Jim (Boatman53) has come up with a new/old way to keep the leg vise parallel without the need for a pin. Disclosure: There is no monetary or financial benefit on my part. Also, this is not a review or endorsement. I plan on doing a objective review once I use it for some time. If you have questions that you would like to ask Jim directly you can email him at
Before permanent installation into the chop, I went ahead and made the notch on the parallel guide. It turns out that the screw was a little long but that is because I cut may “decorative” bevel without planning ahead. Regardless, It filed down easily.
Before dis-assembly, I marked the bottom of the big screw nut plus threw an 1/8” in for safety. 1/2” below that is the centerline for all the boring. I transferred this line to the front of the leg and chop.
Next, I took apart the BenchCrafted version. First to do this “retro-fit” but also shave the pencil marks and “road grime” from the chop and leg.
First, the bronze grommet gets a 1” counter bore. After that I drilled a 5/8” hole through the chop….......
In the above picture you can see the layout for the mortise version of the chain drive leg vise. There is also a surface mount bracket version that would obviously be easier if this was a true retro-fit. A 1/4” straight router bit keep the mortise bottom square to the surface. To me this is important because this will define the axis of rotation for the sprocket. If I were more skilled then a mortise chisel could execute this chore adequately.
At first it is tad tight but with a little paring it fits nicely.
2 retaining screws keep the axle in the mortise. These are not critical as the resultant vector is down and into the leg.
Jim provides a 3/8” spacer to help alignment of the lower bracket. The holes are marked with brad point bit.
That is about it. The leg vise is re-assembled.
The front roller bracket is still used with this system. Actually, looking at that picture, I need to adjust the wheel up a smidge. The back roller bracket is removed as you can see the tapped holes under the chain.
- I wish I had taken a picture of the kit components before install
- there is no decline in the over all smoothness of the vice
- I do not need a pin anymore
- the parallelism is easily adjusted by the nut on the parallel guide
-Some (bertha) will object to the two-tone :^)
-I had to try the crushed can trick. Just had to. I even shot a cheesy video but it is too awful to post.
-You may ask why I went through the trouble of making the BenchCrafted version first. Well, in all fairness, I didn’t know if the chain drive leg vise would work. If it didn’t, then I could go right back to the BC version before assembly. But that is not going to happen.
Now, I am up to date and current on these blog posts. Damn, this a bit of work.
-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty