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Thread: Vice Grips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
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    8,605

    Default Vice Grips

    Years ago I bought a carton of fly tying and rod building supplies at a yard sale.
    Included was a pair of vice grips with a nut welded to the side. Obviously a home made fly tying vice without the stand. I never tried to make a base for it or use it for tying and basically just forgot about it.
    Last winter I acquired collection of a hundred or more older sporting books (the valuable ones had already been picked over and I got the leftovers). One that I just finished reading is the 1974 book Practical Black Bass Fishing by Mark Sosin and Bill Dance (with Dave Whitlock illustrations). In the chapter on fly fishing there's photos illustrating how to tie poppers and hairbugs. And while it's not mentioned in the text ......they're using vicegrips to hold the hook.
    Now I've never seen mention of this before, but apparently it wasn't that unusual.
    I'm thinking that I might like to try this out, but I've never seen what they used for the base. I'm sure I could use a threaded rod in my regular vice pedestal stand or C-clamp base, but I'd like to know what the original homemade version was like.
    Anybody familiar with this ?
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: Vice Grips

    Hi Rip,

    I am familiar with using vise grips for a vise. Since yours has the nut already welded on you are good to go. There are a couple of ways you can go.

    1. Get a three or four inch bolt that fits the nut and and screw it in tight. Now cut off the head and you have a shaft that can be clamped into a bench vise of some kind. If you are good with a file you can put flats on two opposing sides to give a better grip. If you use the flats you have to position them so the Vise Grips are positioned where you want them.

    2. This is almost the same thing. Get your bolt and cut the head off. Now cut a slot across the bottom where you cut off the head. Use this with a screw driver to fasten it to the Vise Grips.

    3. Here is an alternative if you put flats on the bolt. When you buy your bolt get one with at least an inch of threads. Also buy a nut that fits the bolt, Do the prep work on the bolt cutting off the head and cutting your flats. Clamp the bolt in the bench vise. Now put your extra nut on the threads before you screw the bolt into the nut welded to the Vise Grips. Now screw it into the Vise Grip nut and position the grips where you want them. You need to leave the Vise Grips nut lose so you can move the Vise Grips left and right a small amount. Screw the extra nut up against the Vise Grip nut and it will lock it into position.

    I think this will give you some ideas of your own.

    Frank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,605

    Default Re: Vice Grips

    Okay, thanks Frank. Makes perfect sense and so simple that I didn't think of it.
    I have a small bench vice that will clamp to my tying desk.
    Maybe I'll try it out
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,019

    Default Re: Vice Grips

    Rip,

    For what it's worth I've used vice grips to tie stuff, and just piled up a stack of books on a table to get a comfortable height and laid the vice grips flat on top of the books. Using the weight of the the heel of my off hand (left hand) on the vise to keep it in position, there was still room for the fingers of my left hand to hold materials in position as they were tied in. It wasn't very elegant, but I was tying simple SW patterns (deceivers and such), on fairly large hooks (mostly 1/0-5/0). I was actually kinda surprised how well it worked- pretty painless.
    Mark

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