New Workbench #2: Tail / Wagon Vise Design.

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Blog entry by Letorix posted 09-14-2011 04:35 AM 7335 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: New Workbench, Part 1 - Base Design Part 2 of New Workbench series Part 3: Square Dog Hole Strip »

Well figured it was time to start understanding and designing the tail vise.

I have this model:

Instructions for it are here.

Here is what I have so far, wondering if a 12” end is a bad idea, also thinking I may be able to shorten it up some.
Also thinking about the over all height, I see other benches where the vise is taller than the height of the table thickness. I’m really anxious for input here.

I have to gouge out a track for the vise nut, I need to figure out overall travel dimensions.

Anyone else seen or used one of these vises?

7 comments so far

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2502 days

#1 posted 09-25-2011 04:55 AM

Well sad to say this is my first attempt at a dove tail. Background, a new TS tenon jig was included with my TS, turns out it was never used. Figured I’d use it to cut the pin on the tail vise today. See if you can figure out what I did wrong right off the bat.

Anyway I believe I can still save it.

I thought I was going to be able to touch up with a Japanese type saw I picked up some how. WRONG!

Anyway got most of the tail cleared out, this is going to be a real challenge. I hope it all doesn’t end up in the scrap heap.

I guess the square had been dropped had to go file off the bumps… :-(

I hope I can stop chipping and carve the rest to a smooth flat finish.

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2502 days

#2 posted 10-07-2011 10:08 PM

Well this has turned out to be more of challenge on the tail vise than I imagined, but I’ve made some progress.

I need to flatten up the other surfaces before I can mount it properly. I was worried about tear out if I ran the glued up piece with the dog holes back through the planer, so I’ve been working on learning to use my planer I picked up for $28 on Ebay.

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2692 days

#3 posted 10-07-2011 10:13 PM

Looking good, brother! MAN! just look at that surface the plane leaves. Are all you random orbital sanders out there looking at that pic above me? ;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2502 days

#4 posted 10-08-2011 04:54 AM


Al, you took the words and thoughts right out of me, I’m still smiling from feeling that smooth wood. It really is incredible. I never would have believed I’d be able to hand plane that hard maple and much less it be that smooth. The oak was a bit proud, I started on it….

I’m starting to understand why you guys believe in these hand tools! They’re awesome!

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2502 days

#5 posted 10-14-2011 04:08 AM

Well one thing is for sure, if I did this for a living I’d starve.

Reworked the dove tail with some IPE inlay. Also trying to true my short glue up to table, having a hard time, if I put a 4’ straight edge on it it looks good but once I put the two together and clamp one side I’m off almost 1/4 on the other end…BIG SIGH. With the ole sargent broken and waiting for his replacement I whipped up a 32” sanding block from a piece of hard maple and some pieces of dowel.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2835 days

#6 posted 10-29-2011 07:00 AM

I assume from the IPE inlay is to cover up/tighten the fit on the dovetail that you were having trouble with? Either way it looks really cool, I can’t recall seeing anything like it before but it really cleans up the dovetail and really makes it stand out. It’s going to be a sweet bench when it is done.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2502 days

#7 posted 10-31-2011 02:13 AM

Thanks, yes the IPE was just to make it clean and to try something new. After the joint was glue up originally I covered most of it in blue tape and cut the glue, drill some small holes and filled the joint going after any possible voids. Strength and tightness is definitely not a factor.

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