Subscribe now and save up to 56%
Solid billet stainless steel creates a lifetime tool, and a great paperweight when not in use. It's heavy!
I find that setting up my T&G or rabbett router bit can be frustrating simply because the nut holding all the parts together has to be very tight to keep the cutters from rotating on the shaft and tightening or loosening that bit can be darned hard to do when all you have to hold the bit is a slippery wood vise or the router collet. Relying on the collet lock for aggressive work can damage the lock and using more aggressive solutions, like clamping the shank with locking pliers, runs the risk of chewing up the shank and that’s not acceptable.
Valfor tools has a great holding solution. Their new Bit Vise is a solid billet of stainless steel that has been machined to accept 1/2in. and 12mm shank router bits. A substantial allen-head screw allows enough clamping power that the most stubborn nut can be broken loose. Plus the vise offers a convenient, stable holder for setting up the bit.
Recessed holes in three corners of the vise make it easy to mount it on your router table, bench top, or simply on a chunk of hardwood that can be clamped in a bench vise. Recesses machined into the top of the vise will keep all the shims, nuts and easily lost parts close at hand and out of the sawdust.
I set up my tongue and groove bits in a fraction of the time it normally takes, without the frustration of trying to dissassemble the bit in the router. The vise sells for 70 bucks and is available at www.valfortools.com.
Stainless steel is hard enough to get a good grip of the router bit shank without damaging the shank's machined surface.
You can use a lot of torque on the router bit nut without the shank spinning in the vise. Sure beats struggling with a collet lock!
The vise makes easy work of precise bit setup. Storage trays machined in the billet keep the little parts out of the sawdust.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox
Become a member today
Get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content.
Subscribe to Fine Woodworking
Save up to 56%
Woodpeckers made theirs under licence from Valfor Tools, whose owner/creator invented this tool. This is their own take on the design, simplified and improved.
Woodpeckers made a similar item. Bought it and have not used it so far. Haven't had to change a router bearing yet. It will come in handy when I do.
I love this tool! It’s beautifully designed and finished. Pleasure to use, it beats hands down keeping the bit in the router collet for cleaning or changing parts, which is fiddly and unpractical. And a pleasure to look at, if I may say so....
In my opinion it is well worth the buy and I recommend this tool wholeheartedly. In the short time I have got the Bit Vise, I have done a lot of overdue cleaning. I had postponed that for a long time because it makes such a mess. The suggestion in their website with the plastic container works really well.
I hope Valfor Tools brings us more of this clever stuff.
I ordered my Bit Vise last week, it came in yesterday. Put it to work straight away. Works very well. Why has nobody else thought of this good idea. Glad I got it, it's beautifully made and looks indestructible. Thanks FWW for writing about this tool. I would expect this in Lee Valley's catalogue.
This really is a great little tool. I screwed it on a corner of my sharpening table, so it has a permanent home, ready for when I need to adjust a router bit. And as it sits near my sharpening stuff, I can easily clean and hone a cutter edge.
It requires quite a lot of torque to lock down a router bit, so having a tool with a certain mass and an oversized bolt is important.
I bought this tool only a couple of weeks ago and am fully satisfied with it, as I am with the other two Valfor Tools products, the GrooveCenter and the 2-Axis Depth Gauge.
As newcomers to the market these folks do make pretty interesting things!
$70?!? You're kidding, right? How about this... take a scrap piece of hardwood, drill a 15/32" hole in it, cut the wood from the end to the hole. This will allow the hole to open slightly to accept the 1/2 shank. Insert the bit into the hole and clamp the wood in your bench vice. The irony is that you said, "on a chunk of hardwood that can be clamped in a bench vise." You were so close to a simple solution. I appreciate jigs that do unique things that cannot be done simply. I do not feel this is one of them.
I'd rather spend $70 on some project materials than a "perfect" tool that is an overly expensive solution. Seriously, this part is automatically machined on a CNC mill... and was that mill in China?
In the United States, it would be better to contact a local Technical College and offer some of the machinists in training $20 to product one as a class project. I've done this many times for jigs that I use often. I always have been impressed with how they strive for perfection in each piece.
Go on a lumber run with Matt Kenney and he'll show you how he reads a stack of lumber to help him find the perfect board
The Shakers had this diminutive design pegged
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
Become a member today and get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content!
Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking.
Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.
Enter now for your chance to win a Lee Valley block plane valued at $160.
© 2016 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features.