Hello, new guy here. I started tying flies last year, to suppliment my fishing addiction (something fishing related to do when the weather prevents me from actually being on the water - you know how it is). I used to primarily fish rivers in northern Michigan, but since moving to southern Michigan I mostly fish small inland lakes. I tie black ants on #12 hooks, and other assorted "bugs" for panfish, and I tie larger 4, 2, 1/0 2/0 4/0 bass and pike flies. Streamers and zonker patterns. I have a few semesters of machine tool classes under my belt at the local community college and needed a project for this semester. I decided a real vise would be nice. I have been tying with a pair of needle nose vise-grips held in a small wilton style bench vise. It works...
I bought a back issue of a magazine that has plans for a vice inside. The vise is based on the Thompson Vision vise. The plans are great but the vise actually uses Thompson jaws (so no instructions on how to build that part or how to heat treat so they aren't too brittle). Therein lies the issue. I can't seem to find the Super Jaws since the company that bought Thompson doesn't make that model anymore, and the standard jaws are now around $25 a set. In the pictures I see of Thompson style jaws on the Cabelas webpage, they look flimsy compared to HMH jaws. Is there some other brand of collet style vice that uses readily available jaws that are interchangeable with the Thompson style?
My question is this: Should I stick with using the Thompson jaws and hope to someday find a new old stock set of super jaws someplace that would work for my bass/pike flies, Should I modify the plans to use HMH vise jaws (or some other brand collet style jaws) that I know I can get, or should I make a Renzetti style clamp jaw instead of a collet jaw? I guess what I want to know is, what is the ideal jaw setup for the size hooks I work with? I don't mind buying 2 sets of jaws, I just want to make sure I go with a good jaw design so the vise will be versatile and solid.
If you could build a vise which style jaws would you go with? I did not list the Regal style as an option since it seems a bit too bulky for the type of vise I am planning to build.