Holtzapffel Bench #3: The Hard Choice of Hardware

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Blog entry by Olaf Gradin posted 11-22-2007 04:28 PM 3156 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: A Lumber Jock Meets Lumber Jack Part 3 of Holtzapffel Bench series Part 4: Plane Old Planes »

A fellow Holtzapffelian, Roger (here at Lumberjocks), is writing about his project regarding the same bench. He started out by purchasing his hardware for the bench and is now in the process of picking out his wood. That reminds me of a deliberation I’m going through with my own bench. What hardware to use?

The plans call for a quick-release end vise – nothing too fancy, I suppose. I want the Jörgensen version – I think it had a 12” maximum opening. The maximum openings are important to me because the vise is getting a large-ish Maple chop to finish it off. Of greater import – the greatest, in fact – is the twin-screw type on the face of the Holtzapffel bench. The original design calls for large wooden screws as the tool to drive these faces together. They’re wide enough apart that there is a full 24” between screws. As this type of thing is pretty unusual these days, there’s apparently only one guy in the United States still making screws this way. He is the source for 24” hard rock Maple, 2½” in diameter. He finishes it off nicely with a 6”x3” mating nut and a turned cap on the screw itself. I’m completely enamored by the thought of huge wooden screws like this! Unfortunately, being the only source for the screws, this guy can charge what he wants to for them. They cost a bit more than a similar configuration using the Veritas twin screw vise kit. But they’re beautiful, and they don’t leave grease marks on your work!

So that’s the net of it – I want to use a Jörgensen end vise and the twin wooden screw vise on the face. Can anyone shed any experience with alternative vises for this project? I want to keep a twin screw design on the face, but I know there are other options for this. The Veritas is only designed to be 24” O.C. at maximum. This isn’t quite wide enough, as I want to get 24” inside the screws. It seems like independent steel screws can be found for as little as $40.00 – am I missing something here?!? There are plenty of quick-release end vises out there. I don’t care about the built-in dog, as the chop will contain a more substantial one. Let me know what you think…

-- It takes a viking to raze a village. &mdash Blog'r:

1 comment so far

View rjack's profile


110 posts in 3821 days

#1 posted 11-22-2007 04:45 PM

I made a comment to your in my blog post. :) Anyway, for the twin screw vise, I purchased the pair of the economy bench screws from Woodcraft as mentioned at the end of the article. Here are the advantages/disadvantages of each option as I see it:

Wooden Twin Screw
Advantages: Really cool looking and independent control of each screw for odd size objects.
Disadvantages: Expensive and wooden parts are not as durable as metal parts in a vise. Independent operation of each screw makes clamping a little trickier.

I hope this helps!

Veritas Twin Screw
Advantages: Easier to operate because screws are linked by a chain. Looks nice!
Disadvantages: Harder to install. Can’t accomodate odd shaped parts. A little pricey.

Economy Twin Screws
Advantages: Handles odd shaped parts. Fairly easy to install. Cheapest option.
Disadvatages: Not as nice looking. Independent operation of each screw makes clamping a little trickier.

-- Roger - Havertown, Pennsylvania

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