Harry Darbee Vise

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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by daringduffer » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:01 am

Mike62 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:01 pm

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.
It would have been a pleasure to sit there beside you. That kind of stillness is a blessing.

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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Theroe » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:15 am

The “sounds of silence “

You don’t miss it, until you don’t have it....
Soft and wet - the only way....
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by letumgo » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:14 pm

Our friend Tim Didas (tjd) has one of the Darbee vices. He was using it during the kids tying event earlier this summer.

Here is our buddy Tim (tjd) Didas teaching tying to a couple young lads:

The vice on the left is the Darbee vice, and the one on the right is an HMH.
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Bazzer69 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:21 pm

I would love to tie on one of these vises as a homage to Harry D and Elsie. I have a few original feathers from a genuine Darbee cock curtesy of a very kind member here. I’ll tie some of his patterns and publish them here.
Just gotta find a vise that’s not too expensive.
All my fly tying allowance for the next decade is being spent on another vise that’s a copy with improvements of a LAW vise!!!
Love both fly fishing and fly tying, been doing it for a while
But not much good at either
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by tjd » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:44 am

Hi Ray,

Thanks for posting the pics, great memories from a really nice event.
I haven't been on the board in a while...a little deer hunting and a lot of work.

I've had my Xuron vise for about 10 years. I purchased it from Capt. Larry Kennedy at The Bedford Sportsman in St. Simons Island, GA. A real gentleman and fellow Marine.

I've had the HMH for about 25 years, another great vise that will do anything I need.

I still use my Thompson Model "A", which has had several parts replaced when the company was still in business. I went through a few parts, and the vise is now a combination of chrome and black finished parts. The process of sending a broken or worn out part back for replacement, then getting one back through the mail was reasonable, but was one of the reasons I finally bought an HMH when I could afford one. I think I've had that vise for nearly 40 years, and with the interchangeable midge and magnum jaws, it could still handle any tying that I do...as long as I didn't wear out or break any more parts. I had a jaw snap while I was tightening the vise. Think of a loud "crack" and a bullet flying across my tying room and hitting a wall...fly tying, not an activity for the faint of heart, for sure!


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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by ForumGhillie » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:02 am


Nice to see you on the Flymph Forum.

I might have spare parts for a Thompson "A" vise if you need them. At one time I had a Thompson "B" vise (which I still have) and 2 Thompson "A" vises, (one in parts and one complete one).
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by upstatetrout » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:51 am

Tim good to see you posting.

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

Post by tie2fish » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:20 am

upstatetrout wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:51 am
Tim good to see you posting.

Tom :)
+1 Don't be a stranger, Tim.
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"
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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by tjd » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:59 am

Good morning, all. Thanks for the nice comments.

Life gets so busy...most of us want or need nothing more than the time to do the things we want to do, right?

John, thanks for your kind offer! The Thompson vise is in fine shape, and I don't need anything to keep it operational, but thank you. I squirrelled away a few washers and pivot pins (to replace the original rivet that needed to be replaced when swapping out the jaws). By sending a spare pivot pin to another tyer long ago, I've developed a valued friendship and source of wisdom, guidance, and inspiration). Incidentally, I've learned that the Delrin washers sometimes need attention and are the only things I've needed to replace on my HMH. A little cleaning and preventive maintenance a couple times a year is helpful.

The Xuron gets a little lube, and a good cleaning with a dry toothbrush, otherwise no significant moving parts to be concerned about.

Thanks Bill. I've always enjoyed our interactions, and you're another one of those good guys that are just so well rounded, skilled, and helpful...Tom, ditto! We need to go fishing. I had a couple of nice encounters with good fish last month before deer season got going.

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Re: Harry Darbee Vise

Post by Tom Smithwick » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:36 am

Hi Tim - I started years ago with a Thompson model A. It served me well for many years, but I did have a couple of the pivot pins snap, apparently from metal fatigue. After the second failure, I replaced the pin with a piece of hardened drill rod cut from from the shank of worn out drill. It was held in place on either side by pushing on cheap spring steel rod fasteners. It never failed again. Eventually I passed the vise along to a young student. I wish I had bought a lifetime supply of their ice tempered scissors.
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