Dad's Tools - Emmert Vise

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Forum topic by SteveM posted 02-24-2008 03:05 PM 5887 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 5452 days

02-24-2008 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: emmert vise

For as long as I can remember my Dad had an Emmert turtleback vise on his bench (the one he build before my siblings were born). We just completed the probate-court-mandated-mediation over distribution of his estate and neither my brother (the guy who builds custom houses for a living) nor me (who putters in his shop with some of Dad’s old tools) received the Emmert. It went to the youngest son of our sister who “managed” the estate and he thinks a bench dog is related to a poodle. Amazing! My brother and I had/have no interest in what little money there was in the estate but were/are very interested in the items with family history. The Emmert decision hurt.

I’m looking to buy an Emmert turtleback to have in my shop. It isn’t the ‘real’ one. The one with my Dad’s sweat, and some of my blood from 50 years ago when I was learning that sharp is sharp, on it but it will bring back memories none the less.

I’ve managed to locate one and am secretly buying that as a gift to my brother. Anyone know where I might find another?

Thanks for your help and I’d love to hear your stories of Emmerts or Dad’s old tools.

18 replies so far

View snowdog's profile


1181 posts in 5268 days

#1 posted 02-24-2008 05:15 PM

Sorry to hear about it. Good luck finding the vise. Maybe you can offer your sisters kid some $$ for it ?

It is hard no matter how things get divided up.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5446 days

#2 posted 02-24-2008 05:16 PM

ouch that’s too bad.
Estate distribution can be a trouble event, for sure.

Wish I could help with your search.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 5100 days

#3 posted 02-24-2008 05:17 PM

I see them from time to time on e-bay but they fetch quite a price. I was watching for them for a while but could never justify that kind of expense.

Lee Valley sells a knockoff looks pretty good

-- Scott - Chico California

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5273 days

#4 posted 02-24-2008 05:21 PM

That’s too bad. Maybe you can trade the kid something for it. How old is he?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5107 days

#5 posted 02-24-2008 05:27 PM

You have my sympathies on your father’s death. I have seen problems like this many times over the years and it really doesn’t make sense to me why items in an estate settlement cannot be distributed in a fair and equitable manner- particularly those whose only value is one of sentimentality.

I agree with snowdog. It might be worth a try or perhaps you have something of his grandfather’s for which he would be willing to swap.

Good luck.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5446 days

#6 posted 02-25-2008 02:09 PM

and then, maybe he will become a woodworker in his later years and the vise will then become a treasure to him as well.. you never know

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5084 days

#7 posted 02-25-2008 02:57 PM

Yepper, make an offer for that puppy, er… uh… vise! Other than that, I would haunt eBay as Emmerts turn up there fairly frequent. Just check the particulars closely as many of them are missing a part or two. Good luck.

J.C .

P.S. Also, be prepared to make a serious bid as they hold their value well.

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View HallTree's profile


5666 posts in 5052 days

#8 posted 02-25-2008 04:07 PM

Let him know that you and the other brother are looking for one and let him know how fortunate his is that Dad wanted to keep it in the family so he won’t sell it.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View SteveM's profile


108 posts in 5452 days

#9 posted 02-25-2008 04:42 PM

Thanks for the kind replies. Not much chance of getting the vise as it was a “spite’ thing that caused the mediation and the vise among other things will end up in the landfill before we ever see them. Oh well. Moving forward. Will keep my eyes on eBay and have searched Craig’s List but that takes work as you have to click on every location rather than a generic global search. But I did it.

Happy woodworking to all.

View insguru's profile


1 post in 3866 days

#10 posted 05-03-2011 04:08 AM

Hi Steve:

Just came across your post a bit late to be sure but I thought I would reply. I understand the feeling regarding the vise, my dad was a patternmaker for about 60 years and he had two emmerts, a turtleback and a U2 whic I inherited when he passed away. He used both vises working on multiple projects at one time at home while working on others in the shop where he worked. We both have put many miles on these vises but now I am in no position to make any more use of either so If you are still interested I have either one available. They are not by any means pristine or as I interpret that museum ready. The turtleback needs a new handle and the U2 need some Emmert blue paint other than that everything is there and works fine, dogs all present and accounted for.
If you are still interested email me and I will send photos. [email protected] in NJ.

Stan (insguru)

View Sgt374's profile


36 posts in 3879 days

#11 posted 05-03-2011 08:35 PM

Indianapolis,IN craigslist has one listed for $750.00

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3978 days

#12 posted 05-03-2011 08:46 PM

That really struck a chord with me, disgusted me. I’m sorry the chips fell as they did. Karma will straighten it all out eventually. I’m a huge fan of the Emmert, even one without provenance.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mvflaim's profile


193 posts in 4376 days

#13 posted 05-04-2011 12:27 AM

You can find them on Ebay from time to time but the shipping will cost you.

View chrisstef's profile


18138 posts in 4291 days

#14 posted 05-04-2011 01:11 AM

Steve, its a shame it went down like that and im sorry for your loss. When my grandfather passed away i was lucky enough to inheret a lot of his tool and even some that were my great grandfathers as well. There’s somethin about an old tool that tells stories and carries a legacy with it. Ive posted a few of the treasures i came across in pop’s basement … unfortunately rather few stories behind the work they did have been told but i know there was plenty of work done with em.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View SteveM's profile


108 posts in 5452 days

#15 posted 05-04-2011 04:06 AM

All, Interesting to see what comes up after 1163 days. I probably shouldn’t have vented that emotion in the original message but I guess that’s the benefit of hindsight. The good news is that as time passes wounds heal. The scar remains as a permanent reminder but the pain subsides and becomes a part of “normal” life.

Coincidently, my brother, son and nephew were with me at a remote location a month ago and we enjoyed our company as we remembered that 9 years ago to the day was when dad died. My sister remains in her little world with even fewer family members who will associate with her. Too bad in many ways but she earned every bit of it herself.

I’ve been lucky enough to have built a dedicated wood shop last year. My dad’s ashes are a part of the foundation and some of his tools are hung on the wall with pride. Some bring back a specific recollection of something we built together, others a more general memory and still others seem to retain the smells that came with sweat from hard work and Edgeworth Ready Rubbed pipe tobacco.

I hope you are one of the many of us whose woodworking adventures bring back memories of fun times with a parent or valued teacher. Sometimes when I’m “puttering” (that’s what he did) I reflect on just how lucky I’ve been in my life and thank him for the love and moral foundation he built in me.

Enough philosophy! This retired guy needs to get back to my second career as a firefighter while I think of my next wood project.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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