And Now for Something Completely Different – Photos of the JawHorse

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System - As Seen on TV!
Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System – As Seen on TV!

More writeup about the Jaw Horse from my visit to the design engineers available here

Some of these images are giving a direct comparison to the SuperJaws, other are simply to highlight JawHorse features.

So let’s see what all the fuss is about!

The JawHorse

The JawHorse

The JawHorse, set up and ready for action.  Some details to note here – 3 leg design means it is stable on all surfaces, irrespective of how uneven the ground is.  These legs, and the whole tripod design is strong too – it doesn’t notice me sitting / standing on it.  It can support up to 270kg (600 lb).

The two front feet have stirrups – good load transfer, but their primary role is so you put your foot into it if you need some extra stability.  You can also bolt or peg it to the ground if need be.

The black stirrup in the middle is how you apply load to the jaws.  You can apply a maximum of 100kg onto this stirrup (which is multiplied by 10 to get the 1000kg of clamping force).  You don’t jump on it – a gentle push achieves a significant clamping force.  You can completely starve a joint of all its glue easily if you get carried away (squeezeout).  The benefit here is it does not require your hands at all, so you can support the work piece(s) with 2 hands, while applying clamping pressure.

Side by side with a SuperJaws (in this case the Chinese assembled version (ie current)) and you can see the similarities.

JawHorse and SuperJaws

JawHorse and SuperJaws

JawHorse and SuperJaws

JawHorse and SuperJaws

The jaw is locked by the mechanical switch at the front – you can either activate the switch then clamp up, of clamp up and while maintaining the pressure, activate the switch.  To release the jaw, set the switch to unlock, then apply about the same amount of pressure to the foot stirrup as you did when setting the jaws.  You will hear a click, then release the pressure on the stirrup.

In the old (Aussie) model, the pressure could be released without standing on the stirrup, and if you were in its way, it kicked back with amazing force, and gave your shin a very good whack.  You never did it twice.  And as I hear yesterday, someone (whom shall remain nameless) even managed to get their head in the way.  Once!  This is certainly not a problem with the modern design.

Now, for those familiar with the SuperJaws, lets look at a couple of notable differences.

SuperJaws Leg Lock Cam

SuperJaws Leg Lock Cam

On the current SuperJaws, there is a cam on each leg to lock the leg on the open position (shown here in the closed position fwiw).  A cheap solution, and not particularly elegant.  (Remember, I am a big fan of the SuperJaws as a tool, so don’t take these comparisons as me just bagging the SJ)

JawHorse Leg Lock

JawHorse Leg Lock

This is the JawHorse solution, and it is very stylish.  Similar to a door latch, with a spring-loaded tongue.  This is easily retracted with the finger-slot seen here. Very neat.

The next comparison surprised me when I took the photo – I knew there was a difference, but when I put them side by side, I did a double take to make sure I hadn’t set the photo up wrong and created an optical illusion.

A SuperJaw Jaw inside a JawHorse Jaw

A SuperJaw Jaw inside a JawHorse Jaw

Have a look at the difference in size of the JawHorse jaw compared to the SuperJaw jaw (covering).  There is a huge difference in the area, and this is a big reason why the JawHorse is bulkier – it is stronger to cope with all this extra area.

Carrying the JawHorse to the site (if not in the shed) is very similar in both cases – both fold up neatly, and the rear leg becomes a handle.

JawHorse Folded Up

JawHorse Folded Up

JawHorse being carried

JawHorse being carried

(And yes, I am actually carrying it while taking the photo).  As the leg is locked at the back, and engages a slot at the front, this leg (now handle) has no trouble at all supporting the Jaws while carried to the job.

But at 20kg or so, you might not want to carry it far.  The JawHorse has something new:

Wheeling to the job

Wheeling to the job

The ability to use the rear leg as a handle, and roll the JawHorse to the job.  A detail I have never realised from the photos, is the black area at the bottom of the jaw front is actually a large roller wheel!

JawHorse Wheel

JawHorse Wheel

Neat solution to transportation eh!

When the unit is folded up, it is easily stored / transported, and this is something all SuperJaws have been able to do.

The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

From left to right, we have the JawHorse, the current model SuperJaws, and the older Australian-made model SuperJaws.  Note the oldest model has cross bracing on the legs which has vanished, and will not be coming back on future models.

The oldest SJ did one thing that was really clever – it could stand upright on either end – those Engineers nailed that, when folded up like this, it is stable both ways up.  I do miss that.  I don’t miss all the blood blister manufacturing points (aka pinch points) on the old model (I found them all first-hand!).  That original SuperJaws still is a kick-ass design though.

The Three Amigos Again

The Three Amigos Again

As you can see in each case, when folded up, the legs help hold components (and primarily the main stirrup) in place.  In the case of the JawHorse, this has been optimised, so the 2 main legs are held in place by the stirrip, which in turn is held by the rear leg, which is locked in its position at both ends.

Leg Retention

Leg Retention

Something which has never been lost, is the amount the jaws can open.  In their normal orientation, they can clamp about 450mm.

Normal Jaw Orientation

Normal Jaw Orientation

But then, by reversing that jaw you get…

Reversed Jaw

Reversed Jaw

940mm clamping range.  And then, there is an accessory (coming or available?) that is an extended jaw to give even more range.

Jaw Mechanism

Jaw Mechanism

This is the heart of the jaw mechanism.  On either side there is a spring loaded bearing that provides just the right amount of friction to the movable jaw.  In the centre is the 4 toothed lever that advances the jaw by 1″ each press of the stirrup. Underneath the jaw, you can see the holes that the toothed lever engages in.

So that is the JawHorse – heavy, powerful, stable, and yet still portable. I like it!

JawHorse

JawHorse

Latest writeup here: SSYTC009 Rockwell JawHorse

17 Responses

  1. Thanks for the comparisons but what about price comparison?

  2. Slav – that’s the same question I was about to ask – Emma Chisit?

  3. Given that it is not available in Australia as yet, and there are little to no SuperJaws on Australian shelves, I didn’t look to compare them on that.

    However, I gather the JawHorse is going to be around $230 to $260 at this stage, and the SuperJaws was $200.

    That will be for the Worx Professional version.

    There is also going to be a smaller cousin, closer in spec to the SuperJaws, and that is being aimed at sub $200. However, for the extra $30 to $60, I’d go with the professional version.

  4. I had written relative to the price for the Rockwell here in the USA, It is about $180.00 dollars and the stores can;t keep them on the shelves. Never saw anything move so fast. I have a SuperJaws and really like it.
    I also have a Workcenter 2000 which I have had a ball learning to build using metrics. The workcenter came by way of Canada and I got the last two in that country.
    Lucky me……
    First note to you wouldn;t go through,,,,,,,

    • re the previous note – not sure what the issue was, but I have some strong spam-blockers running, so something might have initially thrown up a red flag.

      The Jaw Horse is certainly a product worth noting, and given the marketing strategies and the quality of the product, I’m not surprised that they are selling so well.

  5. [...] The Rockwell JAWHORSE Posted on January 13, 2009 by Stuart My photos of the JawHorse available in this post here ==>(click for new window) [...]

  6. Haha, just saw this today, was quite a drift from their usual..

    theawesomer.com/rockwell-rk9000-jawhorse/9856/

    No idea what market they’re aiming for with the “model”, but it’s only more sales for them whichever way it goes.

    Cheers.

  7. Wow this looks like a great tool. It would be cool if the vice could turn sideways to hold stuff also.

    Rick

  8. There is an overhang with the jaws, so there is already a capability to clamp from the side. Obviously not as much jaw area than horizontal, but still pretty significant.

  9. Hi Stu,

    I’m wondering if you were able to find out where the Jawhorse is manufactured — You mentioned the engineers and designers were from Oz, but is it outsourced for manufacturing?

    • Manufacturing is done in China, but with very specific control over the quality and materials.

      In other words, China is used to keep the manufacturing cost down, but the product itself is not inferior because of that.

    • Jawhorse is made in China and the designer was TRITON staff Mr. D. But now he is working for worx.

      if you know the histroy, you never give such comments.

      • I do know the history, and you would too if you’d actually read through this blog.

        I’ve made perfectly clear in the past that this is a development by the original designers now working for another company.

        If you actually knew your stuff, you’d know Worx is not a company – it is a brand, and I’ve made that well known on this site, and who that company is.

        Finally, if you are really tritontools according to your email address, why are you using a hotmail account and not a legitimate email server? Or is it that you are not tritontools, given that you are in China, and are the company that is being used this week because it is cheaper than local manufacturing of quality product in Australia?

        I’m not fond of trolls – have you noticed?

  10. [...] UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here [...]

  11. [...] Comments Rockwell Jaw Horse … on And Now for Something Complete…Stuart on Linbide 336 4+1Stuart on Xmas Commissions have Beg…Stuart on Ratings for [...]

  12. [...] jawhorse stusshed.wordpress.com [...]

  13. I have noted that engineers iron jaws are not being sold with the JawHorse or wrox professional jawhorse.

    Does this make unsuitable for metalworking?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,687 other followers

%d bloggers like this: