The Hovarter Custom Vise X Link is a modern adaptation of the nineteenth century original. We have used modern materials and added improvements to make it function better and ease installation. When used with the VX 20 vise you will have an extremely smooth, quick action pin-less leg vise.
The X Link mechanism is designed to provide exact parallelism between the vise jaw and the vise leg. In practice however the vise jaw should be angled slightly so the top of the jaw contacts the work piece first and clamping pressure deflects the mechanism slightly until the jaw is parallel to the leg. This is easily accomplished with the included shims which are added behind the wear plate in the vise jaw.
The X Link is also designed to occupy much less vertical space than the original nineteenth century version. This allow it to more easily fit shorter benches without interference with bench features like stretchers. The smaller mortise allows the leg and jaw to be much stronger.
One of the biggest advantages of the X Link is the use of a spherical bearing for the pivot in the jaw. The spherical bearing allows a very tight clearance between the pivot pin and the link while allowing the joint to pivot freely. This makes installation much easier because the drilled hole for the pivot pin does not have to be so precisely perpendicular. You could drill the hole at a 15 degree angle and it would still work! The other advantage is that it prevents binding and allows the jaw to pivot slightly to adjust to out of square work.
The center pivot bolt has a precision ground shoulder and is threaded into the jaw link to reduce play while making it easy to remove the jaw if needed.
Finally, an optional drill guide and long drill bit make drilling the pivot holes easy and precise. The drill guide aligns with the edge of the jaw or leg to automatically give you the proper setback. When clamped to the leg or jaw it allows you to precisely drill the pivot hole in stock up to 9” wide without a drill press!