In Chris Schwarz Blog, Misc

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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.

Carver’s Chops.pdf (1.21 MB)

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.

Carver’s Chops Assembly Without (2.65 MB)

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.� 

Carver’s Chops Assembly Without (671.59 KB)

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.

Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 2 comments
  • John Nelson

    Christopher, I agree with you that project plans like the pdf file and the 3D model program for the carver’s vise would be a great addition to woodworking magazines. At one time, several computer magazines were sold with CD’s that contained useful utilities and programs. I don’t see why Woodworking Magazine couldn’t do the same thing with project plans. It would certainly add value to the publication.

    Thanks to Mr. Bois for sharing his drawings with us.

  • Derek Andrews

    Hi Chris

    Interesting application. It will be interesting to see how you develop the idea.

    FYI there is a problem with the link addresses in the RSS feed. I think maybe they are relative addresses, and get appended to the RSS reader URL, ie


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