Weekend Bench #8: Front twin screw vise

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Blog entry by dsb1829 posted 01-07-2009 07:53 AM 3511 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: A bit of reflection Part 8 of Weekend Bench series Part 9: Some comments on the twin screw »

Okay, with most of the headaches behind I figured it was time to dive into the twin screw for the front. This should be easy right. I look at the lumber pile. It is much smaller than a lot of the other jocks here, but it does have a couple of options. I had planned to use poplar, but was thinking it may just be too soft. I had picked up some 3/4in oak at the HD for a project that I haven’t gotten to yet. I figure the oak is a better choice for the vise.

So I mark out and do my cutout for around the leg. I wanted to keep the front layers solid to aid with alignment and also give even clamping pressure.

Glue it and clamp it. Straight forward here. That $2 foam roller has been serving me well for all my glue-ups, just have to keep it bagged before it dries.

Front chock V1

I second thought this design near as soon as I cut the wood. But I glued it up anyways. A little later natural selection kicked in… the form of low quality wood screw from the borg. Guess it is for the best. I would have wanted to redo the chock sooner or later.

Enter front chock V2

It is just 3 pieces of 3/4in x 8in red oak from Lowe’s. Cost way more than it should have and I had to dig through the whole pile to locate a straight board. I skipped a few steps in haste here, sorry for the poor documentation.

I had located and drilled the screw locations in the mounting block earlier.

I used a forstner bit to transfer these locations to the front chock. I sized the chock to the mounting block and drilled the screw holes in it.

I used the vise screws to clamp the chock and mount together and transfered all of the mounting holes to both parts. Next I drilled pilot holes (a bit size bigger this time around). I also used parafin wax on the screws to aid in thier installment. Between the hole size relief and the wax things went together much easier this time around.

A final test fit.

I am going to have to get some longer bolts to attach the vise mounting block. I have decided not to glue it to the bench, so some big bolts are in order. I may just wait for my giant brad drill bits before drilling, so I can punch through bench top and block in one shot. Accuracy is a bit hard to maintain with these deep bores.

I also took a few minutes to cobb together my temporary vise handles. Nothing pretty. Maybe down the line I can bribe a fellow woodworker to turn me something nicer. For now the 1in oak dowel is capped with some left over closet rod held on with no6 screws. It gets the job done and I don’t worry too much about the kids coloring on them.

I did a quick check to see where I stood with respect to sag.

Doesn’t look too bad. It is less than 1/8in. I had feared it would be more of an issue using these budget screws and loose bore diameters. Time will tell, but for now things are pretty tight.

The vise gives just under 20in of capacity between the screws for dovetail work. I didn’t measure the depth to the screws, but I imagine it is about 5in deep. I get about 6in of clamp at either end. The max open width looks like just over 10in. Anything wider than that I will put on the bench and use dogs to secure. I am excited to get this thing bolted to the bench and see just what it can do. My only disappointment is that the skew is fairly limited. By bolting the chock to the vise screws it has a limit to deflection, probably only 5-10 degrees. If I wanted more I would have to release the 2 screws on the front of each vise. Honestly I don’t see many wedged projects in the near future, so it is not much of a setback.

Stay tuned for completion of the bench.
Time log: Dunno? I have probably dropped 6 hours into messing around on the vise so that puts our total to about 30hr

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

9 comments so far

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3822 days

#1 posted 01-07-2009 12:50 PM

Not to shabby Doug. It looks like the end in near!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3988 days

#2 posted 01-07-2009 03:03 PM

Definite progress. You will use it a lot longer than you waited for it.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3754 days

#3 posted 01-07-2009 04:19 PM

I have to admit, I’m more worried about the vise instalation than creating a flat top for my workbench. I’m so anxious to get started on my own after watching this, but I’ve still got a few things to wrap up first.

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3654 days

#4 posted 01-07-2009 05:46 PM

Thanks for the comments guys.

Hokie, I found that there was always something else higher in my personal list. I took advantage of having some time off over the holidays to get 3 near full days of shop time. That really kicked it up because I had to design and move quick to make things come together in the time I had. The vise installations had me a bit apprehensive too. In the end they really are quite straight forward. There are things I could have done better and some redo and refinement work, but overall for a newbie attempt I would call the results perfectly functional. Also a lot better than what I have been limping on with.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3908 days

#5 posted 01-07-2009 06:52 PM

Looking good. This is fun watching someone else do all the work.

Careful when you try out your new large bradpoints. Best to practice on some scrap first. That is a huge hole for a hand held drill. You can certainly do it, but if it catches you will probably spiin around like in one of those guys in the cartoons. Then again, it maybe a piece of cake.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3654 days

#6 posted 01-07-2009 09:06 PM

I hear you Steve. I use the auxiliary handle on my milwaukee for big bits. I can keep a handle on it. I actually blew out a set of brushes while wrangling a dog hole in 3in of poplar with the Irwin boring bit. Anything that can grab I use the extra handle with. Last thing I need it to wrack my wrist drilling holes. My drill is only 5.5A, so it isn’t too scary. I did some construction and wiring with one of my dad’s rt-angle boring drills. When that thing caught it would just about pull your arms off and pull you right into the adjacent wall before you could even let off the trigger.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3699 days

#7 posted 01-08-2009 03:19 AM

Nice work, Doug.

View topspin's profile


62 posts in 3444 days

#8 posted 03-20-2009 08:30 PM

HI. What are the dimensions of the chock?

-- Seems that talent only gets you so far... effort makes you successful.

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3654 days

#9 posted 03-20-2009 08:35 PM

Off the cuff, 30inx7.5inx2.25in ;-)

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

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