When I was researching historic workbenches, I tried like crazy to get my hands on a style of bench vise that (to my knowledge) isn’t made in this country anymore.
Featured prominently in the French “La Forge Royale” catalog from the early 20th century, the “Ideale Vise” is a quick-release metal vise that has some interesting characteristics.
First, it doesn’t appear to have any screw-thread mechanism , at least from the illustration. And from accounts that I dug up, it appears that you turn the handle one way to release pressure and then turn it the other way to apply pressure.
I’ve only seen one example of this vise (which might tell me something), and it was disassembled at the time. So I haven’t ever been able to give one a try. If anyone out there has used one, I’d like to hear about it. How does it function? Does it apply sufficient pressure? Is it fussy to maintain?
– Christopher Schwarz
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