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fly vise jaw question


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6 replies to this topic

#1 maddogkelley

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

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.

 

FlyVise2.jpg



#2 maddogkelley

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:56 PM

I think the Cabela's super vice that comes with 3 sets of jaws (small, med, large) for $30 may have the same type of jaws as a Thompson. That could be an option as well that I forgot to mention. there were mixed reviews on that vise, but I would only be using the jaws...



#3 FrequentTyer

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

There is a company called Adventure Corporation that supposedly makes replacement parts for Thompson vises.  I don't know if they make these jaws, but you could try and contact them.

I recently added an old Thompson B to my collection, and I have always been impressed with the quality of the older Thompson draw collet jaws.  The Thompson knockoffs that I have used have always been poor quality.  I don't know the Cabela's vise you mentioned, but I would be wary.  If I could make a vise that used the Thompson B jaws and had a simple rotary function for looking at the back of the fly, I would be happy.



#4 Piker20

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:55 AM

Having used both I would go with the lever clamp jaw over Collett style but I think both are fine once you set them and big prob as you said is tempering the metal so they last.

Matthew 25: 35-36

 

"Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldn’t even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back.”

 

"No man ever steps in the same river twice"   — Heraclitus, 5 B.C

 

Based Scottish Highlands. UK


#5 Bugsy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

.....

#6 McGnat

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

Since you seem to have the tools to machine whatever you want, I would think you could make whatever type of jaw suits your fancy from tool steel and have no problems.  As and extra mesure you can further harden the jaws with Kasenit.   I prefer placing the part in a heavy wall container along with the Kasenit and heating it.  Properly done, you will have a surface that a file will skate against , but with a flexible core.



#7 maddogkelley

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:35 PM

Adventure Corporation is the company that bought out Thompson's remaining inventory, from what I have read (probably on this webforum). They no longer make the Super Jaws, though. They do make a standard and a midge jaw.
 
Thank you all for the ideas. The school shop does have a heat treat oven, and the professor is knowlegeable about heat treating but I wasn't sure about hardening the jaws while keeping them flexible (needed for collet style jaws). With the clamp style jaws Bugsy explained there wouldn't be any issue with flex as there is with a collet style. I think I will draw up plans for the clamp style jaws. They look like a simpler design as well (easier machining steps). I was looking at this style of jaw (Renzetti):
 
6564494-0-display.jpg
and the vosseller style "horseshoe" clamp (left):
b03204998e30efa52f1.jpg

I will post pictures up here when I get this done. It is going to be 10 weeks or more, I only get a couple hours a week in the shop. I am going to do a jaw design similar to the norvise and renzetti. They look the easiest to machine and look to be adjustable for different size hooks (to an extent). Thanks again for the opinions and suggestions.