What’s so special about an Emmert Vise?
The Emmert Vise is a pattern making vise, designed by Joseph Emmert in 1891. At the time it was a revolutionary piece of equipment as it made pattern making a lot easier. Pattern making being one of the hardest handcraft trades to learn at that time.
So the Emmert is a piece of woodworking history. Since nowadays patterns are made with laser guided machines and no handy work at all, you might think that the Emmert vise has become obsolete. This is by no means true.
The Emmert is still a highly versatile and much sought after woodworking tool. One reason being that the vise can be tilted and turned in virtually any position, allowing the woodworker to access and work on the difficult spots.
Another- as mentioned before- is nostalgia. An original, well kept Emmert is very hard to find and if you have one, it makes every woodworking enthusiasts heart beat faster when they see one attached to your workbench.
Where to buy an Emmert
There are many replicas on the market, some really good, some are of horrible quality. An original if often hard to get and most of the time they aren’t as original as they used to be.
The best place to look is the Internet. But trust me when I say this: If the offer is cheap, you probably have a incomplete or a cheap replica for that money.
For a complete, well kept or well restored, used Emmert Vise you can expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $1200 .
Emmert Vise Weak points
The weak point of an Emmert Vise is that its made of cast iron. This means that if there’s a crack in the iron, it takes a special electrodes welding technique to repair it.
Another is that to most people it’s just a piece of dusty scrap metal and it’s moved around over time and loses many parts. These parts have to be reproduced and that can get expensive.
Another minus is the weight. Cast Iron has a huge density and an Emmert can weigh up to 80 lb or more. This means that mounting the thing takes some thinking over, not to mention some muscle. You will also need a sturdy Workbench that won’t tilt when the vise gets mounted.
At the end of the day though, an Emmert Vise is a great tool to have if you know how to work with it, be it a replica or an original.