Around the Shop #11: A vintage Wheel drive for the leg vise

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Blog entry by Don W posted 01-18-2013 08:29 PM 7828 reads 5 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Finally, a leg vice. Part 11 of Around the Shop series Part 12: ok, the bench is clean »

Ever since I’ve seen the wheel drive like the bench craft I thought it would be pretty cool to have, as an upgrade to my leg vice. But I’m more of a vintage guy, so something that new and shinny wouldn’t fit the decor of my shop. Plus, at over $300, I find it hard to justify.

So as I saw wheels in flea markets and antique shops I’d stop and look. Most were way more than I thought they were worth, and I even bought an old tractor steering wheel, but it just didn’t seem to fit. Then one day I ran onto this in an antique shop. The price was right, so home it came.

Heavy, vintage and cool. So lets see if it will work. I had to purchase a set of larger drill bits. I needed to enlarged the hole slightly to 15/16”. A set of bits were only about $30, so I ordered them.

So I popped the pin and removed the existing handle
Made a new cherry knob.


And what do you know. A working vintage wheeled leg vice.


Thanks for stopping by.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

37 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2369 days

#1 posted 01-18-2013 08:31 PM

Wow, that thing is big! It’s very cool. I imagine using the leg vise is like steering the Titanic.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View chrisstef's profile


15456 posts in 2424 days

#2 posted 01-18-2013 08:32 PM

No problem getting the proper amount of torque outta that bad boy Don. Once again i lust your rust brother.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Don W's profile

Don W

17870 posts in 1986 days

#3 posted 01-18-2013 08:33 PM

well, lets hope it don’t sink, although its cold enough in there right now to hit an iceberg!!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2570 days

#4 posted 01-18-2013 08:41 PM

So cool Don! Can you free wheel spin it like the benchcrafted?

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

View Mosquito's profile


7924 posts in 1710 days

#5 posted 01-18-2013 08:44 PM

Nice, I’ve got a similar wheel off an old mill, or lathe, or something that I’m hoping to use for mine. It’s not quite so large, so I won’t have the leverage you would with this… I bet you could crush many things with that kind of leverage lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 2274 days

#6 posted 01-18-2013 08:52 PM

Don that is so neat.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View John's profile


341 posts in 3216 days

#7 posted 01-18-2013 08:56 PM

That is sweet, it just begs to be spun!

-- John - Central PA -

View Druid's profile


1230 posts in 2213 days

#8 posted 01-18-2013 08:57 PM

Looks like a real improvement. Great idea.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View grizzman's profile (online now)


7781 posts in 2721 days

#9 posted 01-18-2013 09:04 PM

what a great upgrade…and why isnt your wood stove keeping thing warm, or did you not fire it up..ive got to get mine going, i have work to do, just have had a lazy week…plus my mom is in icu in florida, and im quite worried for her…to much on my mind , dont want a cutting accident…bt i really love the wheel, does it turn pretty smooth..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View AnthonyReed's profile


8569 posts in 1858 days

#10 posted 01-18-2013 09:06 PM

Oh hell yes!

-- ~Tony

View Don W's profile

Don W

17870 posts in 1986 days

#11 posted 01-18-2013 09:11 PM

Grizzman, I’ve been gone all week and didn’t get out there until this afternoon. The wood stove is going now and it not bad. Its been cold here though.

I’m working in tampa, so the temp difference is a pain. 0-80 you know!

Mauricio, I took a one handed crappy video of the spin. Now to figure out how to upload it again.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View grizzman's profile (online now)


7781 posts in 2721 days

#12 posted 01-18-2013 09:20 PM

oh great, i was hoping your shop would be warm enough, the tampa area is where my mom is, if you have time, stop in and see her, she is in the icu unit at morton plant…last name is putman. tell her her son sends all his love…have a good weekend, i guess your going back…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#13 posted 01-18-2013 09:30 PM

Very cool!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17870 posts in 1986 days

#14 posted 01-18-2013 09:30 PM

i posted a link to the crappy video. Someone remind me how to embed it and I’ll fix it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Brit's profile


6571 posts in 2261 days

#15 posted 01-18-2013 10:17 PM

Very cool Don, I love it.

To embed a video from Photobucket, just click on the HTML code under the video links on the right. It automatically copies the code to the clipboard, then you just paste it in your thread.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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