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Benchcrafted vise knobs are changing, and prices may be going up

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They're moving toward aluminum handles instead of wood to decrease production costs.  The tone of the blog also makes me think they're going to be increasing prices soon. 

The criss-cross leg vises are already backordered for a few weeks, so it may be too late for wood knobs, but if you're about to pull the trigger now may be the time.

They discuss it in their blog here.

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I just ordered and paid for one at Lee Valley.  As far as I know, I'm getting the wood handles. It should be here in the next week or so.

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23 minutes ago, Art said:

I just ordered and paid for one at Lee Valley.  As far as I know, I'm getting the wood handles. It should be here in the next week or so.

Idk that blog says recent orders are going to be the new knobs you might be safe but they are showing wood right now. I'd be upset looking forward to wood knobs and getting metal. The satin crinkle coat sounds like the worst option of them all. My old cameras are worn through and that's a camera that isn't in a shop and gets babied.

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Yeah i saw that email and my first thought was its a woodworking bench why not wood knobs...Then I remembered how easy it was to turn them when I made a new set out of Sapele for my bench and thought whatever while deleting the email :) 

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30 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Idk that blog says recent orders are going to be the new knobs you might be safe but they are showing wood right now. I'd be upset looking forward to wood knobs and getting metal. The satin crinkle coat sounds like the worst option of them all. My old cameras are worn through and that's a camera that isn't in a shop and gets babied.

I hope so.  I don't like the sound of aluminum.  On the other hand, it may force me to buy a lathe B)

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I get that you can make them but he seemed adamant about not offering an option without handles. I'd rather not spend any money on something that i plan to rip off and throw away. Heck a $5 savings is a long way towards some wood to turn your own knobs. Though i doubt crinkle coated aluminum is that cheap.

The whole thing just seems like they don't understand their market. Black crinkle coated aluminum has no place in a shop and will stick out. Woodworkers work wood not metal.... just seems off.

Edited by Chestnut
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I was more put off by the attitude of parts of the post and responses to comments than the fact they are changing materials for the knobs. 

I don’t care that you made poor business decisions and didn’t raise your prices when you should have. But to have requests for an option that would solve your apparent crisis, only to respond that it is “not something we’d ever do”? Come on!  

 

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Valid...but they've got us.  What's the alternative?  Lake Erie wooden screws with nothing comparable to the criss-cross?  

I placed my order this morning.  Perhaps I'll pay a turner to turn me a set of knobs, assuming the aluminum knobs suck a much as they sound like they'll suck.

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10 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Woodworkers wood wood not metal.

Quote of the day right there.  :D 

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15 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

Valid...but they've got us.  What's the alternative?  Lake Erie wooden screws with nothing comparable to the criss-cross?  

I placed my order this morning.  Perhaps I'll pay a turner to turn me a set of knobs, assuming the aluminum knobs suck a much as they sound like they'll suck.

Can use the screw and handle from lake erie and use the criss cross from BC. I'm honestly tempted to buy the criss cross and try and make my own screw and handle.

I also don't really get the insistence on infused wood. The knobs don't see huge forces our plane totes probably see more and they aren't infused. If they want to make things easier and cheaper just start turning knobs from cherry or walnut don't infuse them call it done.....

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4 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I also don't really get the insistence on infused wood. The knobs don't see huge forces our plane totes probably see more and they aren't infused. If they want to make things easier and cheaper just start turning knobs from cherry or walnut don't infuse them call it done.....

Agreed. Or maple. 

Great opportunity for someone that has a lathe and is interested in doing batch work for cash. 

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23 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I also don't really get the insistence on infused wood. The knobs don't see huge forces our plane totes probably see more and they aren't infused. If they want to make things easier and cheaper just start turning knobs from cherry or walnut don't infuse them call it done.....

I have non infused Sapele knobs and I haven't noticed any issues

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2 hours ago, pkinneb said:

I have non infused Sapele knobs and I haven't noticed any issues

I have some macassar ebony sitting on the shelf which would make some nice knobs. That or the Bocote that i bought a while back. But the thought of making them out of cherry or something simple is appealing as well.

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My vises will be delivered Friday, I have no idea if I get wood knobs or aluminum.  I guess (probably) they would have notified me if they were aluminum, so maybe I snuck in before the switch.  Maybe.  

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I just got mine a few days ago.  I got the wood ones.  I'm guessing Lee Valley may still have a supply of these left...

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4 hours ago, Minnesota Steve said:

They posted on Feb 14 that everything shipping had the new knobs...

http://benchcrafted.blogspot.com/2019/02/our-new-knobs.html

From the pictures I'd say they don't look bad...  But I still don't understand why they couldn't just do something simple.   

I disagree that's worse than i was expecting it just looks WRONG.

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Yeah not sure what they were thinking. I can tell you this I have never reached for one of mine and thought damn I wish it had more grip ;)

Good news is they are easy to turn. If your interested in a Beach set let me know not positive but I think I may still have the ones that came with mine, no charge.

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