Emmert Turtleback vise Mounting

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Forum topic by mlk1005 posted 12-30-2016 02:50 PM 3611 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 1482 days

12-30-2016 02:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: emmert turtleback vise patternmakers

I have recently finished cleaning up and repainting my Emmert Turtleback vise.

I’m hoping to get some opinions about how best to mount it. Ive seen people inset the vise so the back jaw is flush with the side of the workbench top and I’ve also seen them mounted with just the hinge inset. I’ll be one of those people who is building a new workbench just to hang this heavy vise on and I’d like to get it as close to right as I can. My top will be a 1 3/4 inch thick hard maple butcherblock type. Aside from the inset dilemma mentioned earlier I’m also wondering if I should mount it inboard or outboard of the leg. The bench will be small (50” x 42”) to fit my garage workshop. Any guidance offered would be greatly appreciated!

-- Mark, St Louis, MO

5 replies so far

View JADobson's profile


1449 posts in 3077 days

#1 posted 12-30-2016 03:04 PM

I don’t know anything about mounting the vise but I wanted to say the vise looks great.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Rich's profile


6385 posts in 1556 days

#2 posted 12-30-2016 05:22 PM

That’s a cool vise. I’ve never seen one before. Just looking around at images on the Internet, it looks like most of them are mounted with the hinge mortised into the surface of the bench top as you described.

BTW, another thing I see looking at those images is that yours looks about ten times nicer. That really is a great job you did.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Clarkie's profile


501 posts in 2807 days

#3 posted 12-30-2016 05:33 PM

Hello Mark, Nice job on the Emmert. I am going to give you a site on mounting,
I have had my share of Emmert vises in the past and know they are top notch, so, take your time in mounting. You’ve done an excellent job of refurbishing the vice and I know you’ll do the same in the mounting of it. Have fun, make some dust.

View mlk1005's profile


20 posts in 1482 days

#4 posted 12-30-2016 11:56 PM

Thanks to all for the kind words. This was a fun little project. In the interest of full disclosure however, I must give some credit to my awesome neighbor who works for an abrasive blasting equipment company. He sandblasted the entire thing for me just like he has for every other chunk of antique iron that has followed me home. The guy I bought it from had three, this one was the ugliest but I thought the best and certainly the most complete. He decided he was never going to get around to mounting any of them so this one was secretly added to my garage collection.

Clarkie, thanks for the link, very helpful!

Starting bench construction this weekend!!!

-- Mark, St Louis, MO

View Marcial's profile


207 posts in 1512 days

#5 posted 12-31-2016 03:18 AM

Congratulation on your vise. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore. I have the Highland WW version which is smaller but still a bit of a beast. The instructions called for a minimum of 1.5” top thickness minimum. Yours is at least 25% larger and heavier so I’d advise at least a 3” thick top. Mine is medial to the leg and also inset. It will help then for securing longer boards.

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