Harry Darbee Vise

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Bazzer69
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Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Bazzer69 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:32 am

Has anyone used a Harry Darbee vise? I’m intrigued by the design and I would like to try one if I can ever find a good one. Lots of his Catskill flies were “dressed” on one.
Bazza
Love both fly fishing and fly tying, been doing it for a while
But not much good at either
Greenwell
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Greenwell » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:29 am

I tied on one for years and it's a good piece of equipment. The Thomas was the original design and the one the Darbees used and described in Catskill Fly Tier. I well remember watching Harry and Elsie tie on them in their little green house above Hazel Bridge on the Willowemoc.
The Xuron vise was an improved model of the Thomas and was the one I had and still have. Every Catskill tier had one in the 1970's and they were about the best on the market. When the HMH became available many of us switched to that because of the rotary feature and interchangeable jaws. My HMH Standard is over 35 years old and is still the one I use.
The Thomas and Xuron both had a slightly softer steel in the jaws then other vises and held hooks perfectly. Also, there is no adjustment for different size hooks which is convenient, something like the Regal vise.

Writing this makes me want to dust off the Xuron and tie a couple Gordon Quills.

If you're interested I know where there are both models for sale at reasonable prices.
Last edited by Greenwell on Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike62
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Mike62 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:46 pm

Xuron, eh? I have one of those, though I have never tied on it; it was in my grandfathers tying kit that he kept at camp. Until this thread I had no idea what the name of the vise was. There were several other vises in his collection, some I actually knew of. There's a reasonably well kept Thompson 'B' that I've never tried. I think I'll remedy that situation...
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Theroe
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Theroe » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:00 am

Mike-post up some pictures of those old vices !
Dana
Soft and wet - the only way....
upstatetrout
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by upstatetrout » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:39 am

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Here is a nice Xuron I picked up last winter at a fly show in Ashville N.C. The local TU chapter had set up a rummage table and I got a great deal. It is like new.
Tom
"We argue to see who is right but we discuss to see what is right"
upstatetrout
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by upstatetrout » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:38 pm

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An original Thomas Vice.

Tom
"We argue to see who is right but we discuss to see what is right"
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tie2fish
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by tie2fish » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:57 pm

These are both beautifully simple and simply beautiful. I sense an Art Deco influence.
Some of the same morons who throw their trash around in National parks also vote. That alone would explain the state of American politics. ~ John Gierach, "Still Life with Brook Trout"
narcodog
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by narcodog » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:00 pm

I have two Thomas vises from different manufacturing eras. The difference is the size of the head, one is noticeably larger then the other and one is on a ball the other not. I also have an early version Xuron. I have tyed on all three and I like them. There is one item that is my holy grail is finding the attachable thread holder. There are a couple of those, one fits on a flat one the stem and the other is a clamp on.
"I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."
Mike62
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Mike62 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:01 pm

Theroe wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:00 am
Mike-post up some pictures of those old vices !
Dana
They're at camp. I was just there, too. We went in Sunday afternoon to shovel off the roof; we've already had 3' of snow. We put on snowshoes and dragged a tote sled full of fresh venison and the last of the partridge and spent the night. After we finished shoveling we sat there on the roof with a wee bottle of scotch and just enjoyed the absolute stillness. There's a few patches of open water still available and there are 4 Loons still hanging around...

I'll grab pictures when we go back up in a month or so.
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Boarmountain
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Boarmountain » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:38 am

I have something like that..... I'll have to find it and take a pic
Mike B.
International, North American, National champion taxidermist specializing in "catch & release" fish mounts
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