In case you’re stopping here without seeing the project post, here’s my bench.
Benchcrafted’s Crisscross has been covered before I’m sure but I’ve only seen one posting about it by Jusfine. So I thought I’d cover a couple of points about it. First, the reasons I went with the Crisscross was I wanted a pinless leg vise to avoid bending over. I know there are other devices that work as well, but this one just suited my eye.
For me,the most critical step in the Crisscross install are the holes that must be drilled through the leg and vise chop for the 3/8” mounting pins. The Crisscross’ arms hang on these pins. (For more detailed description and pics visit Benchcrafted’s instructions here.) Since these pins will set the vice chop’s orientation to the bench it is imperative that the holes be straight both horizontally and vertically. I have to admit that drilling a hole straight through 9” of cherry intimidated me. Ultimately it turned out not to be as much of an issue as I feared it would.
I marked where the exit point of the hole should be before I drilled and here is the result.
It’s off about 1/32 of an inch. It turns out that there is enough play between the Crisscross and the wooden screw that it is not an issue. The vise chop is off about 1/32 as well.
It may be hard to see with the suede on the chop, but there is a very small gap at one end when the chop first comes into contact with the bench. But because there is some play the issue goes away immediately as the vise is tightened just the slightest. I mention all this because while I wouldn’t want to be off much more, there is some give in the situation.
A leg vise comes into the bench at a slight angle. When the vise is closed there is a small gap between the bottom of the chop and the bench leg.
What determines this gap is a steel plate in the bottom of the mortises. The bottom part of the arms ride against this steel plate.
To increase the gap you can add sheets of paper behind the steel plate(s). To reduce the gap you can recess the plate(s) in the mortise. I recessed the plates maybe a 1/32 of an inch. After I did this I noticed that in addition to reducing the gap, it significantly increased the strength of the vise’s “grip.” I’m guessing that comes from more surface area of the chop coming into contact with the board being clamped.
If you are going to install a Crisscross I would recommend you read Jusfine’s blog post about it. Both of these issues are covered and with more pictures.
The leg vise is great and the Crisscross is working flawlessly.
Next up, David Barron.
-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."