What's this blog all about? Connecting Emmert Patternmakers Vises and Lion Miter Trimmers with New Owners!

The purpose of this blog is to document the current "Street Prices" of Patternmakers Vises, as well as the famous Lion Miter Trimmer. Additionally we will post links to current eBay auctions for these tools should you be ready to join the club.

First designed and patented by Joseph Emmert in 1891, the amazing new "Universal" Patternmakers vises found great favor among the Patternmakers trade and was promoted as "The Iron Hand" and "The Peer of All Woodwrker's Vises". At one time, Pattern Making was the highest art that a young tradesman could aspire to. Patternmakers would produce the wooden "patterns" used in sand molds from which metallic items were cast in.

Patternmakers were often called upon to produce some extremely complicated wooden patterns which had to be executed to thousandths of an inch! Sadly, most of the old pattern shops are now closed down and patterns are now being produced by CNC machines.

On July 15, 1919, Victor Koontz, (an employee of Emmert), was granted a rather elaborate 7 page patent for improvements to the Pattern Makers Vise, and although this patent addresses a number of different issues, the two most notable improvements over the old turtleback vises is the much more durable large concentric disc on the front that controls the tilting front jaw and the newly designed rear hub that allows locking the rotating jaws in at any desired location throughout their full 360 degrees of rotation.

The front jaw tilts in both directions to accommodate tapers. Both jaws rotate 360 degrees and can be locked in any desired location and the whole jaw assembly can be tilted upwards 90 degrees and locked in where needed. When tilted a full 90 degrees, the jaws are parallel with the bench top. Sweet!

The patternmakers vise inspired many copies over the years, including those made by Oliver, Wilton and even Stanley. In recent years Taiwanese clones of the smaller #2 have been sold by companies like Woodcraft and AMT, and a totally new version was introduced by Lee Valley, called the Tucker Vise. The Tucker vise added a quick release to the front jaw, and the unit was lightened by the use of Space-aged alloys which turned out to be stronger than the original cast iron monsters.

The Loin Miter Trimmer is one of those tools that looks like it's time has past. O'contraire mon frère! At first glance most folks get the misimpression that this tool is used to cut miters, but actually it is used in unison with a saw. Sort of the way a jointer is used to straighten the edge of a board prior to ripping it to width, the miter trimmer takes a board and trims the end of a miter to a precise miter, and leaves a glass-smooth surface in the process.

The Original Lion Trimmer is still made in the USA by The Pootatuck Lion Trimmer Company, as it has been since 1925!

Just like the Emmert vise, in recent years the Lion Trimmer has been extensively copied in Asia, but prior to the The Pootatuck Lion Trimmer Company, they were made by many companies such as Oliver, Fox and even Emmert. You'll find links to both old and new Trimmers and Vises, so bookmark us now and check back often.


Anonymous said...

Nice read. Just got my new vise this weekend. I've very pleased.

- Woodworking Ideas

johan mercator said...

Nice post! I linked to it from my post for my readers to get to know more about the Emmert vise.
Superb info!