where can I find a finger vice

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by hikepat, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Another post on the knee vices got me to thinking which is scary some times.
    I have liked the look of the finger vices shown in some of AK Best first addition books I have, but even though I have watched for one I have never come across one. from the photos they look a little like a pair of hackle pliers with a knob screw on the side to lock the hook in place. Seems like a simple device that would be fun to tie on once in a while, while on the road around the house while watching tv or at work. Has any one used one of these before who can comment on how well they work? Also does any one know if you can still buy one or how much they cost?
  2. About ten or fifteen years ago, my Dad bought me a little fly tying tools kit that came with a tiny little vise that could screw into a base or used handheld. The vise itself wasn't more than a couple of inches tall and did not have great holding power. In fact, I found that I could hold the hook better with my hands than I could in that little vise. I haven't seen the one that you're talking about but hopefully it would hold better than mine. The best little hand held vise that I've used was a small pair of vise-grips, the pliers, and they only worked okay. If you can post a picture of the vise that you're talking about, I'd like to see what it looks like.

    Steve S
  3. I bought two vises from a South African blacksmith about 6-7 years ago. The shipping
    was 2-3 times the cost of the vises. He made them from needle nose pliers. He heated
    them up (is that annealing?) in a way that made them soft, rounded the front and bent the
    handles closer together. Then he bored a hole through the ends of the handles--made a threaded
    hole in one handle and wider smooth hole in the other, so a long thin wing-nut bolt could be used
    to clamp the jaws tightly together--by screwing the handles together.
    Then he heated the tool up again and cooled it off in a way that made
    the steel hard again.

    You can put a #2/0 salt water hook in this vise and then bend it for all you're worth.
    The hook doesn't slip. It bends or breaks. This vice can be mounted on a stand, or held in your hand.

    Seems like somebody should mass produce hand vises like that (made from needle nose pliers).
    I gave one pair away. I wouldn't part with the other. I use it a lot.
  4. I think you should be asking for a finger "vise". Judging by the number of Yahoo Slurp Spider folks accessing this site, asking for a finger "vice" may get some totally different responses :rolleyes:
  5. fly tying is a vice. Once you get started, it grips you like a vise.
  6. I know that flies were classically tied this way in the past, using hand held techniques. I enjoy someone's enthusiam to tie in this manner. I knew of a guy that tied classic streamer trout patterns in this fashion. I know that I am the type of person that might attempt to do this, but then slip it in the Renzetti after about 30 seconds.
  7. I used a set of channel locks as a hand vice when I was a starvin student. You can tie anything from a 22 scud hook to a harpoon with them. :beer2: It's not a bad Idea to grind the teeth off them though. Putting a hook in them crooked will crimp it otherwise.
  8. I will try to post a photo the end of this weekend. Already tie some fly using just by fingers but the fingers cramp up quickly unless tying larger flies. I have tried to use a pair of vise grips but they just did not hold the hook very well.
  9. I'd like to see some photos as well as photos of the vise made from Needle nose pliers. I've been keeping my eyes open for used Renzetti traveler jaws (screw type) to mount on an antler or wood handle for use as a hand held vise but haven't had time to really pursue the idea.
  10. Here's a quick photo of the pliers in hand-held mode:


    ...and another photo of the same pliers attached to a homemade
  11. Just thought I'd toss in a picture of Harry Lemire tying a fully-dressed, classic Atlantic salmon fly without the use of a vise; give ya somethin' to shoot for.
  12. No kidding! Harry is probably the only person who can create a major crowd-stealing scene at a fly fishing show by showing up with nothing but his hands. His mitts are a thing of grace and beauty to behold. He's one of those people that make you say to yourself, "I wanna be like him when I reach his age."
  13. Anyone have any used Renzetti screw type jaws laying around?
  14. If you happen to be passing through the University District, you might consider dropping in at Hardwick's. It's a hardware store located near the intersection of NE 42nd Street and Roosevelt Way. Though I would be surprised if you found your finger vise, you might be able to find the parts and materials to construct your own.

    Anyone who has ever been into Hardwick's knows that they are the hardware store of last resorts, as they tend to have the one thing you can't seem to find anywhere else. They're chock-a-block with some of the most amazing tools you'll ever see in one place. You'll probably need at least an hour to absorb even a quarter of what they carry there. Talk about sensory overload! Still, it's my favorite hardware store to wander around in a daze.

    Good luck!
  15. Here is the finger vise I am looking for. Turns out its from page 60 of Fly Tying Materials Their Procurement Use and Protection by Eric Leiser and not AK Best. Its the main item shown with the #3 below it. The book was from 1973 so it was around back then.
    As to just using my fingers I have tied about 2 doz or so flies in the last year alone with just my fingers. Mostly larger flies for the salt or a few weeks ago some Sockeye flies for the Russian but I find my finger cramp after a couple flies and I liked the look of this option I had come across a few years back in this book but even though I have looked for I have not yet found a place to get this vise and am looking to see if others have. I have also used a pair of vice grips but found them to be to bulky for my needs.

    Attached Files:

  16. Hey Pat,

    You know, I did see that vise somewhere online. Where, I can't recall, but I know I saw it once not too long ago. Don't give up hope yet!

  17. Hey Pat,
    That looks almost exactly like the one that I have. If I can find it tonight, I'll give it to you.

    Steve S
  18. Northern Sales had one the last time I was there.

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