An evolution of the old European carver’s vice. The ad-vice (an add-on vice for your workbench) raises work up around 180mm and is effectively a mini leg vice with main screw and a smaller guide screw with free spinning nut. The guide screw replaces the pegged guide in most leg vices - it is continuously adjustable and very fast to adjust.
The ad-vice was developed against a set of rigid criteria:
rock solid and effective
fast to mount, dismount and use
versatile - to fit benchtops 40mm to 110mm
a joy to look at and work with ~ the same tactile pleasure that fine tools give us
A key feature of the ad-vice is the clamping mechanism. All the old carver’s vices I have seen use screws under to clamp to the bench underside, but the joinery to support those screws is under extreme strain and results in progressive failure of the joints. For the ad-vice I developed a simple clamp mechanism which locks the vice to the bench top but also pulls it in to the face edge of the top. This way the clamping forces are most closely aligned and opposite to the work forces the vice sees. The clamp has been tested extensively and is absolutely solid. It is also quick to mount and dismount. The clamp is designed to fit slab tops (no front apron) from 40mm to 110mm thick (thicker still on request).
The main screw is my own custom 42mm 4tpi wood screw, which is cut to very tight tolerances. The nut and guide is equally precise so lateral play is minimised and the pitch is fast yet extremely grippy.
The ad-vice was designed for working smaller pieces, but is easily powerful enough to handle carcase components, much cabinet-making work and larger billets (plane-making blanks for example).
This vice has been tested over long periods by a number of highly respected makers - and has performed admirably - feedback particularly confirms the powerful grip of the vice, the rock-solid fixing to the bench top, and the speed in use.
The ad-vice is made from premium beech with selected hardwoods. The vice faces are easily replaced and one has a leather facing. There is normally a choice of feature wood for the main boss (recently yew, holm oak, box, olive). Pegs, wedges etc are ebony.
Interchangeable faces ~ they click into place and stay there. For specialist applications - custom face shapes, hard leather faces etc. The Toolmaker is supplied with 2 sets of faces - standard has leather one face, hardwood the other. The second pair have 4mm thick hard leather both faces (used for delicate work and finishes). Template and parts are supplied for the user to make additional custom faces for the vice.
Price: Ad-vice with beech vice faces (one leather faced): £360
Toolmaker version, 2 sets of faces plus template and parts: £435
Shipping: U.K. £15. Europe £24. U.S. £45. Other territories please ask.
PLEASE NOTE - Next production scheduled Autumn / fall '17. Vices are made to order in short runs around 4 at a time. To order please just mail me or call.
Thanks to Klaus Kretchmar for his help developing and refining the details; Oliver Sparks and Jim Hendricks for extensive testing. It’s a privilege to know and work with such talented makers.
Klaus Kretchmar's full review of the Toolmaker vice is here