Workbench #11: Tail Vise Has Begun

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 10-10-2011 04:59 AM 10412 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Making Wooden Nuts Part 11 of Workbench series Part 12: Bench Dogs »

Hello. Since my 7th workbench post I got the shoulder vise done and started work on the tailvise.

This is a picture of the vise from underneath. I have the bench top upside down while I am working on the tailvise.

I first tapped the nut in the endcap for the vise. If you look at blog post #10 you can see me making the nut for the tail vise at the end of the video.

You can see the 1 inch deep notch cut above the nut which allows for the covering of the tailvise to slide over.

After I made the nut I used a handsaw to crosscut the chuncks off where one of the guide blocks will go.

I had the rip cuts already made before glue up, so that after assembly all I needed to do was crosscut the blocks off. I used a shoulder plane to get the surface flush and parallel to the end cap.

If have one of the guide blocks here with my winding stick on it and one on the end cap to make sure they are parallel. This will be crucial in making sure the vise runs smoothly.

I then cut the parts for the vise to size and laid out the dovetails on the side piece of the vise, cut them out on the bandsaw and laid out and cut the pins. When you are milling the parts for your vise make sure the side piece for the vise is the same width as the front lamenation for your bench to make sure the dogholes are all inline. Also make sure the thickness of the vise parts are the same thickness as the end caps for your bench. Otherwise you will need to modify the position of the guide blocks. The Sketch Up plans for the Frank Klausz Replica Workbench have 4” thick endcaps, but mine are 4 1/4” inch so the 3 parts for the vise are also 4 1/4” thick.

The joints didn’t turn out as perfect as I would have liked. So I will need to put some thin shims in when I glue the joints together. But the strength of the joint is incredible none the less.

I then cut out the space on top of the front piece with the bandsaw.

I then used my block plane and shoulder plane to true up the surface. I would continually check my progress by putting the piece in place on the bench and checking with my winding sticks to make sure it was parallel to the end cap, just like the place for the guide block.

To get the proper amount cut off the vise part depends on the thickness of the bench top and the thickness of the covering on your vise. The plans call for a cover 1” thick and the bench top thickness is 1 3/4” thick so the amount needed to take off was 3/4”

I then used the router and the template to cut the dogholes. Make sure to face them towards the dogholes in the bench top. I made a small mistake routing the dogholes in the vise because I had the cutout positioned too far down. In the bench top the cut out is placed 1 1/2” down from the top, which is what I did in the vise, but I forgot to take into account the 1” thick cover. So the cut out will be 2 1/2” from the top. All it means is I will need bench dogs slightly longer than in the bench. I plan on making a dog for every hole anyways.

Here is the simple template I made for the dogholes.

I then made the 1/4” thick cover to go over the dogholes, and glued it down.

I also finished the guide rod for the vise.

It shouldn’t be too long before I have the vise working. I realized while writting this that I had some difficulting trying to describe all the parts and give them names. So I am thinking that when I have the bench done I will make a Sketch Up drawing available and do a video summerizing the bench. When I started this blog I wanted to thoroughly explain the joinery and the tailvise in particular, because I found it hard to get good pictures and especially a good source to explain the process of making the vise. I am hoping that through this blog I can give you a better look into the construction of this style bench so you can decide on your benches design. When I first looked at bench designs I wanted a tailvise in this style, but thought it would be very complicated to build, which was mostly due to the lack of info I could find on it. So hopefully this series provides someone with the info they need to understand and demystify the details behind this bench, and the vises.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

10 comments so far

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 06:23 AM

“demystify the details behind this bench”
I’m already confused. Haha Nice job anyway. ;)

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2880 days

#2 posted 10-10-2011 07:16 PM

haha. As things come together it will make more sense. I can already see the finished bench in my head. After I complete the bench I should take it all apart and describe it. Its probably easier understanding it backwards after seeing the final product first.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2681 days

#3 posted 10-10-2011 08:18 PM

Ok, I saw how you made the female threads, but how did you make the male threads on the dowel?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2880 days

#4 posted 10-11-2011 03:18 PM

If you go back to my 9th Workbench blog post called Making Wooden Screws you can see how I make the screws.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2681 days

#5 posted 10-11-2011 03:33 PM

Thanks a lot! Very clever I wish I had seen your videos before I bought the LN vises, I would have gone for the wooden screws, they look great.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15706 posts in 2824 days

#6 posted 10-11-2011 03:50 PM

What an amazing level of craftsmanship going into this build! Simply outstanding, thanks for sharing!

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

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2880 days

#7 posted 10-14-2011 01:22 AM

Thanks again for the comments.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 3702 days

#8 posted 10-19-2011 04:32 PM

Beautiful work! Your signature block is more than fitting.

-- Regards, Norm

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 2600 days

#9 posted 11-24-2011 06:09 AM

I also enjoyed the “demystify the details.” That’s what I need! Demystification! hahaa beautiful work. I haven’t finished reading all the blog, but I am interested in the sketchup file if you make it available. Thanks for sharing. Onward!

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View bravozulu's profile


14 posts in 2687 days

#10 posted 12-02-2011 08:47 AM

I haven’t carefully read your blogs. Did you mention somewhere the source of the plans you used? Not for the whole bench, but for the Tail Vise section?

Is it digital or online somewhere?

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