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Vise Improvements

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Unlike many of the great tiers on this forum, I do not tie thousands of flies each year, and have not been able to justify spending $100+ on a vise upgrade. To make a long story short, I ended up with a Sunrise (made in India) rotary vise.


I had a basic Sunrise model for years, and it worked fine. I did however want to try a rotary style vise though. I bought the vise for about $40 on eBay. When it arrived, the fit finish did not seem bad for the money, but there were a few problems that made using the vise a headache.


1) The fly/working area is quite a bit further away from the upright post with the rotary, so it was relatively easy to impart enough torque to either spin the vice on the threaded portion of the upright shaft, or ther upright itself would spin as is round in cross-section and difficult for the screw to "bite"


2) When spun, there was a fair amount of play on the system, making it impossible to adjust the true center properly. It also took more force that I expected (or like) to rotate. A bit of WD40 helped only a little. Pulling it apart, I found that the shaft rotated within a short piece of plastic tubing (no wonder there is so much play).




a) The rotating shaft and housing measured 6mm and 10mm, and I was able to order (3) 6x10x3mm ball bearings for $10 (including postage). Those went in with a little materal removed here and there with 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper.


cool.gif Still was a little more slop than expected. Found this due to the threads on the shaft extended into the "bearing area". I moved the shaft further (adjusted stops) into the housing and cut off approximately 1/4" of threads so the area of the shaft within the bearings was solid. Helped greatly!!


c) Filed a "flat" on the upright approximately 2.5" long in the area where the screw tightens onto it to prevent turning. This quickly eliminated that source of "turning".


d) The threaded portion turning in the housing was eliminated by simply adding a couple drops of Loctite before screwing it solidly back in.


Now the vise is working quite nicely. I have about $50 into it (and some of my time) and I have really started to enjoy tying with a rotary. While it is no "big-name" vise for me, it has certainly allowed me to inexpensively add a new dimension (rotary tying) to my hobby, and been a lot of fun. Just thought I would pass this on in case anyone really wanted to a rotary vise but did not want to spend the $, either because of the number of flies they tie, or because they are uncertain as to whether they would really use the rotary feature.



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I hear what your syaing, so now you went from a $40 vise to a $90.00 vise and are just starting to get happy with it. Factor in your time and labor and you could have bougt a Dan Vise which is rotary or spent a litle more and bought a Renzetti Traveler. Yes I do tie extremely a lot all year round. It's just that when I spend money on a vise, I do not want to do more then put it together and learn how to adjust the jaws for holding hooks. If it's is more than that, I would walk away from it. I guess this is to each his own.



Andy B


P.S. The only thing I feel I really can say that should be considered is try a vise out in a fly shop before you buy one. Your buying decision might have been different if this would have been done.

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I am with you! There are a lot of days that I have more time than money. It souunds like you ended up with a sweet vise for $50. It took a bit of tinkering but then, I like to tinker more than I like to spend $$$$.



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You guys are ALL correct and I do agree ...


> It's still not a Renzetti, and I did invest some time, which does have some value. To a large degree you get what you pay for. If I factor in my time, I could have bought a higher quality vise in the 1st place.

> It is a pretty sweet vise now, and for $50.

> I did enjoy the tinkering. This really was a fun project and I am VERY happy with the way it turned out.

> I don't care for the Danvise - I DO think they are good quality, I just don't like the style personally. I have heard great things about them.


I will add ...


> I do like things that are unique. It's fun to tie on a vise that's not quite like anyone elses, but really does what I want it to.

> We are all different. For most people I expect it would be worth putting in another $80 or so and buying a PEAK (if I had a few more coins in my pocket originally I probably would have done that) or whatever vise you prefer.

> If I had to spend $200 for a rotary vise, I would probably never have the "rotary" experience. For me it's a hobby.

> I would not consider this a "low quality" vise, but I guess that's my opinion. I do know that I have tied some nice flies on an inexpensive vice from India for about 30 years now, and never had a problem.


I certainly don't fault anyone that does spend the $ in the 1st place to get a quality vise, it is a good investment. I guess I offered this for someone that either wants to try a rotary vise, and is just not willing or able to spend the "long $", or for those that have purchased a cheaper vise and it's performance is driving them nuts. It's an option to do some modifications.


One final note on mods ... I did also drill/tap a hole for a nylon screw to bear upon the shaft, so I could add a little tension to the rotation if I wanted. Works OK, but I so far am happy just with the free rotation/or locked position.


Have fun!

Chris smile.gif



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