Shop Fox Parrot Vise

Michael Smith

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2010
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Do any of you use one of these? Any good? I will be using it for neck shaping and bolting it to a post that is bolted to the floor. The idea is to be able to get 360 degree access to the work. It gives me pause that the rotation and tilt are activated as the jaws are tightened. This vise will hold a jig that the unshaped neck is clamped to.
I do not have experience with the Parrot Vise, but I have had a Versa-Vise for my entire life, it belonged to my dad, it is the basis for the design of the Parrot Vise.
Mine is attached to the end of my work bench, and I use it to hold necks while shaping, among a million other uses. I do not use a neck holding jig, only clamping the neck in the vise in different positions. I use a cork pad to make up for the neck taper as needed.
If your post is very stable, I don't see why your design will not work. Neck shaping does not require much force, but other operations may, like sawing metal or tapping/threading things.
You can always move the Vise to other mounting positions, such as on a work bench, if the need arises.
I have a Zylis vise, I love it. You can pick them up on ebay for a little under $100. Very versatile...
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I have two Parrot vises in my shop. I use them all the time for many tasks. They're especially handy for neck shaping. I highly recommend.
I have one of the parrot vises and with a couple of different jaw inserts, it earns it's keep.

You might also consider this sort of vise.Patternmakers vise.jpgI am not sure who makes makes/sells them these days.
I've seen them in shops that carve guitar necks and gunstocks.
I have both the parrot and the vise pictured above. I find that the parrot is good for very small parts and the one pictured above for holding larger things like necks etc. Both good but if I had to pick just one, it would be the larger one.
I recently got a parrot vise, and I love it. I use it primarily to hold necks for shaping, but it is great for a variety of tasks. It holds the work nice and high above its (the vise's) body. Sturdy and reasonably priced. I haven't had the need to turn the jaws on their side, but others might. The cam mechanism that locks the rotation when the jaws are tightened is simple and effective.

Get (or make) some protective, pivoting jaws for it; particularly if you will be clamping necks or other oddly shaped pieces. Here is a link to a thread that Timbuck started on the subject -helpful. And DO embed some strong magnets in the jaw liners - they are much more friendly when they stay put. The magnets keep them from flopping around, but let go when clamping pressure is applied in a contrary direction.
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Ukes 005.jpg

My Parrot vise is mounted on a simple "T" that clamps in my bench vise when needed. I made the pivoting inserts shown here:

I've carved uke and banjo necks with this setup. I've never had occaision to turn it on its side for the uke necks, but for some reason I have turned it for the banjo necks. Can't remember why right now, but it works fine in that configuration as well. I love it.
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