, it works brilliantly!
It makes bit assembly a really accurate and easy operation, whether you are experimenting with flimsy spacers or applying the torque required to tighten the top nut of a stacked router bit.
As to cleaning and sharpening, these tasks should be done away from the router: debris or gunk falling into the moter is definitively not a good recipe for a motor’s long life, apart from messing up your router table surface.
The Bit Vise costs about the same as one average router bit, the return is better results in your work. You’ll be more inclined to do that cleaning you postponed for too long, or try out just that one more spacer change in your T&G set. All because these tasks now become so easy and your project will benefit each time.
Highly recommended to all serious router enthusiasts.

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