FAQ - Wooden Vise Kits

Frequently Asked Questions - Wooden Vise Kits

Are your vises made in the USA?

Why do you make your vise components out of hard maple?

Is the vise screw made of one solid piece of wood or several laminated pieces?

Do I need to finish or wax my wood vise screw or handle?

What is the difference between a regular vise screw kit and a 2X vise screw kit?

What is a wood vise "Garter" and what is it for?

Should I install and use an internal or external Garter on my wood vise screw?

Can you make vise screws with different garter grooves or no groove at all?

Can I shape and finish the hub of the vise screw myself on a wood lathe?

Can I get a wood vise screw in a different type of wood other then hard maple?

Can I substitute a Wagon Vise Screw for a Shoulder Vise Screw and Vice versa on these types of vise installations?

Do you stock products or build to order?  How long to ship?

Can I order a custom wood vise screw or hub design?

I have an old work bench and the screw or nut is damaged, can you replace it?

Do you allow ordering and shipping outside of the United States?

Does Lake Erie Toolworks charge tax for online purchases?

What payment methods do you accept for online purchases?

 

Are your vises made in the USA?

  • Yes, our vises are made in the USA at our shop facilities in Erie, Pennsylvania with Hard Maple grown domestically in our surrounding regions.  Our vise screw lumber is also custom sawn and dried by wood suppliers that specialize in large diameter wood stock.  All of our metal stock is also sourced from domestic suppliers with the exception of a shoulder bolt / anchor used in our Wagon & Shoulder vises that we source from Lee Valley in Canada.


Why do you make your vise components out of hard maple?

  • Hard maple is a dense and close grained hard wood that has incredible shear strength as compared to many other hard woods, which makes it the best choice for this application. 
  • Many of the finest woodworking benches made today utilize hard maple and the screw kit complements the work bench perfectly.

 

Is the vise screw made of one solid piece of wood or several laminated pieces?

  • Our vise screws are made out of one solid piece of hard maple stock hand selected for this purpose. Wooden vises that are made from laminated (glued-up) stock are much more prone to de-laminate and fall apart.

 

Do I need to finish or wax my wood vise screw or handle?

  • Your vise screw kit will arrive having already been sanded down to 220 grit ready for you to finish as you deem appropriate.  If you choose you can sand the hub to a higher grit level, but most will find that the 220 grit is sufficient.
  • If you plan to stain your wood vise screw kit, it is important that you do so prior to applying any final finishing product.
  • For the threaded section of the screw we advise that you use a penetrating oil or oil-varnish mix such as what you might finish your workbench with.  We don't recommend any finish that will build up a film, such as polyurethane.  A good option would be to use a penetrating oil finish such as "Watco Danish Oil" or "Deftoil". 
  • The hub can be completed with whatever finish that you find appropriate.
  • After final finishing, we also recommend that you wax your vise screw and internal nut thread with a good quality wax of some sort (paraffin, beeswax or paste wax) to allow smooth and easy functionality.  A soft cloth or nylon brush can be helpful when putting wax on the threads of the nut.

 

What is the difference between a regular vise screw kit and a 2X vise screw kit?

  • The main difference between our regular wood vise screw kits and the 2X wood vise screw kits are size and speed.
  • Our regular wood vise screw has a 2-1/2" (64mm) thread diameter while the 2X wood vise screw has a 3" (76mm) thread diameter, so the 2X is a "beefier" and larger screw.  The wooden nut and brass garter set is also larger on the 2X Vise kits as compared to the regular vise kits.
  • Our regular wood vise screw has a single start thread (which means 1 thread per inch) that provides a 2 turns per inch vise screw movement (2TPI) - therefore, you would turn the handle two complete revolutions and the screw will advance or retract 1" (25mm).
  • Our 2X wood vise screw has a double start thread (which means 2 threads per inch) that provides a 1 turn per inch vise screw movement (1TPI) - therefore, you would turn the handle one complete revolution and the screw will advance or retract 1" (25mm). This is twice as fast as our normal wood vise screw.
  • The key is that if you are looking for very fast speed and “beefy” size and you have a large workbench that can accommodate them, then the 2X vise kits are the ticket.  If not, then our regular wooden vise screw kits should work out very well for you.

What is a wood vise "Garter" and what is it for?

  • A garter fixes the wood vise screw hub to the wood vise front jaw "chop" so that it allows the vise jaw to move in or out by turning the screw.  The garter itself can be made of either metal or wood (we use brass and hard maple).  An external garter is composed of 2 semi-circular, half-moon shaped pieces (similar to a large thick washer that is cut in half) that are joined together around the vise screw garter groove to ultimately secure  the screw to the front jaw chop.  An internal garter usually consists of a piece of wood that has a half-circle cutout to match the garter groove machined on the vise screw which is installed in the vise chop with a mortise.

 

Should I install and use an internal or external Garter on my wood vise screw?

  • It depends on what type of vise you are going to build.  External garters are well suited to leg vises, face vises and tail vises, where there is no need to remove the garter on the fly.  They are also easier to install and provide an aesthetically pleasing choice.  The 1/4" thick brass is sturdy enough to hold up to clamping or spreading loads, such as when using a tail vise as a spreader for disassembling furniture.
  • Internal garters are usually best for twin-screw vises where you can remove them for clamping angled workpieces.  They can also be used for other types of vises as long as spreading force is kept to a minimum.  There is extra work involved in installing an internal garter as a mortise must be carefully cut to accommodate it.  We do, however, suggest that you don't glue your garter in place to your vise chop just in case you would ever want to disassemble the screw.
  • No garter at all is another option for twin-screw vises, although you will have to pull the vise chop out manually after winding your screws out.  This is usually featured on Dominy and Holtzapffel workbenches.

 

Can you make vise screws with different garter grooves or no garter groove at all?

  • Yes, but it might entail a longer lead time as it will have to be worked into the next available production run.  Please contact us with your requirements by email or phone call.



Can I shape and finish the hub of the vise screw myself on a wood lathe?

  • Absolutely, all that you have to do is let us know at the time of order via Email and we will leave the lathe turning stubs on the screw for you to turn and finish the hub to your own specific design.
  • Of course we can't be held responsible for any damage that you may do to your wood vise screw.

 

Can I get a wood vise screw in a different type of wood other then hard maple?

  • As our research on various wood species indicates, hard maple appears to offer the absolute best balance of properties to make a durable, functional and long lasting wood vise screw.  That said, if you require a different wood species please contact us to discuss your needs and we will do our absolute best to accommodate them.

 

Can I substitute a Wagon Vise Screw for a Shoulder Vise Screw and Vice versa on these types of vise installations?

  • Absolutely.  The only actual difference between our wagon vise screw and our shoulder vise screw is that the wagon vise screw is approximately 2 inches longer than the shoulder vise screw.  The Wagon Screw was designed to be longer than the Shoulder Screw mainly to provide additional "travel" to accommodate approximately 8" of distance capacity when using the wagon vise.  Whereas, the Shoulder Screw length was reduced to accommodate approximately 6" of "travel" distance capacity when using the Shoulder vise - so that it wouldn't stick out too far from the bench side.  If you would prefer to have a Shoulder Vise installation that accommodates approximately 8" of "travel" capacity, then feel free to order and install the Wagon Vise kit.  If you prefer to have a Wagon Vise installation that only provides 6" of "travel" distance capacity, then feel free to order and install a Shoulder Vise kit.

 

Do you stock products or build to order?  How long to ship?

  • We do our best to keep a certain amount of inventory on the shelf and ready to go, however, our products are normally made in production runs and typical turnaround times from order placement to shipment may vary.  The current lead time is listed near the bottom of each product page for your awareness.  In the rare instance that shipping might exceed the listed leadtime, you would be notified.

 

Can I order a custom wood vise screw or hub design?

  • Custom wood vise screw or hub design orders are possible but we would ask that you contact us via email or phone to discuss your specific design needs.

 

I have an old work bench and the screw or nut is damaged, can you replace it?

  • It depends.  Please contact us via email to discuss your specific wood vise screw or nut replacement needs to determine if we can successfully manufacture a replacement for you.

 

Do you allow ordering and shipping outside of the United States?

  • Yes, simply order your product via our online ordering system and we will ship your order via the United States Postal Service, UPS or DHL.
  • Note: International shipments may incur additional duties or customs fees which may vary by country and are the responsibility of the customer.
  • We have now sold and shipped our Vise Screw products to 6 continents around the globe.  The only one we have not shipped to is Antarctica. A small sampling of International countries that we have shipped to includes: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

 

Does Lake Erie Toolworks charge tax for online purchases?

  • Since Lake Erie Toolworks is located in the US State of Pennsylvania, that is the only US State for which we are required to charge and collect tax.  Otherwise, we do not charge tax for online purchases.

 

What payment methods do you accept for online purchases?

  • Lake Erie Toolworks currently accepts most major credit cards for payment via our website including: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, as well as PayPal.
  • All of our online transactions are processed through secure SSL Encrypted E-Commerce Credit Card processing services for Lake Erie Toolworks.  We are also fully PCI-DSS compliant for the utmost in credit card processing security and fraud prevention.