What's this blog all about? Connecting Emmert Patternmakers Vises and Lion Miter Trimmers with New Owners!
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.
What are they worth? I think because they are so rare very few people know about them, so they either sell for $20 or $150! It's crazy and there is no rhyme or reason to the pricing.
Check www.PatentPlaceUSA.com for a copy of the US Patent reproduced on Southworth parchment paper.
Click this link to see Wilton Universal Paternmaker's Vise for sale on eBay at this moment. (Don't hold your breath! They are rare as hens teeth.)
Click this link to see all the Wilton vises for sale on eBay at this moment. This will return a LOT of vices, because Wilton has been a prolific manufacturer of vises.
Click this link to Buy the Woodriver Vise Emmert Vise Clone from Woodcraft
As a woodworker Shopsmith stands out as a great supplier of tools, but H. Gerstner & Sons is the pinnacle of craftsmanship. They've made machinist's tool chest from wood since 1906! I've been shopping for them for some time, and like this blog I've started a blog to make it easy for me to store my refined eBay search links and other data that I've collected over the years. Some of the links on the blog will lead to tool chests from resellers like Woodcraft and Amazon, and other links will be to tool chest plans and parts.
Drop by http://gerstner-tool-chest-hunter.blogspot.com and check it out.
It was only after I studied the photo that I realized what a gem it was.
What do you notice?
Front and center is a Dosch miter trimer, which was patented in 1900; but around it are a few of the most modern tools in the woodshop.
- A wooden box with a Lamello biscuit joiner.
- Several cordless drills.
- A stack of edge banding for use on the edge of melamine particle board.
- A "Systainer" from Festool which contains "Domino" tenons for the Domino machine.
- To the immediate left of the miter trimmer is a shop-made fixture for routing a mortise.
Click the pic to Biggie-size it.
Click on the Pic to Biggie-Size it
If you don't know this my bride has been operating a web site for almost 10 years welling restored US Patent Art Prints, and we are slowly betting around to adding some of the best of them to shirts, mugs, shop aprons and more. Click on this clever link: Emmert-Lion-Tool-Hunter Shirts, Mugs and Stuff Make sure you leave the store open on your computer as a subtle hint for Father's Day.
Another interesting development is there seems to be a non-stop supply of Emmerts on eBay this season. As I type this there are no less than 5 of them at auction, so if you act now you might even have your vise before I get mine! Emmert Patern Makers Vise's for sale on eBay
UPDATE Dec 11th 2009
The post above was written May 5th 2009 and believe it or I received the Emmert vise mentioned above just this week. Rather than ship it we used a network of friends and coworkers to pass the vise from Texas to Alabama, to Atlanta, to Greensboro and finally to High Point! I was in no rush because I've been traveling a lot for work and I also don't have a bench that will support it! The one dissapointing thing is that it has a chunk of cast iron missing from the mounting plate. I'll have to look for a replacement, or perhaps find someone who can repair it without warping it. We'll see.
Here's a great decorating idea for your Shop, Office or Den. Lots of other Patent Art Prints of Woodworking tools and more so check it out. This is a Patent Art Print of the original Lion Trimmer. See this patent and more at http://www.patentplaceusa.com/
Here's a clone of the famous Lion Trimmer which was sold through an eBay Store for $149 + $50 Shipping on Dec 13th 2007.
Here's a link to the same eBay seller who seems to have an endless supply, but take note that though the eBay ad below indicates that the shipping cost is $30, shipping into the USA is $50.
Sold on eBay with one bid only (see, I told ya) for $470.00 + $60 S&H on April 8th 2008.
Here's an Emmert K-16 No. 2 Universal Patternmaker’s Vise which is for sale on eBay.
Quoting the listing: "This is a number 2 pattern maker’s vise, model K-16, made by Emmert Mfg. Co. of Waynesboro, PA, in good used condition. The jaws measure 5 inches by 14 inches, with a pair of steel-faced jaws and a pair of retractable dogs. The jaws can be tapered for non-parallel workpieces by raising or lowering the handle, and the vise can be pivoted or tilted up and down (the tilt bar and stanchion are missing, however). There are no cracks or welds in the vise. I don’t know what color the vise was originally, but it is light green now. The vise works well, but could use a lube. "
Sold on eBay for $384.75 + $50 S&H on April 3rd 2008
Shipping may be in two packages to keep weight under UPS maximum of 70 lbs. OR pick up near Roanoke, VA and save the shipping charges.
Here's an Yost Patternmakers vise for sale in an eBay Store, which means it's for sale at a fixed price with no deadline. It's what is called a turtleback vise, which adjusts at the turn of a knob. I first listed this link back in Nov 2007, so a note to the seller about considering a lower listing price might be in order.
First off, I don;t know what the deal is with the eBay photo below, but the pics on the listing look just fine. Well, that really depends on what you mean by fine. This is one of the roughest looking Miter Trimmers I've ever seen, but if you you are a collector of American Machine brand it could be the buy of your life. Please don't bid on this unless you are very mechanically inclined! Listing ends Jan 27th.
Dosh miter trimmers were made from the early 1900's until the early 1970's and were a close copy to the Lion Trimmer. This one looks nice and clean. Ends Jan 27th
Pictured above and linked below is a Dosch Mfg Miter Trimmer which is for sale on eBay. The Dosch trimmer was patented in 1900 and was in production from 1900-1970. The Buy It Now price is only $10 more than the opening bid, so don't mess around... Buy it!
Here's a rare Lion Stand Miter Trimmer called the Miter Master. It's located in Michigan and is available as an eBay Best Offer sale. This means that even if your best offer is below the very low $325 Buy it Now price, you can still be the winner! This sale is good until Dec 20th.
Pootatuck has got to be the silliest name for a tool company ever, but this company has been making the Original Lion Miter Trimmer (or Mitre Trimmer) since 1925! This eBay ad shows a $19.05 shipping charge, yet the ad itself states that the shipping should run about $35. Before bidding I suggest that you contact the seller and ask for some clarification. The auction ends Dec 18th.
The AMT Miter Trimmer was the first Asian clone of the Lion Trimmer and was very well made. This one is for sale on eBay 'till Dec 16th
OK, I know this isn't a Patternmakers Vise, but it is one fine tool and I would guess anyone who values an Emmert also knows the value of the Lion Trimmer. It sold on eBay for $230.01 on Dec 11, 2007
Imported from Taiwan by ACCURA MACHINE TOOLS, this is a clone of a small Emmert Patternmakers vise for sale. Note that even though it is "small", it weighs-in at over 50lbs! This is an eBay Store item, which means it will sell for the $200 price, even if it takes some time. As of this entry they have two on hand. Looks like a good option for the budget-minded, and it is a complete tool too.
Here's a typical example of the small #2 Emmert Patternmakers Vise for sale in Ohio. Note that the #2 features a single Dog. It has had a couple repairs, but looks like it would make a good addition to you shop. It's in an eBay Store, meaning it is not an auction but rather a Buy it Now item. They are asking $400 for it, but they also state that they will take offers, so give it a shot and let me know who you make out.