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Sean previously covered the Veritas twin screw vise with a chain drive here at TM. Evidently Lie-Nielsen thought it was such a good idea they produced their own chain drive vise. The concept behind both vises is simple: make sure the large jaw closes parallel by turning both screws the same amount.

The 1-1/8″ x 5tpi screws are made from rolled thread acme rod and are designed to give you a maximum opening of 8-1/4″. You can choose to set the screws 8″, 12″, 18″, or 24″ apart depending on your needs. Four bronze bushings and four needle bearing and washer assemblies reduce wear and make the vise operate smoothly.

The hardware to make the vise will run you $285 with $18 shipping. You can either buy a pre-made jaw with 12″ screw spacing for $70 plus $12 shipping or “borrow” an installation kit for a $45 deposit.  The vise handle, which can be mounted on either the right or left screw, is sold separately for $35.

Chain Drive Vise [Lie-Nielsen]

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10 Responses to Another Chain Drive Vise

  1. Mike says:

    Golly, nearly $400 for the simple parts in the picture. There has to be a $350 profit margin on that vise. I’m in the wrong line of work.

  2. Bloath says:

    Hmmm. I happened by their showroom in Warren, ME recently, and if that’s the vise they had on the workbench in the middle of the room, it’s a beaut. All their stuff is. But for the money, it’s nuts. They’re selling to the same kind of trade that buys $25,000 Paul Reed Smith guitars: Rich amateurs. Pffft.

  3. fred says:

    @ Bloath

    Do not assume that Lie Nielsen sells only to high end amateur tool collectors.
    While we don’t buy much of their line – all my master carpenters carry one of their 60-1/2 block planes. These are great trimmers and inspire superior work. Naturally we don’t use a $165 plane for trimming shingles up-on-the-roof – preferring to stick to $8 cheapie for this sort of task – but for fitting site made casework and cabinetry – there is nothing better IMHO.

  4. Gary says:

    I’ve got a set of their bench chisels and one of their spokeshaves. Very high quality stuff.

    Bought them at two different 25% off sales, or I probably wouldn’t have them, admittedly.

  5. George B says:

    “Mike Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Golly, nearly $400 for the simple parts in the picture. There has to be a $350 profit margin on that vise. I’m in the wrong line of work.”

    If you think you can build and market a better/less expensive product – great!

    I suspect that if you try, you may find out why 90%+ businesses go broke within 5-years. It isn’t as simple as most people think.

    Once you start employing workers who need not only salaries, but health care, when you start paying for liability insurance, taxes, marketing, accountants, budgeting for replacement equipment, lawyers, and what not, you may understand why “$50.00 in parts” may have to sell for $400.00+ to be profitable. Most business don’t, and end up on their butts promptly.

    If you try to copy this for yourself, keep track of the time it takes to design it, track down the parts and assemble it. I bet you easily spend twice as much time (you have to include your hourly labor costs) and money on the project, and will not come out with as nice a project.

    • Greg H says:

      George B is absolutely correct – very tough to make a profit.
      I have both the chain driven vise, and the tail vise from LN, and they are rock solid, smooth, and accurate (stay level through the clamping operation).
      Yes, you can save a few bucks going with the woodcraft products, but if you can swing the extra money, you wont be disappointed.

  6. Ken J says:

    “I bet you easily spend twice as much time (you have to include your hourly labor costs)”

    I always love this comment. This idea is what has put this country in such a mess!!! This idea ONLY applies to if you work outside a 40 work week, working for someone else and you can work O/T or self employed and hussle up other business then your time is worth some $$ value.
    I have NO opportunity for overtime, so at the end of the day or weekends my time is worth how much? I make nothing sitting on my butt, so if I spend an hour fixing a 2 or 5 dollar item, its 2 or 5 bucks I didnt have to spend. Does that mean Im working for 5$ an hour? maybe.. but unless I get a part time job at the Depot, my spare time is worth ZERO dollars income. When have we gotten so proud that we wont get our lazy asses off the couch because my time is worth more than that!!!!
    I have a very good friend who had to force retire himself because he wouldnt open his door for less than $75/hour. He thought his time was worth more than what people were willing to pay, so now he sits at home with his $75/hour attitude watching TV.
    So..am I spending $285 for a vise? Not likely. Maybe Ill spend 10 hours or so of my valuable $0/hour spare time and see what I can find out. Im not saying it isnt a great product, Im just NOT forking that kind of $$ out. And no I wont be buying any Chinese junk either.

    KJ

  7. Jack Palmer says:

    The real problem may be that consumers in the U.S. are always looking for the cheapest possible price on everything they buy. Thats why all the big box stores have killed the mom and pop trade. Lie Nielsen make top quality products at a reasonable price. Look at Filson clothes, Russell boots, Martin guitars and any number of small U.S. compaines that make quality products, Not cheap, but I’d rather own and use a few high quality products in my life than a house and shop full of crap.

  8. Stan Thompson says:

    I agree with most guys on this chain drive vice but I still
    Wonder why we don’t have one here in UK, anyway I’m quite
    Sure I can copy this vice and being retired the difficult
    part may be the welded parts that take the threaded unions
    That go underneath but I’m going to have a go because time
    Is no matter and sprockets can be bought with chain and this is a good idea, and why didn’t I think of it. Stan.

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