Building a new workbench #10: Time to install the tail vise

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Blog entry by Loogie posted 03-17-2009 02:43 AM 25498 reads 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Another "boring" post Part 10 of Building a new workbench series Part 11: Project Completion: The tool trays are completed & installed »

For the tail vise I chose the Jorgensen 41012 quick-release vise. The vise comes with lag screws to attach it to the bottom of the bench, but I decided to thru-bolt it to the bench for increased security. To mark the holes for the vise I flipped it upside down on the top of the bench and marked the centers for the holes, but this location deosn’t take into account the fact that the face of the vise will be mortised into the end of the bench in order for it to be flush, so I then moved the center marks back into the bench an amount equal to the depth of the vise face. I did the same procedure on the bottom of the bench so that I could verify their position before drilling the holes. Having these holes in the wrong spot would be a major foul-up.
Then I marked out the edge of the vise face on the end of the bench.


Then I secured some 1/2” MDF to the end of the bench with double-sided tape and used a pattern bit in my trim router to route out the mortise. At this point I was concentrating on getting a nice clean line where the edge of the vise will meet the bench top.


Removing the waste at the very bottom edge of the notch was difficult because the router base no longer had any support and wanted to tip into the bench. My solution here was to secure another piece of MDF to the bottom of the bench that extended out to meet the end of the bench. That gave me an edge to rest the base on and the base was wide enough to straddle the MDF and the edge of the bench.


Now I was able to verify the hole locations and drill them. I started with a 7/8” forstner bit in order to counter sink the bolt head about 3/16” below the top of the bench, then I finished the hole using guide block that I had made. After the initial fitting of the vise it because obvious I was going to have to shim the behind the bolts just a touch to bring the face parallel to the end of the bench. I used a few cut washers as shims and it worked like a champ.


Next it was time to apply the leather to the faces. For this vise I decided to apply it to both faces. I had the leather and it’s easy enough to remove if I decide I only want it on the metal side later. The leather came from seat cushion cover from a leather sofa we have that was damaged during shipment and replaced by the manufacturer. I applied it with spray contact cement adhesive – sprayed to the leather only.




I’m very happy with this vise. It grips tenaciously and the quick-release is very easy to use, just 1/2 turn back and slide around to where you want it.

-- Mark

5 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#1 posted 03-17-2009 03:37 AM

The bench is looking great so far!

I have some Elk leather. That looks like a pretty good idea!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View martin007's profile


142 posts in 3771 days

#2 posted 03-17-2009 03:38 AM

wow! Great work , and superb bench! I really enjoy this blog

thanks for sharing

-- Martin, Gatineau, Qu├ębec

View BigBard's profile


114 posts in 3410 days

#3 posted 03-17-2009 03:42 AM

Great pictures! must to be a really good camera!

-- Carolina Panther fan!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#4 posted 03-17-2009 04:38 AM

This is looking great. Until I read Chris Swarz’s book I would not have thought about using leather in the vice. It appears to be a nice improvement in the clamping power of the vice.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3669 days

#5 posted 10-03-2010 10:29 PM

Thanks for the update.

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