Tool porn and web question


#1

First, I want to talk about the Red-E-Hand vise. Photographs cannot convey how solid and well made this thing is. And it is bigger than it looks as well. It moves on every axis, and holds objects very securely. It was expensive, but it is never going to break or wear out. I have eight vises in my shop, but this is the best by far.
You literally cannot do better.


Anyway, they used to sell these and some other things at www.redehand.com. The website is gone, and it would be nice if anyone here has the internet forensics knowledge to figure out what happened, if it does not take too much effort. There is also a facebook page, but it seems to be abandoned. I don’t know if they went out of business, were purchased by another company, or just got raptured up. It is sad when someone makes something of such high quality, then just vanishes.


#2

that can’t be healthy, especially when operating all those power tools. does your number of vices go up or down when you aren’t in the shop?

cool vise, though!


#3

I know that seems very specific. I was going to say that I had “many”, but then I counted them. It is a big shop. I planned to say something clever about the two meanings of “vice”, but it just did not happen. There are actually more than eight, but I did not count the ones that are part of machine tools or drill presses.

I did not notice my spelling error. Oh well.


#4

I have a vise that I bought from Big Lots for like $2 back in 1990 that is surprisingly long-lived, if basic. I also have one of those kinds that clamp onto the tabletop that I’m not really sure how I acquired, but I didn’t buy it. several visegrip pliers.

I drink a little, but not enough anymore that I’d call it a full-on vice, though.

Your Red E Hand looks fuckin boss.

My first comment is a pretty lame joke. sorry.


#5

EDIT: Deep is my dishonor, copious is my shame, questionable are my investigative skills.

The Whois records for redehand.com aren’t anonymized, obfuscated, or obviously falsified; and appear to be current. I wish there were some better reason for why I didn’t think to use the tool explicitly intended for determining who is behind a domain name first; rather than grovelling around. There is not.

All the grovelling below appears to have led me in the correct direction; and it definitely seems to be the same guy in both places; but not remembering to check whois is like not checking whether a cable is plugged in properly…

Hmm. The Wayback Machine has three snapshots for 2016.

Looks like March 4th is the site, as intended, while October 7th is “Coming soon - future home of something quite cool”, with a link directing the site owner to log in to ‘app.fastshoppingcart.com’ to launch their site.

Clearly, something bad happened after March 4th; though no additional snapshots are available.

redehand.blogspot.com points to the Google+ profile of a ‘Ben Lang’; but there’s very, very, much no there there; and that name brings up a lot of noise and no signal I can discern on both Google and linkedin. ‘Gundudes.com’ mentions “This week we interview Ben from Red E Hand.” on episode 275 of their podcast(the actual interview starts at ~26 minutes in), so he does seem to be the right guy, just not much pagerank.
The interviewer thanks Ben for being a sponsor of ‘the Utah Gun Exchange’(unfortunately, they don’t seem to list sponsors very prominently) at around 40 minutes in; Ben provides his URL, and mentions that there is also a contact number on the site; but doesn’t provide it on the podcast.

On a snapshot of their old ‘terms and conditions’ page, the user is instructed to contact 801-410-8900 if they need to obtain an RMA.

801-410-8900 is, currently, a number associated with “Dynamic Balance Machine”; which lists a ‘Ben Lang’ as a contact; and offers a variety of machine shop services which seem like the sort of thing you could use to build this sort of vice. DBM is also in Utah, which suggests that this is why the sponsorship mentioned in the podcast was of the site it was.

No clues on why Red E Hand appears to have retired as a direct-to-consumer thing; but looks an awful lot like the same guy, involved in the same area of endeavor. I’m not going to bug him just for research purposes; but if you actually want some more gear he is probably at least going to be polite about an inquiry.


#6

Wayback Machine shows the site going awry between March and October:
https://web.archive.org/web/*/redehand.com

Their site is theirs until July of this year and their Facebook profile hasn’t had a single anything since a response to a comment in 2016:

Given the stock that popped up on various sites, there’s still some available, but only what they have on the shelves.
http://www.knifekits.com/vcom/product_info.php?products_id=5272


#7

Thank you very much for your assistance. I will give him a call tomorrow, and see what is up.


#8

Jinxies!


#9

I had been doing some cleaning today, and just thought that I should check their site to see if there were cool accessories available. I usually wrap things in leather before clamping them in that vise. I was thinking of attaching delrin liners to the jaws, and figured that something like that might be available in stock. I have other vises with jaws lined with copper, wood, and leather. Panavise uses replaceable jaws with different materials, and I have a few of those. That can be a big deal when trying to firmly hold things with delicate finishes.


#10

No problem, always fun to poke around a bit. I would be interested to hear what the story is regarding the disappearance of the product, if you end up learning it. Since the man himself still seems to be around and active; my guess would be ‘machining for defense customers more rewarding than attempting to sell to people who think that Harbor Freight is usually good enough’; but that is pure conjecture.

Also that does look like a pretty sweet bench vise. I need to fabricate a justification for one…


#11

The Red-E-Hand is pretty hard to beat. For much less cash, you can go with this from Garret Wade-
http://www.garrettwade.com/ultimate-versatile-vise.html
That one is an updated version of the Shop Fox vise which is pretty common. Garret Wade adds another axis, and lets you lock the rotation without having to tighten it. It is also predrilled for linings on the Jaws. This is the type that I made copper inserts for.
A cool vise for knifemaking is https://www.pinterest.com/pin/355432595566769948/ , but that looks like one that would not be hard to make.


#13

Mmmmm, Garret Wade! I used to visit their store in SoHo just to ogle the tools, a regular tool porn peep show. Their catalog is the most beautifully photographed tools in the world. The only thing I remember buying there though was a Japanese double bladed pull saw.

It’s funny I’ve never felt the jones for a swivel vise like that, I usually just cobble something up from my collection of drill press vises, indicator holders and odd clamps. I’m sure I’d use it if I had it though.


#14

I spend a lot of time working with things held in vises at just the right angle. Some of the items are very expensive, and not owned by me, so it is worth it to use the right tools. I don’t buy a lot from Garrett Wade, but the vise I linked to is a real improvement on the Shop Fox version, and reasonably priced. it also mounts horizontally on the base, if needed. But I am a pretty hardcore tool fetishist. I really like the idea of being able to go into the shop and manufacture or repair almost any object. What I do not have is a bunch of CAD/CAM machine tools. Our machine shop is pretty much a snapshot of 1960s technology. I do have a network of friends who have those, and cutting lasers, that sort of thing.
But you also cannot have enough clamps. I have some really nice clamps, but the majority are cheap ones that I started buying in college.
If you are so inclined, I suggest you keep an eye on http://www.woodpeck.com/onetimerun.html They have a lot of interesting things available in small quantities. I have ordered dozens of jewelry-like tools from them. Quality levels are very high.


#15

Your shop sounds similar to mine, based around a 1950’s 10" Logan lathe and 1980’s Jet mill/drill. I’d love a Bridgeport or such but could not get it into any of my shops, always basements. I contemplate a Grizzly mini knee mill but can’t justify it, I can design for the capabilities of my shop. Everything I do is so custom and 1-off it never made sense to invest in CNC. I design in Sketchup and take a dimensioned drawing into the shop. Couple of years ago I had to do a 16" eyelid for a giant puppet and had a molding model 3-D printed, that was pretty novel but learning parametric CAD that would output an STL file was PITA.

My prized tools are the ones I inherited from my grandfathers, both metalworkers. Even something as simple as a tap holder or combo square gives me pleasure to use knowing it was one of theirs. On my toolwall, just to shock people, I have a giant eggbeater drill with a shoulder brace. That must have been fun back in the day.


#17

Ben Lang got back to me. Red-E-Hand is still being produced, but they had been ignoring the website, and did not know it was down. They do have the vise in stock, but you need to go through a retailer or contact them through www.dbmach.com.
But no new accessories are available, so I went ahead and made copper jaw liners.
Oh, and some more tool porn. These are Knipex, but we have several sets of shock-proof hand tools. We rarely use them for electrical work. We have them for assembly of parts with new paint or other delicate finishes, to avoid dings and scratches. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but it is a good one. And worth passing on.


MB


#18

If you mean it has a saddle end instead of a knob, those are pretty good tools. Knob-type eggbeaters are nearly useless, only suitable for making small holes in soft or thin materials with high-speed bits, but breast mills are much more effective, have more applications and are also fun to use. You can use your shoulder, belly or leg to push the saddle, but generally they are very shallow so that you can push with your chest.

I’ve seen a frame mortiser with a chest saddle, which was pretty cool. The idea was apparently that you’d be up in the air at a barn raising and you’d basically lay on the thing.

My shop is, um, eclectic. :slight_smile:


#19

Then when EOTWAWKI comes, I’ll be all set. Till then I’m sticking with electric. I also have Yankee screwdriver and a Yankee push drill, I remember seeing a telecom installer using one once. Whats funny is the technicians that insist on hand tools. I had a tech in to repair a range which required removing like a dozen screws from the back panel. I would have had them out with a drill in a flash, he laboriously hand unscrewed them all. My wrist hurt just watching.


#20

Me too, I reach for the forstners and battery-powered dewalt before I drag down down Granddad’s beautiful old brace and bits, but I’m not getting rid of the brace.

I have a Coffin-style screwdriver that I found in an oily corner somewhere. With a stave handle bound by hammered brass, it’s the oldest version of a push screwdriver I’ve ever seen. But of course it only screws in, it doesn’t unscrew, so it’s not a true Yankee screwdriver.

I wonder if anyone has made a yankee screwdriver that would accept modern 1/4" bits… ooh, Schroeder makes one. Pretty pricey. But look, there’s hex adapters for your classics!


#21

I used to be pretty obsessed with wooden boats and traditional tools. I still have pretty much all of them, including a couple of Stanley 45s. I have to say that power drills are a whole lot more pleasant to use than the old brace and bits. But I still have mine for boatbuilding after the apocalypse.


#22

I hear that’s going to be quite the thing. The political crank Dmitry Orlov has been designing a houseboat for the coming age of flood.