Workbench Build #40: Leg Vise #1.. Started the Chop...

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 08-17-2013 04:15 AM 2699 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 39: Stretchers and Shelf Part 40 of Workbench Build series Part 41: Leg Vise #2.. Another Item Off The List... »

Today was almost a wash. Had errands to run this morning and the boy had a Dr appointment this afternoon ANNNND I have to work tonight so not much in the way of free time in the shop but was able to get some progress made on the leg vise. And I am happy to report that no electrons were killed during todays progress :D I have some Galoot points to recover lol..

First things first I had to flip then rotate my top so I could get some measurements made and have access to the wagon vise. Flipping is fun and rotating it is even more fun lol.

Then I got all my vise hardware together. It has been a few months since I last got everything together so I was relieved to find everything in one piece still lol.

Now, if you read the instructions for the BC glide vise which is more or less what this is designed after it says to measure for the parallel guide you install the nut at it’s farthest point. Hold that on one side of the leg and measure from the front of the leg to the flange. Ok that makes sense.. then it says subtract the chop thickness.. wait what? Doesn’t the PG go through the chop?.. moving on it then says to add the thickness of the leg.. now hold on a second.. why did I go through the song and dance of balancing this on the side of the leg if I am going to just add that back in? Then it says to add 2” for the upper guide wheel (which I won’t have but added it anyway because of the chain vise hardware) then add back in your chop mortise..

So basically they made a very simple measurement very complex. Basically… measure from the nut to the flange and add 2”.

So that is what I did lol..

It came out to just a hair short of 19 3/4” so I rounded up and added in my 2” which gets me 21 3/4” of parallel guide. Hopefully that turns out to be correct.

Got out my piece of maple and cut it to length.

Then my attention turned to the chop it’s self. I have had my last large piece of red oak sitting on hold for the leg vise since I started ripping them for the top. However now that I look at it again.. I might have held back a better looking piece lol.

I measured out for the screw hole and drew out the rough shape then ripped the side down with my increasingly dulling new Stanley disposable saw.

Then came the curved shoulders. I pondered this cut for a bit and decided to notch it out and then carve out the waste. Worked like a charm!

Broke out the #4 and the #130 to clean up the cuts and whala.. one half finished. I’ll smooth the curve out more when I do the final shaping/sanding.

Then simply repeat these steps on the other side..

Then into the wagon vise it went to get flattened and smoothed out. And here is the rough product so far. I plan to laminate a 1” thick piece of cherry onto the front to thicken up the chop a bit. Right now it is a little under 2” and I would like to get it closer to 3” if I can.

I also measured it out for clearance of the base joinery and it looks to be close but I think I can persuade it to squeeze in there somehow.

That’s all for now. I hope to get much more done tomorrow so stay tuned.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

9 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18791 posts in 2621 days

#1 posted 08-17-2013 11:12 AM

almost everything you do is by hand, yet you bought the magic leg vice. that just makes me smile. And ii think that’s the first time I seen someone actually use a #130.. I can see the end now.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Belg1960's profile


1072 posts in 3119 days

#2 posted 08-17-2013 11:51 AM

Seems like the new mallet is coming in very handy. When I started reading your text about measuring the length of the parallel guide, wow talk about making an easy measurement hard. LOL Am really enjoying looking over your shoulder on this build, I’m guessing from the what you have posted that you prefer to work mostly with hand tools. I just wonder why then are you using that el cheapo saw??

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2007 days

#3 posted 08-17-2013 12:04 PM

Don – If you are refering to a Benchcrafted vise then no no nono.. I did nothing of the sort. This was modeled after it using the measurements provided on their documentation but I made it myself. If you look back about 40 blog entries I have the build process of that in there somewhere lol (good god.. has it been 40 blog entries for this bench?) The Chain Vise hardware was provided by Jim at a great price for me to test out and review.

Pat – Yep the new mallet works Great! I am using the cheapo saw because I needed a sharp saw now and don’t have the time to get all the needed sharpening supplies and time to learn how to sharpen the saws and stay on track of my deadline on the bench. So a cheapo saw was the best option for now. Don’t worry I have a few nice vintage saws in the wings waiting for their time to shine.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View theoldfart's profile


9773 posts in 2505 days

#4 posted 08-17-2013 01:27 PM

Eric, you really think 2” of oak is not thick enough for the leg vise?

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2007 days

#5 posted 08-17-2013 02:08 PM

I’m sure it would be but everything I have read about leg vises says thicker is better?

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15378 posts in 2672 days

#6 posted 08-17-2013 02:20 PM

^ it boils down to aesthetic beefiness.

And ditto an Don’s comment, re: the #140 in use. That’s a first for me, too.

Eric, it’s looking great, well done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Tugboater78's profile


2746 posts in 2246 days

#7 posted 08-18-2013 03:48 AM

Another step closer, lookin good!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3205 days

#8 posted 08-21-2013 06:08 PM

This is going to be a really great looking bench Eric!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2007 days

#9 posted 08-22-2013 03:19 PM

Thanks guys ;-)

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

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