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Thread: Lee Valley/Veritas Carving Vise

  1. #1
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    Lee Valley/Veritas Carving Vise

    I purchased the vise about 4 weeks ago and have been using it a lot since then. Thought I would write about my experience with it.

    LV seems to pay attention to detail, the finish on the vise is very good as well as all the accessories. I ordered the large and small face plate, carvers screw and lathe adapter.

    The vise seemed to be "pricey" to me, until I started using it, then it became apparent it was worth every nickel. Mine is mounted to the lower edge of workbench apron. I make an L shaped platform that is connected via the dog holes. I did this because I like to carve sitting down. On top of the bench it is too high for my liking. Nothing LV can do about that. The adjustments are very easy to make. The vise has a custom wing nut on the base to allow turning 360 degrees. The lever allows the workpiece to be rotated 360. So, the piece can be positioned at virtually any angle. If the base is screwed to the workbench it is not possible to rotate the base, so think about that before mounting.

    For hand carving (no mallet) it does not take much pressure to securely hold the work. Mallet work requires tightening the adjustment a bit more. At this point I would NOT recommend using the carving screw when working with a mallet. Lots of stress on those wooden threads in the workpiece.. . . . carving in bass, I have found that the carvers screw works fairly well. But most of my work is with the faceplates.

    The accessories for this vise make it really versatile. I have the lathe adaptor so I can turn a piece on the lathe, then, leaving the piece attached to the lathe face plate and mount it on the vise. So, if I need to go back to the lathe I still have the correct registration. This also allows me to use a lathe chuck to grip a piece for carving. I am looking forward to turning a bowl and doing the carving in the next few weeks.

    All in all, a really good buy and I am very happy with it.

    One thing I did change was the screw hole sizes in the smaller faceplate. I enlarged them slightly so they would take a larger wood screw, not much, just a bit.

    I am thinking of buying a second one to facilitate carving on long thin objects like walking sticks.

    If you have not used a vise to carve, give one a try. It is great not having to get a death grip on the wood constantly and being able to use two hands to guide the tools.

  2. #2
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    Thought I would add a few pictures of my set up:

    20160604_124024_resized.jpg

    20160604_124036_resized.jpg

    The vise is mounted to a board that is cross bolted to the workbench. Two big honking bolts go through the dog holes and two socket head screws are secured with inserts in the apron. The vise does not move. The reason it is this way instead of just bolted to the top of the bench is to lower the height for comfort.

  3. #3
    I also have this vise. I don't use it too often (I don't carve too often), but I am impressed with the quality. It's sturdy, easy to use, and easy to maneuver the project into different positions.

  4. #4
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    I am doing a carving that is 3X3X12. This afternoon I had the part rotated the horizontal and was doing cuts perpendicular to the length. The vise base would rotate a bit from the leverage at that distance. Certainly not the vises fault, lots of mechanical advantage there.

    The solution was simple. I spray glued a piece of leather to the base of the vise so it has more "gription".

  5. #5
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    What is that ani-mule doing to that TREE????

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    What is that ani-mule doing to that TREE????
    You have a nasty mind, George. . . .

    That is some kind of English Fox Squirrel doing whatever it is that English squirrels do. Very hoity toity.

  7. #7
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    I have been using that vise a lot the last few weeks. Works great. The only difficulty I have been having is that the screws used to hold the wood to the faceplate have a tendency to work loose over time. Gee, I wonder if that is because they are screwed into end grain? So, what I have done is put a piece of double sided carpet tape between the piece and the faceplate. That is working really well.

  8. #8
    Hello I just bought this vise and looks nice however Id like to ask you what wax or oil do you use to lubricate your vise?, because it says that petroleum based oil ,wax or lubricant will break the o rings. Thank you, have a nice day

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    I have been using that vise a lot the last few weeks. Works great. The only difficulty I have been having is that the screws used to hold the wood to the faceplate have a tendency to work loose over time. Gee, I wonder if that is because they are screwed into end grain? So, what I have done is put a piece of double sided carpet tape between the piece and the faceplate. That is working really well.
    Screws in endgrain are often a problem. One thing I've done is glue a waste block to the flattened base, with the grain running so the screws will go into side grain. You can glue side grain to end grain with Titebond, coat the end grain with glue and let it soak in a bit then more glue and clamp.

    I haven't tried that carving stand but I use a somewhat similar one made by Best Wood Tools. It is marketed to woodturners and comes threaded to fit a woodturning chuck but it's easy to fasten a carving block to a small lathe faceplate. Comes with a base they intend for you to bolt to a work bench but I mounted mine on a block and hold the block in the vise. But most of the time I use it at the lathe since the post fits into the lathe banjo that normally holds the tool rest. This may appeal to someone with a lathe who also carves, perhaps even carving on woodturnings.

    carving_stand_IMG_7422.jpg carving_stand_IMG_20171111_162052_024.jpg

    https://bestwoodtools.stores.yahoo.n...aandfipow.html

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Perez chavez View Post
    Hello I just bought this vise and looks nice however Id like to ask you what wax or oil do you use to lubricate your vise?, because it says that petroleum based oil ,wax or lubricant will break the o rings. Thank you, have a nice day
    I haven't lubed mine with anything. I am not fond of any oil around my carving stuff. Besides, O rings are cheap. The O ring is just there to keep the thing from clanking and beating on itself. In other words, a bumper.

  11. #11
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    John, that one has one too many levers for me. I would need supervision to use it.

    Seriously, that is a nice looking vise. I am sort of a vise afficianado. I was just sitting here thinking and I believe I have at least 9 vises in my 14x28 shop including the two on my workbench, wait make that 10. . . .nope, 11 now. Do I hear 12, 12?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    John, that one has one too many levers for me. I would need supervision to use it.
    ...wait make that 10. . . .nope, 11 now. Do I hear 12, 12?
    You sure have a lot of "vices!" I feel pretty bad now with only 6. But I think I have enough other excesses to make up for it.

    Trent Bosch made one for you then with only one lever, but it still might need supervision: https://trentboschtools.com/product/...-1-14-x-8-tpi/
    For me, the problem with his is the single lever does two functions, releasing both the angle and rotation. This seems like a nice idea but it looks to me like you almost need three hands to work it. It looked awkward in one of Trent's videos when he was using it himself. I love the BWT stand because one lever unlocks just the rotation and doesn't mess with the tilt angle - makes more sense to me, especially for woodturning use. I'll leave that lever loose sometimes while sanding or marking.

    The third lever on the bottom is simply what lets you unlock and rotate the entire thing when the base is bolted to the workbench. Most of the time turners use it without the base and simply lock it in place with the lever on the tool rest banjo.

    But any of these beats the fire out of holding a carving with my knees or with a standard vise! Once you use one it would be hard to go back.

    JKJ

  13. #13
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    John,

    Now that I think about mine is also locked in three places, so maybe I am not as challenged as I thought? Two levers and a big honking wing nut. The wing nut can be used instead of screwing the base to the workbench. So for the most part it works the same as yours.

    I even made up a "sub table" that is attached to the large face plate for doing relief carving on flat work. That works really nice for spinning things around and avoiding neck strain.

    Putting things in a carving vise avoids carving the fingers along with the piece.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    I even made up a "sub table" that is attached to the large face plate for doing relief carving on flat work. That works really nice for spinning things around and avoiding neck strain.
    That's a great idea. I've seen people make a little work table for use at the lathe but they were horizontal and not tilt-able.

    When carving larger flat surfaces have you tried a sloping table? Lets me slide and rotate the work easily but tilts it towards me. If using a chisel, of course, the wood needs to be clamped. I plan some day to build an adjustable carving bench with a locking rotating table complete with edge clamps.

    Most of my flat carving is chip carving so I'm not using a clamp - if chip carving text you know how for continuous curves it's best to rotate the work with one hand to coordinate with the knife in the other. For that I've been using a sloped table, actually an old drafting board. I made this sign for my shop - half the visitors say "I need one of those!"

    chip_mess.jpg

    I think the tilting table on the carving stand would be perfect for smaller things. No fair, now you've forced me to make one!

    JKJ

  15. #15
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    A sloped table would be useful that is for sure. As I mentioned my shop is pretty small so I just do not have room for one. But that does give me an idea for making one that attaches to my workbench.

    Most of the carving I do is in the round stuff. Have a fireman that I have attempted three times now and something always goes wrong. Complicated little devil.

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