Louis Bois is a lucky guy. Recently he purchased the beautiful carver’s vise shown above, which was made by the French firm Forge Royale. He’s been looking for background information on the vise and the manufacturer and has come up empty-handed.
But there’s hope.
Back in 1981, The Mid-West Tool Collectors Association reprinted a translated version of the catalog (circa 1927-1930) “At the Royal Forge” that will answer most of our questions about this beautiful piece of work. Thanks to St. Louis tool collector (and dealer) Mike “Rat” Urness, a copy of the reprint will be in my hands next week and I’ll post some more information about the Forge Royale, and maybe some other tidbits about French tools.
If you know anything additional about Forge Royale, please send me a note or post a comment below.
But until we shake loose that information, Louis has provided some drawings of the vise that you absolutely must check out. It is how I think woodworking magazines should deliver content in the future. Louis is a mechanical draughtsman by trade with 20 years of experience and has produced two documents that I encourage you to download and view.
The first is a pdf of the mechanical drawings for the vise. The drawings include several sheets that detail the individual components and their dimensions. Scaled drawings of the plates are provided, as are additional (color) photos of the vise.
The second document is what’s called a “live model” , it’s a 3D color model of the vise that you can rotate and take apart. You’ll be able to see how all the parts relate to one another (and the program will put it back together for you once you take it apart).
The file below has a player enclosed that will work with Windows machines.
Macintosh users can download a free player from SolidWorks called eDrawings that will allow you to view and manipulate the file. Below is a link to a zipped SolidWorks file without the Windows player embedded.Ã?Â
We’ve been playing with these files in the office all day and have had a blast. I think you’ll immediately see the utility of this format. Check it out.
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