Woodworking (rec.woodworking) Discussion forum covering all aspects of working with wood. All levels of expertise are encouraged to particiapte.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Mike in Mystic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench (an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also, the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so I was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall, and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain. The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather had it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.

Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here, and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc. I had to reposition my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense, because you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.

After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the rear jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench, across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met. The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it down
even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this to your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to have. I
made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to put
some crumpled paper in the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a spring in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In order to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw, this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying contorted on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through 1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the first
try.

After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real gripe with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not overtighten the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to break the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was getting a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my question to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of cheap
material? In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to install the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't figure out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can expla
in how this is done. I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on. The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I had to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms. The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what I did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover, and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at least I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much sucks. I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this. Even more, however, I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as to the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price of the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the cover in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?) wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10, due to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of all.

Mike


  #2   Report Post  
Mike in Mystic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

I plan on doing that, I just forgot to bring the camera outside with me. I
actually was going to photo-document the whole bench building process, but
since I was following the direction of Sam Allen's book pretty much to the
letter, it didn't seem necessary to do that. But, I'll take a lot of
pictures of the finished product and post them as soon as I can.

Mike

"WD" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 04:15:39 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"
wrote:

How about posting some pics in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking for
us to see. I am especially interested in the twin-screw vise and your
workbench. I will be making them in spring.

Thanks

Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench

(an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also, the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the

parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so I

was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall,

and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and

hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step

was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain. The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with

the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I

don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather had

it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly

bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.

Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here,

and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've

contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc. I had to reposition

my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense, because

you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you

have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.

After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the

mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the

holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting

bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the rear

jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench,

across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met. The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it down


even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next

step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this to

your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to have.

I
made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong

slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the

mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to

put
some crumpled paper in the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a spring

in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In order

to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw,

this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying contorted

on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through 1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the first
try.

After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and

screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates

are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real gripe

with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not overtighten

the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to break

the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was

getting a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my question

to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of

cheap
material? In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you

can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to install

the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand

tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to

install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't figure

out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can

expla
in how this is done. I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on

benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on. The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I had

to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms.

The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what I

did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of

metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover, and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at least

I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the

bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much sucks.

I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this. Even more,

however, I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as to

the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price of

the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the cover

in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the

handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?) wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I

broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead

coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the

hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was

finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked

wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10, due

to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable

amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of all.

Mike




-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
-----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----



  #3   Report Post  
Bob S.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Mike,

Sure sounds like they changed the installation instructions - significantly.
I think your review is longer than the instructions. When I installed mine,
it was right about the same time they switched to the new style chain cover
plate and although I had all the parts, mine had the old instruction set.
The problem was quickly resolved by Lee Valley and the rest of the
installation was straight forward.

As I read your trials and tribulations I kept wondering why I don't remember
any of those instructions - like putting paper in the holes or filing down
pins and there were instructions for aligning the handles. As for the
hardware furnished, it was all top-grade that I could see and didn't have
any problems like you. Could be they changed or were you having a bad hair
day....;-)

As for breaking off a screw in hardwood - if you didn't use the correct size
drill for the pilot hole, you can snap a screw in an instant. Just finished
refurbing about 40 hard maple door fronts and broke more than one screw
before I realized the drill bit I was using was one size smaller than it
should have been.

Call Lee Valley and let them know exactly what you feel the problems were.
Ask for someone that knows about the vise and most likely you'll get a
person that has installed them several times. I'm sure Robin Lee would be
grateful for any suggestions or comments that will make the installation
easier and/or clarify the instructions.

I've had my twin-screw vise for about 2 years now and its just one of those
tools that you never regret buying.

Bob S.


  #4   Report Post  
Mike in Mystic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

"Bob S." wrote in message
.. .
Mike,

Sure sounds like they changed the installation instructions -

significantly.
I think your review is longer than the instructions. When I installed

mine,
it was right about the same time they switched to the new style chain

cover
plate and although I had all the parts, mine had the old instruction set.
The problem was quickly resolved by Lee Valley and the rest of the
installation was straight forward.

As I read your trials and tribulations I kept wondering why I don't

remember
any of those instructions - like putting paper in the holes or filing down
pins and there were instructions for aligning the handles. As for the
hardware furnished, it was all top-grade that I could see and didn't have
any problems like you. Could be they changed or were you having a bad

hair
day....;-)


I'm not sure if they changed anything or not in the instructions from the
past. As for me having a bad hair day, it is possible, but my hair is just
about a crew cut, so I tend not to have those problems hehe


As for breaking off a screw in hardwood - if you didn't use the correct

size
drill for the pilot hole, you can snap a screw in an instant. Just

finished
refurbing about 40 hard maple door fronts and broke more than one screw
before I realized the drill bit I was using was one size smaller than it
should have been.

I agree with you, but I used the pilot hole sizes specified in the
instructions. The thrust plate bolt breaking off was definitely my fault in
that I used a little too much force (obviously). The handle screw I don't
feel was my fault because I used a very reasonable torque setting on my
drill. My main point is that I think the hardware shouldn't be so prone to
breaking. I don't know much about the manufacturing of fasteners, but I
would hope that there could be some out there that won't break off as easily
as these did.

Call Lee Valley and let them know exactly what you feel the problems were.
Ask for someone that knows about the vise and most likely you'll get a
person that has installed them several times. I'm sure Robin Lee would be
grateful for any suggestions or comments that will make the installation
easier and/or clarify the instructions.


That's a good idea, I think I'll do that.


I've had my twin-screw vise for about 2 years now and its just one of

those
tools that you never regret buying.


I agree completely. All in all, the gripes I have are very minor, just a
little annoying. In total, the vise install went according to plan and the
vise is working great. I'm sure that this will be an extremely useful
investment for years to come.

Mike


  #5   Report Post  
Bill
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Mike,

I installed that vise last winter while building the "Shop Notes" bench. I
don't remember having that much trouble, although Murphy is usually right
there when I do something like that.

I did have a small problem with one of the parts of the vise itself, it was
incorrectly machined. Veritas (Lee Valley) quickly and politely exchanged it
for me.

I did not have to cut the cover, and I built mine out of oak. I like the
speed knob on one side. I like the vice, and in fact, I used it last night.

Bill

"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench (an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also, the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the

parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so I

was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall, and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain. The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I

don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather had it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly

bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.

Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here, and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've

contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc. I had to reposition

my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense, because

you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.

After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the

mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the

holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the rear

jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench,

across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met. The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it down
even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this to

your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to have.

I
made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the

mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to put
some crumpled paper in the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a spring in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In order to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw, this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying contorted on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through 1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the first
try.

After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real gripe

with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not overtighten

the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to break

the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was getting

a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my question

to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of

cheap
material? In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to install

the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to

install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't figure

out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can

expla
in how this is done. I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on

benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on. The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I had

to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms.

The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what I

did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of

metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover, and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at least

I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the

bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much sucks.

I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this. Even more, however,

I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as to

the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price of

the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the cover

in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the

handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?) wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the

hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was

finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked

wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10, due

to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable

amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of all.

Mike






  #6   Report Post  
Robin Lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Mike -

No need to call - saw your post, have forwarded it around for comments, am
drafting a reply, and will post here later!

Cheers -

Rob Lee

"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
"Bob S." wrote in message
.. .
Mike,

Sure sounds like they changed the installation instructions -

significantly.
I think your review is longer than the instructions. When I installed

mine,
it was right about the same time they switched to the new style chain

cover
plate and although I had all the parts, mine had the old instruction

set.
The problem was quickly resolved by Lee Valley and the rest of the
installation was straight forward.

As I read your trials and tribulations I kept wondering why I don't

remember
any of those instructions - like putting paper in the holes or filing

down
pins and there were instructions for aligning the handles. As for the
hardware furnished, it was all top-grade that I could see and didn't

have
any problems like you. Could be they changed or were you having a bad

hair
day....;-)


I'm not sure if they changed anything or not in the instructions from the
past. As for me having a bad hair day, it is possible, but my hair is

just
about a crew cut, so I tend not to have those problems hehe


As for breaking off a screw in hardwood - if you didn't use the correct

size
drill for the pilot hole, you can snap a screw in an instant. Just

finished
refurbing about 40 hard maple door fronts and broke more than one screw
before I realized the drill bit I was using was one size smaller than it
should have been.

I agree with you, but I used the pilot hole sizes specified in the
instructions. The thrust plate bolt breaking off was definitely my fault

in
that I used a little too much force (obviously). The handle screw I don't
feel was my fault because I used a very reasonable torque setting on my
drill. My main point is that I think the hardware shouldn't be so prone

to
breaking. I don't know much about the manufacturing of fasteners, but I
would hope that there could be some out there that won't break off as

easily
as these did.

Call Lee Valley and let them know exactly what you feel the problems

were.
Ask for someone that knows about the vise and most likely you'll get a
person that has installed them several times. I'm sure Robin Lee would

be
grateful for any suggestions or comments that will make the installation
easier and/or clarify the instructions.


That's a good idea, I think I'll do that.


I've had my twin-screw vise for about 2 years now and its just one of

those
tools that you never regret buying.


I agree completely. All in all, the gripes I have are very minor, just a
little annoying. In total, the vise install went according to plan and

the
vise is working great. I'm sure that this will be an extremely useful
investment for years to come.

Mike




  #7   Report Post  
Bob S.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

damn......wonder what took Robin so long to reply? Must be cause it's
Monday...;-)

Bob S.


  #8   Report Post  
RKON
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Mike:

I bet it took just as long if not longer to write that report. Glad to see
you cranking on the projects.


"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench (an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also, the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the

parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so I

was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall, and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain. The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I

don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather had it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly

bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.

Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here, and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've

contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc. I had to reposition

my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense, because

you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.

After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the

mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the

holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the rear

jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench,

across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met. The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it down
even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this to

your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to have.

I
made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the

mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to put
some crumpled paper in the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a spring in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In order to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw, this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying contorted on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through 1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the first
try.

After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real gripe

with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not overtighten

the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to break

the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was getting

a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my question

to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of

cheap
material? In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to install

the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to

install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't figure

out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can

expla
in how this is done. I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on

benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on. The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I had

to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms.

The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what I

did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of

metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover, and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at least

I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the

bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much sucks.

I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this. Even more, however,

I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as to

the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price of

the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the cover

in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the

handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?) wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the

hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was

finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked

wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10, due

to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable

amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of all.

Mike




  #9   Report Post  
Mike in Mystic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

"RKON" wrote in message
news:d5dub.6686$PJ6.4778@okepread05...
Mike:

I bet it took just as long if not longer to write that report. Glad to see
you cranking on the projects.


Well, not exactly. I type 95 words/minute, so it didn't take me very long
to write that. Even so, I didn't mean to ramble quite that much, but
sometimes that's how it works out. I guess I overdid the "small details".

It's tough getting time to work on things with a 3 month old son, but I am
slowly getting the hang of it and lowering my expectations. There's been
several occasions when it was my "turn" for free time and I chose to just
stay with Charlie, rather than go out to the shop. I am all set now that
the bench is done to get going on the dresser for the nursery. Will
probably end up only about 4.5 months behind schedule hehe.


Mike



  #10   Report Post  
Mike in Mystic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Sounds good, Robin. I knew you'd read the post, so I figured I'd see a
response pretty soon.

I want to clarify to the group-at-large that I didn't mean to sound overly
negative about the vise. I mainly highlighted the few very small issues I
had. It is by far a wonderful product and well-designed. I am extremely
happy with it overall, so don't take my comments in too harsh a context.

Mike

"Robin Lee" wrote in message
...
Mike -

No need to call - saw your post, have forwarded it around for comments, am
drafting a reply, and will post here later!

Cheers -

Rob Lee

"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
"Bob S." wrote in message
.. .
Mike,

Sure sounds like they changed the installation instructions -

significantly.
I think your review is longer than the instructions. When I installed

mine,
it was right about the same time they switched to the new style chain

cover
plate and although I had all the parts, mine had the old instruction

set.
The problem was quickly resolved by Lee Valley and the rest of the
installation was straight forward.

As I read your trials and tribulations I kept wondering why I don't

remember
any of those instructions - like putting paper in the holes or filing

down
pins and there were instructions for aligning the handles. As for the
hardware furnished, it was all top-grade that I could see and didn't

have
any problems like you. Could be they changed or were you having a bad

hair
day....;-)


I'm not sure if they changed anything or not in the instructions from

the
past. As for me having a bad hair day, it is possible, but my hair is

just
about a crew cut, so I tend not to have those problems hehe


As for breaking off a screw in hardwood - if you didn't use the

correct
size
drill for the pilot hole, you can snap a screw in an instant. Just

finished
refurbing about 40 hard maple door fronts and broke more than one

screw
before I realized the drill bit I was using was one size smaller than

it
should have been.

I agree with you, but I used the pilot hole sizes specified in the
instructions. The thrust plate bolt breaking off was definitely my

fault
in
that I used a little too much force (obviously). The handle screw I

don't
feel was my fault because I used a very reasonable torque setting on my
drill. My main point is that I think the hardware shouldn't be so prone

to
breaking. I don't know much about the manufacturing of fasteners, but I
would hope that there could be some out there that won't break off as

easily
as these did.

Call Lee Valley and let them know exactly what you feel the problems

were.
Ask for someone that knows about the vise and most likely you'll get a
person that has installed them several times. I'm sure Robin Lee

would
be
grateful for any suggestions or comments that will make the

installation
easier and/or clarify the instructions.


That's a good idea, I think I'll do that.


I've had my twin-screw vise for about 2 years now and its just one of

those
tools that you never regret buying.


I agree completely. All in all, the gripes I have are very minor, just

a
little annoying. In total, the vise install went according to plan and

the
vise is working great. I'm sure that this will be an extremely useful
investment for years to come.

Mike








  #11   Report Post  
RKON
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report

Well, not exactly. I type 95 words/minute, so it didn't take me very long
to write that. Even so, I didn't mean to ramble quite that much, but
sometimes that's how it works out. I guess I overdid the "small details".


I'm impressed.. 95 words a minute.

It's tough getting time to work on things with a 3 month old son, but I am
slowly getting the hang of it and lowering my expectations. There's been
several occasions when it was my "turn" for free time and I chose to just
stay with Charlie, rather than go out to the shop.


I know exactly what you mean with balancing time with having a 3 month old
child. Working on projects is rewarding but not nearly as rewarding as
spending time with the kids and watching them grow up. Enjoy it because
they grow up real fast.

I have two girls who both play travel soccer and every weekend spring and
fall I have been on the road. I enjoy the time very much. That does not
leave much time for yourself. I have done a couple small projects of
building a small picket fence and some planters. Not much to write home to
momma about.

I waiting till after the Holidays to get the rest of my toys, I mean
equipment. SWMBO wants some storage cabinets and such. I looking forward to
these projects once I finish the shop. Had a small plumbing nightmare with
the Hot water heater that set me back. More of a worrisome headache than
anything.

Be Good !!



"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
news
"RKON" wrote in message
news:d5dub.6686$PJ6.4778@okepread05...
Mike:

I bet it took just as long if not longer to write that report. Glad to

see
you cranking on the projects.


Well, not exactly. I type 95 words/minute, so it didn't take me very long
to write that. Even so, I didn't mean to ramble quite that much, but
sometimes that's how it works out. I guess I overdid the "small details".

It's tough getting time to work on things with a 3 month old son, but I am
slowly getting the hang of it and lowering my expectations. There's been
several occasions when it was my "turn" for free time and I chose to just
stay with Charlie, rather than go out to the shop. I am all set now that
the bench is done to get going on the dresser for the nursery. Will
probably end up only about 4.5 months behind schedule hehe.


Mike





  #12   Report Post  
Robin Lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report - Response

Hi -

Answers to your comments are interspersed below! (cut and pasted from the
comments I received from our R&D group- note that there's always a bit of a
"defensive" slant to a designer's response Many of your comments and
suggestions may help others in the future!

Cheers -

Rob Lee



"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench (an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also, the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the

parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so I

was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall, and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain. The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I

don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather had it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly

bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.


They are packaged this way to help prevent loss - since they are very small
on their own.


Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here, and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've

contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc.


Throughout the intructions, hints are given in most cases where they apply
to all or most users - but there are so many different ways to clamp and
drill, it would be a bit like chasing one's tail to try and anticipate all
possible scenarios and provide hints for them. Every woodworker knows their
own shop and equipment best.

I had to reposition my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense, because

you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.


It's quite true that the process would be a bit simpler in this customer's
case to install the nuts after the rear jaw in is place. But since there are
three different methods to attach the rear jaw outlined, the instructions
would be considerably more complicated to achieve the same end result.
Ordering the instructions in this way would only mean the user could avoid
using a couple of spacer blocks under the jaw when drilling the bolt holes.



After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the

mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the

holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the rear

jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench,

across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met.


There is a very simple method that could be used to clamp the rear jaw in
position - as used by our own bench assemblers. The instructions could be
changed to add this tip. (RL note - will see that this gets added...)

The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it down
even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this to

your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to have.


The instructions don't tell the customer not to flip the benchtop uspide
down but don't suggest it either. This could be another tip to add so long
as we also provide a caution about getting help and not wrecking one's back.

I made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong

slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the

mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to put
some crumpled paper in the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a spring in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.


This tip works in both orientations. The hole for the dowel nut will almost
always be deeper than it really needs to be. If the top is upseide down,
then the nuts can be pushed against the paper until they are lined up and
then they sit there until the bolt coes through to engage them. If right
side up, the user nees to hold the nuts in place with a nail or a dowel or
something. The paper then gives something to push against intead of
essentially having to hold the nut in exactly the right position in mid-air;
which I can say from experience is not easy. I didn't come up with this tip
but I have installed these nuts both ways and found the tip to be quite
useful.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In order to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw, this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying contorted on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through 1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the first
try.


I checked Sam Allen's book and it is shown in a diagram (p. 32) to drill the
upper cross brace for screw clearance with the Veritas twin screw vise. In
my view, this should not be recommended. It is, as the customer found,
difficult to do and it would probably significantly weaken the structural
member in question. Perhaps we should include a caution in the catalogue
copy and the instructions that the vise should be installed only a bench
with adequate overhang or otherwise with clearance for the screws where it
needs to be.


After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real gripe

with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not overtighten

the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to break

the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was getting

a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my question

to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of

cheap
material?


RL - we'll test a bunch of bolts - but this could be an isolated
problem...though I've snapped the heads off lag bolts (used in cedar!)
before...

In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.


The designer assures me that this will not be a problem....

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to install

the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to

install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't figure

out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can

expla
in how this is done.


The alignment of the handles to each other is a function of the orientation
of each "Tee" in relation to the screw it's connected to and cannot be
changed. The product has always had this constraint. It may or may not be
made to be aligned but this would certainly add cost and complexity. (RL -
while aesthetically pleasing to some, I'd actually prefer them to be at 90
degrees to each other....)

I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on. The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I had

to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms.

The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what I

did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of

metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover, and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at least

I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the

bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much sucks.

I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this.


RL - Mike - We'd be glad to cut and send you another one (it'll bug you
forever)...but, in all fairness, that's your goof !! Just email me your
address, and the length.... we'll add a note to the instructions too, but
it's overkill.....

Even more, however, I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as to

the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price of

the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the cover

in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.


RL - the other choice would be to say the vise is 24" wide - change it your
own risk... Again - I understand what you're saying, but it would be
costly, and impractical to do. Significant numers of these vises are sold in
retail locations. The design of the endcaps does provide for some amount of
overlap to cover an irregular cut...

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the

handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?) wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the

hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.


Again - we'll have a look...

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was

finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked

wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10, due

to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable

amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of all.


Thanks too, for the comments....every time we get suggestions, it's an
opportunity to improve...

Cheers -

Rob Lee



Mike




  #13   Report Post  
Mike in Mystic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report - Response

Rob,

Thanks very much for the detailed response. As always, the level of
interaction you have with your customers is exceptional.

A few notes regarding the comments you provided:

1) Regarding the installation of the barrel nuts in for the rear jaw
mounting bolts. I found it quite easy to simply use a screw driver in the
slot on the bottom of the nut and hold in lower than the bolt position. I
had a small flashlight on the ground illuminating the area, so I could see
the protruding bolt end, and then by pushing the bolt against the nut, I
could simply slowly raise the nut and feel the bolt slide into the tapered
recess. It actually wasn't that hard, other than having to lay on the floor
hehe. When I had the paper in the hole, I found that the spring back effect
actually made it harder to make small changes in height to the nut position.

2) Regarding the alignment of the two screw handles. In your website
picture you show the handles perfectly aligned and parallel. Is this only
achieved because you may have used the maximum spacing? I knew enough not
to assume that they would automatcially come out that way, but I didn't see
any mention of the alignment being a contraint of the system. I can think
of at least one situation where having the handles aligned would be
necessary - if you have a bank of drawers or a cabinet door opening at the
end of the bench. Having both handles horizontal would be needed to open
these. I admit I haven't seen this too much, but it's a thought. I guess I
will have to live with the handles as they came out.

3). Regarding the chain cover. I agree with you that the scratching of the
finish was my goof. I won't ask for a replacement. If it bothers me too
much in the future I'll just buy one of your cover kits. Thanks for the
offer, though. As for being overkill to warn against scratching the cover,
I don't think that's the case. You already warn against deforming it in the
hacksawing process, so adding a line "deforming and/or marring the finish"
doesn't seem too big a deal. Since this is the part of the vise that bears
your logo and is the most visible part of the vise (other than the handles,
I suppose), it would be good to have customers avoid the bonehead result
that I managed to do to my vise.

4) My wife says I've spent so much money at your website that I should own
stock in the company. Any plans to go public??


I really do appreciate the responsiveness you gave me and the obvious
attention to even the smallest customer concerns that you have. I already
placed another order at your website yesterday, so obviously you aren't
going to lose my patronage.

Best regards,

Mike Logman

--

There are no stupid questions.
There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.


"Robin Lee" wrote in message
.. .
Hi -

Answers to your comments are interspersed below! (cut and pasted from the
comments I received from our R&D group- note that there's always a bit of

a
"defensive" slant to a designer's response Many of your comments and
suggestions may help others in the future!

Cheers -

Rob Lee



"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench

(an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also, the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the

parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so I

was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall,

and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and

hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step

was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain. The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have

to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more

effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with

the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I

don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather had

it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly

bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.


They are packaged this way to help prevent loss - since they are very

small
on their own.


Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here,

and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've

contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc.


Throughout the intructions, hints are given in most cases where they apply
to all or most users - but there are so many different ways to clamp and
drill, it would be a bit like chasing one's tail to try and anticipate all
possible scenarios and provide hints for them. Every woodworker knows

their
own shop and equipment best.

I had to reposition my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense, because

you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you

have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.


It's quite true that the process would be a bit simpler in this customer's
case to install the nuts after the rear jaw in is place. But since there

are
three different methods to attach the rear jaw outlined, the instructions
would be considerably more complicated to achieve the same end result.
Ordering the instructions in this way would only mean the user could avoid
using a couple of spacer blocks under the jaw when drilling the bolt

holes.



After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the

mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the

holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting

bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the rear

jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench,

across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met.


There is a very simple method that could be used to clamp the rear jaw in
position - as used by our own bench assemblers. The instructions could be
changed to add this tip. (RL note - will see that this gets added...)

The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it down
even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next

step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench

was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which

could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this to

your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend

it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to

have.

The instructions don't tell the customer not to flip the benchtop uspide
down but don't suggest it either. This could be another tip to add so long
as we also provide a caution about getting help and not wrecking one's

back.

I made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong

slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the

mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to

put
some crumpled paper n the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a spring

in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.


This tip works in both orientations. The hole for the dowel nut will

almost
always be deeper than it really needs to be. If the top is upseide down,
then the nuts can be pushed against the paper until they are lined up and
then they sit there until the bolt coes through to engage them. If right
side up, the user nees to hold the nuts in place with a nail or a dowel or
something. The paper then gives something to push against intead of
essentially having to hold the nut in exactly the right position in

mid-air;
which I can say from experience is not easy. I didn't come up with this

tip
but I have installed these nuts both ways and found the tip to be quite
useful.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In order

to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw,

this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying contorted

on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through 1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the first
try.


I checked Sam Allen's book and it is shown in a diagram (p. 32) to drill

the
upper cross brace for screw clearance with the Veritas twin screw vise.

In
my view, this should not be recommended. It is, as the customer found,
difficult to do and it would probably significantly weaken the structural
member in question. Perhaps we should include a caution in the catalogue
copy and the instructions that the vise should be installed only a bench
with adequate overhang or otherwise with clearance for the screws where it
needs to be.


After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and

screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the

rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates

are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real gripe

with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not overtighten

the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to break

the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was

getting
a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my

question
to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of

cheap
material?


RL - we'll test a bunch of bolts - but this could be an isolated
problem...though I've snapped the heads off lag bolts (used in cedar!)
before...

In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.


The designer assures me that this will not be a problem....

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to

get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to install

the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand

tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to

install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't figure

out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can

expla
in how this is done.


The alignment of the handles to each other is a function of the

orientation
of each "Tee" in relation to the screw it's connected to and cannot be
changed. The product has always had this constraint. It may or may not

be
made to be aligned but this would certainly add cost and complexity.

(RL -
while aesthetically pleasing to some, I'd actually prefer them to be at 90
degrees to each other....)

I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on. The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I

had
to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms.

The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what I

did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of

metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover, and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at

least
I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the

cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the

bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much sucks.

I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this.


RL - Mike - We'd be glad to cut and send you another one (it'll bug you
forever)...but, in all fairness, that's your goof !! Just email me your
address, and the length.... we'll add a note to the instructions too, but
it's overkill.....

Even more, however, I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as to

the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price of

the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the

cover
in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.


RL - the other choice would be to say the vise is 24" wide - change it

your
own risk... Again - I understand what you're saying, but it would be
costly, and impractical to do. Significant numers of these vises are sold

in
retail locations. The design of the endcaps does provide for some amount

of
overlap to cover an irregular cut...

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going

to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the

handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?) wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I

broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead

coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the

hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.


Again - we'll have a look...

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was

finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed

with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel

in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked

wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I

can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10,

due
to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable

amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope

the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of all.


Thanks too, for the comments....every time we get suggestions, it's an
opportunity to improve...

Cheers -

Rob Lee



Mike






  #14   Report Post  
Robin Lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report - Response

Mike -

I'll take a bow on behalf of the designer who sent back a detailed response
almost as long as your original post - few of the comments (in this case)
were mine ....

As for the aligned handles on the website - that's probably Murphy's work...
if a "random" event could take place which would suggest a design feature -
it'll happen in photography. We'll make a note of it.... Then too, it's
possible that the nut on one screw was fixed after handle alignment, or
shimmed out of a recess... rotating the nut should provide 90 degrees of
adjustment, with finer adjustment (less than 90) coming from shims....

Chain cover - offer stands.... the kit includes end caps (which you don't
need)...the cut extrusion won't cost us too much - and we'll put it in with
your next order....I can try and do it today- but your order's probably
packed and in the truck by now....

The shares'll have to wait for at least one more generation - not happening
this one!

Cheers -

Rob Lee







"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
. com...
Rob,

Thanks very much for the detailed response. As always, the level of
interaction you have with your customers is exceptional.

A few notes regarding the comments you provided:

1) Regarding the installation of the barrel nuts in for the rear jaw
mounting bolts. I found it quite easy to simply use a screw driver in the
slot on the bottom of the nut and hold in lower than the bolt position. I
had a small flashlight on the ground illuminating the area, so I could see
the protruding bolt end, and then by pushing the bolt against the nut, I
could simply slowly raise the nut and feel the bolt slide into the tapered
recess. It actually wasn't that hard, other than having to lay on the

floor
hehe. When I had the paper in the hole, I found that the spring back

effect
actually made it harder to make small changes in height to the nut

position.

2) Regarding the alignment of the two screw handles. In your website
picture you show the handles perfectly aligned and parallel. Is this only
achieved because you may have used the maximum spacing? I knew enough not
to assume that they would automatcially come out that way, but I didn't

see
any mention of the alignment being a contraint of the system. I can think
of at least one situation where having the handles aligned would be
necessary - if you have a bank of drawers or a cabinet door opening at the
end of the bench. Having both handles horizontal would be needed to open
these. I admit I haven't seen this too much, but it's a thought. I guess

I
will have to live with the handles as they came out.

3). Regarding the chain cover. I agree with you that the scratching of

the
finish was my goof. I won't ask for a replacement. If it bothers me too
much in the future I'll just buy one of your cover kits. Thanks for the
offer, though. As for being overkill to warn against scratching the

cover,
I don't think that's the case. You already warn against deforming it in

the
hacksawing process, so adding a line "deforming and/or marring the finish"
doesn't seem too big a deal. Since this is the part of the vise that

bears
your logo and is the most visible part of the vise (other than the

handles,
I suppose), it would be good to have customers avoid the bonehead result
that I managed to do to my vise.

4) My wife says I've spent so much money at your website that I should

own
stock in the company. Any plans to go public??


I really do appreciate the responsiveness you gave me and the obvious
attention to even the smallest customer concerns that you have. I already
placed another order at your website yesterday, so obviously you aren't
going to lose my patronage.

Best regards,

Mike Logman

--

There are no stupid questions.
There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.


"Robin Lee" wrote in message
.. .
Hi -

Answers to your comments are interspersed below! (cut and pasted from

the
comments I received from our R&D group- note that there's always a bit

of
a
"defensive" slant to a designer's response Many of your comments and
suggestions may help others in the future!

Cheers -

Rob Lee



"Mike in Mystic" wrote in message
om...
Hi everyone,

I just finished installing the Veritas twin-screw vise on my workbench

(an
exact copy of Sam Allen's joiner's bench from his workbench book) and
thought I'd write up my experience.

Things went fairly smoothly, but not without some hiccups.

First, the instructions are quite detailed and as many of you might

have
heard before, the warning on the front page to not deviate from the
instructions are wise and I followed them for the most part. Also,

the
materials for the vise were MOSTLY of very high quality, especially

the
screws themselves, which I feel is the most important thing. All the

parts
were there (which is good, since I bought this about 3 months ago), so

I
was
set to go.

I used hard maple for the jaws, and made them up at 2" thick, 7" tall,

and
24" wide (the width of my bench). It was important to figure out the
minimum height of the jaws to accomodate the bench thickness and

hardware,
but the instructions made this clear and not difficult. The next step

was
to figure out the screw spacing and to adjust the length of the

bicycle
chain. I used 14 5/8", so I had to remove 6 links from the chain.

The
instructions say to file the pins down, but I found this to be

extremely
slow going, so I used my bench grinder, which worked fine. I did have

to
use a center punch to drive the pins out, which took a little more

effort
than the instructions made it out to be. Also, the link supplied with

the
chain to connect the two ends had the spring-clip alread attached. I

don't
really see why Lee Valley sent it this way, and I would have rather

had
it
separate so as to avoid having to screw with the clip, and possibly

bending
it (which I did slightly) removing it from the link pins.


They are packaged this way to help prevent loss - since they are very

small
on their own.


Once the chain was set, the next step was laying out and drilling

holes
through the jaws for the screws and other parts. I took my time here,

and
was glad because everything went together fine the first try. I won't
really get into this except to say that having a good drill press with

a
large stroke was a big advantage. Also, a few steps here could've

contained
some more hints regarding placement of clamps, etc.


Throughout the intructions, hints are given in most cases where they

apply
to all or most users - but there are so many different ways to clamp

and
drill, it would be a bit like chasing one's tail to try and anticipate

all
possible scenarios and provide hints for them. Every woodworker knows

their
own shop and equipment best.

I had to reposition my
clamps a few times to get clearance on my drill press. Also, the
instructions have you install the screw nuts onto the rear jaws before
drilling the bolt mounting holes. This didn't make much sense,

because
you
have to drill counterbores in the inside face of the rear jaw, so you

have
to take the nuts off to lay the jaw flat on the drill press table.


It's quite true that the process would be a bit simpler in this

customer's
case to install the nuts after the rear jaw in is place. But since there

are
three different methods to attach the rear jaw outlined, the

instructions
would be considerably more complicated to achieve the same end result.
Ordering the instructions in this way would only mean the user could

avoid
using a couple of spacer blocks under the jaw when drilling the bolt

holes.



After the holes were drilled through the faces of the jaws, and the

mounting
holes for the rear jaw were in place, it was necessary to transfer the

holes
to the end of the bench in order to drill for the rear jaw mounting

bolts.
The rear jaw is attached with barrel bolts placed in cross-drilled

holes
from the bottom of the bench. I found it pretty tricky to get the

rear
jaw
in position, but ended up clamping it across the width of the bench,

across
the seam where the bench and rear jaw met.


There is a very simple method that could be used to clamp the rear jaw

in
position - as used by our own bench assemblers. The instructions could

be
changed to add this tip. (RL note - will see that this gets added...)

The idea was to have a small
amount of the rear jaw above the bench surface, so you can plane it

down
even after you install it. Anyway, it worked out alright. The next

step
was to drill the crossing holes for the barell bolts. Since my bench

was
already constructed, I had to lay on the floor to do this, which

could've
been more comfortable. If you have the opportunity to install this

to
your
benchtop with the top upside down on some supports, I would recommend

it,
not only for comfort, but for the increased accuracy you're sure to

hae.

The instructions don't tell the customer not to flip the benchtop uspide
down but don't suggest it either. This could be another tip to add so

long
as we also provide a caution about getting help and not wrecking one's

back.

I made the jig for locating the crossing holes, but I got one wrong

slightly
and had to drill an overlapping hole. It didn't seem to affect the

mounting
of the rear jaw at all. One more caveat here, the instructions say to

put
some crumpled paper in the hole for the barrel bolts to act as a

spring
in
aligning them with the bolts. Perhaps it was assumed that the

benchtop
would be upside down, but I found this to be more of a hassle than a
benefit.


This tip works in both orientations. The hole for the dowel nut will

almost
always be deeper than it really needs to be. If the top is upseide

down,
then the nuts can be pushed against the paper until they are lined up

and
then they sit there until the bolt coes through to engage them. If

right
side up, the user nees to hold the nuts in place with a nail or a dowel

or
something. The paper then gives something to push against intead of
essentially having to hold the nut in exactly the right position in

mid-air;
which I can say from experience is not easy. I didn't come up with this

tip
but I have installed these nuts both ways and found the tip to be quite
useful.

So, now the rear jaw was installed after quite a bit of effort (at

least
that's what my back was telling me). Next was the front jaw. In

order
to
install this, I had to drill clearance holes through the upper end

cross
braces of my bench base. Because I had already mounted the rear jaw,

this
meant drilling from the inside of the base outward (or removing the

rear
jaw, which I wasn't going to do). Let's just say that laying

contorted
on
the floor, holding a cordless drill and drilling 1.5" holes through

1.5"
wood is not fun. Happily, I got the holes lined up just right the

first
try.


I checked Sam Allen's book and it is shown in a diagram (p. 32) to drill

the
upper cross brace for screw clearance with the Veritas twin screw vise.

In
my view, this should not be recommended. It is, as the customer found,
difficult to do and it would probably significantly weaken the

structural
member in question. Perhaps we should include a caution in the

catalogue
copy and the instructions that the vise should be installed only a bench
with adequate overhang or otherwise with clearance for the screws where

it
needs to be.


After that, the screws are installed, with the chain in place, and

screwed
in by hand until they are holding the front jaw in place against the

rear
jaw. After aligning the tops and sides of the jaws, the thrust plates

are
attached with lag bolts and washers. This is where my first real

gripe
with
the vise hardware comes up. The instructions DO say to not

overtighten
the
bolts, so I guess I should've been warned. Even so, I managed to

break
the
head off one of the bolts! I was ticked off, because I had read the
instructions and was consciously not using very much force. I was

getting
a
firm fit, to be sure, but "overtight"? I don't think so. So, my

question
to
Lee Valley is, why don't you include better bolts that aren't made of

cheap
material?


RL - we'll test a bunch of bolts - but this could be an isolated
problem...though I've snapped the heads off lag bolts (used in cedar!)
before...

In fact, I think you should include the BEST bolts that you can
find. I'm not sure how the lack of one of the bolts on the thrust

plate
will have in the long run, but it seemed to be holding, so I proceeded
ahead. If anyone has any insight here, it would be appreciated.


The designer assures me that this will not be a problem....

Another gripe I have is that there weren't any instructions on how to

get
the vise handles to line up parallel to each other. I tried to

install
the
chain so that they would be that way, but by the time I had hand

tightened
the screws up to the front jaw, and tightened them down in order to

install
the thrust plates, they had become out of alignment. I couldn't

figure
out
any way to adjust them, so hopefully Robin Lee is reading this and can

expla
in how this is done.


The alignment of the handles to each other is a function of the

orientation
of each "Tee" in relation to the screw it's connected to and cannot be
changed. The product has always had this constraint. It may or may

not
be
made to be aligned but this would certainly add cost and complexity.

(RL -
while aesthetically pleasing to some, I'd actually prefer them to be at

90
degrees to each other....)

I know I've seen many pictures of the vise on benches
with the handles perfectly parallel, so it must be possible. I'm sure
everyone that installs the vise would want their handles aligned, so

why
there isn't instructions regarding this I really don't understand.

Ok, now that the jaws were installed, the cover was ready to go on.

The
cover consists of two half-round end caps and a center aluminum

section.
Because I had shorted the chain and had a smaller screw separation, I

had
to
shorten the cover in order for it to fit between the screw mechanisms.

The
instructions say that a hacksaw can be used, and that's true and what

I
did.
All I can say is, I'm not that proficient at cutting curved pieces of

metal
in straight lines with the hacksaw. I did have the idea (probably not
novel, I'm sure) of making shallow cuts on either side of the cover,

and
then cutting down to the face on both sides at the same time, so at

least
I
ended up with a fairly straight edge. Overall, however I was pretty
frustrated by this. I didn't realize how fragile the finish on the

cover
was, and the initial hacksawing I did was with it held by hand on the

bench
top. This resulted in a very scratched finish, which pretty much

sucks.
I
wish the instructions would have warned me about this.


RL - Mike - We'd be glad to cut and send you another one (it'll bug you
forever)...but, in all fairness, that's your goof !! Just email me your
address, and the length.... we'll add a note to the instructions too,

but
it's overkill.....

Even more, however, I
wish Lee Valley would just have a question when you order the vise as

to
the
size of the cover you need and have it precut for you. For the price

of
the
vise, I think this is a reasonable request. At any rate, I got the

cover
in
place, albeit pretty well scratched up.


RL - the other choice would be to say the vise is 24" wide - change it

your
own risk... Again - I understand what you're saying, but it would be
costly, and impractical to do. Significant numers of these vises are

sold
in
retail locations. The design of the endcaps does provide for some amount

of
overlap to cover an irregular cut...

So, the final chapter (I didn't realize how long winded this was going

to
be) was installing the handles. I only mention this because I ran

into
another example of cheap hardware. The screws provided to attach the

handle
end caps to the handles were square drive #8 1-1/4" (maybe 1-1/2"?)

wood
screws. I drilled pilot holes were the instructions, and set my

drill's
adjustable torque to 10 (out of 20), which considering the handles are
hardwood, should have been fine. Well, as you might have guessed, I

broke
the head off one of the screws. Luckily I have a supply of panhead

coarse
thread pocket hole screws, and one of these worked fine to replace the
broken screw. But, it just illustrates the point that some of the

hardware
was not of the best quality in the kit.


Again - we'll have a look...

I did put the vise through it's paces briefly after the install was

finished
and I have to say that the vise is GREAT! I was extremely impressed

with
how much clamping force I could generate. I tried holding a big panel

in
place with bench dogs across the full vise width, and it worked

wonderfully.
I also clamped a 10" wide board vertically in the vise (as if to cut
dovetails or something), and it also worked just as I had hoped. I

can't
wait to actually use it on my upcoming projects.

So, in summary, I will have to give the vise a score of maybe 8.5/10,

due
to
the small issues I have with some of the components. I admit that the
problems could have been avoided, but I feel I was using a reasonable

amount
of caution and just got stuck by having a few bad parts. I just hope

the
lack of one of the thrust plate bolts doesn't mess me up in the

future.

I hope this has been useful for anyone considering this vise. I would
definitely buy it again, so that might be the most telling thing of

all.

Thanks too, for the comments....every time we get suggestions, it's an
opportunity to improve...

Cheers -

Rob Lee



Mike








  #15   Report Post  
Buck Wheat
 
Posts: n/a
Default Veritas twin-screw vise install report - Response

Please, do not go public. As soon as you do that, you pander to the
stock holders who don't give a rat's ass about the quality of your
products and the lively hood of your employees. You'll start to run
the company in ways that the "Stock Anylists" like in order to
influence the stock price.

Just say No!

Dan


On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 11:45:44 -0500, "Robin Lee"
wrote:

Mike -

I'll take a bow on behalf of the designer who sent back a detailed response
almost as long as your original post - few of the comments (in this case)
were mine ....

As for the aligned handles on the website - that's probably Murphy's work...
if a "random" event could take place which would suggest a design feature -
it'll happen in photography. We'll make a note of it.... Then too, it's
possible that the nut on one screw was fixed after handle alignment, or
shimmed out of a recess... rotating the nut should provide 90 degrees of
adjustment, with finer adjustment (less than 90) coming from shims....

Chain cover - offer stands.... the kit includes end caps (which you don't
need)...the cut extrusion won't cost us too much - and we'll put it in with
your next order....I can try and do it today- but your order's probably
packed and in the truck by now....

The shares'll have to wait for at least one more generation - not happening
this one!

Cheers -

Rob Lee


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How old is a Morgan 10A vise? Silvan Woodworking 41 December 7th 20 04:45 AM
Vise screw threads Lewis Hartswick Metalworking 2 April 7th 04 11:10 AM
Two slides and angle vise Doug Goncz Metalworking 0 February 13th 04 05:02 PM
Veritas Twin Screw Installation Tips? Rkola Woodworking 0 September 6th 03 09:37 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2024 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"