Vice handles/speed knob

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Project by Don Kondra posted 03-26-2010 05:32 AM 5781 views 7 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Vice handles/speed knob
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A recently completed project, a friend had just completed a wing ding workbench in beech and wanted handles for his two vises to match.

Darnell brought out an off cut from the wood he used for his hand dovetailed drawers and while we were discussing what he wanted done he gently kidded me about how I had simply screwed a wood knob on the ends of my vice handle oh so many years ago :)

By the time I got around to the project he had also discovered the brass accents on the Lie Nielsen store bought handle :)

The original concept had a speed knob mounted slightly forward of the end knob with a visible nut. Darnell had provided me with a store bought beech knob. As I started on this project I felt the location was just awkward and decided to mount the knob directly on the end cap. I used a insert nut on the end cap and a bolt through the ebony speed knob, there are ebony accents on the bench and I wanted to make handles that would complement the bench.

I never did get around to special ordering the brass washers and decided to turn them myself. I sandwiched 1 1/2” bar stock between 1/8” baltic birch with double sided tape and after drilling a 3/8” hole, rough cut the circles on the scroll saw, then turned them to finish diameter.

Missing from the photo are the rubber O-rings that go in front of the brass, they provide a cushion/sound dampening effect as the handle slides to the end of it’s travel. The finish so far is one coat of Watch natural oil.

The end caps are meant to be glued onto the center rod with 3/8” dowels, in hindsight maybe I should have used insert nuts and rod for these too. That way they could be disassembled to change the O-ring’s if necessary.

Hopefully at some point, Darnell will post pic’s of his bench. It is Wing Ding :)

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

11 comments so far

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 3475 days

#1 posted 03-26-2010 01:21 PM

Nice vice handles. I really like the idea to add a speed knob.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 03-26-2010 03:27 PM

Very nice, much much nicer than I bought ones.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3919 days

#3 posted 03-26-2010 07:41 PM

Beautiful; those brass accents really dress them up as well as being functional. And I like the speed knob ideas too.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3334 days

#4 posted 03-27-2010 01:52 AM

those are very nice… I’ll take two please… :) Oh, and a bench to use them on… lol

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View mancave's profile


114 posts in 3241 days

#5 posted 03-27-2010 02:56 AM

I’m with wisty

View bigike's profile


4054 posts in 3465 days

#6 posted 03-27-2010 03:48 AM

great work the speed handle is a very good idea

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View kbiniowa's profile


50 posts in 2741 days

#7 posted 06-07-2011 11:29 PM

I read your comment on my workbench post.
You are right! The handles are one thing that I am missing.
These look great!


-- Keith - Iowa

View Don Kondra 's profile

Don Kondra

117 posts in 4063 days

#8 posted 06-08-2011 12:14 AM


That was Ike that linked to my handles, glad you like them :)

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

View Woodbridge's profile


3584 posts in 2595 days

#9 posted 11-08-2011 08:02 PM

Don, I just recently completed a new benchtop for my rolling shop cabinet and added two vices. I plan to turn the handles from some maple branches cut from the tree in our yard. Thanks for this post.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View balidoug's profile


495 posts in 2656 days

#10 posted 03-13-2012 12:30 AM

1. With handles like that I think I’d be afraid to use the vice! 2. Ok, here’s my stupid question: You say “he gently kidded me about how I had simply screwed a wood knob on the ends of my vice handle” which is exactly the arrangement I have. How SHOULD they be attached?

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Don Kondra 's profile

Don Kondra

117 posts in 4063 days

#11 posted 03-13-2012 05:43 AM

It’s simply a matter of aesthetics :)

With a round mortice on the knob and a tenon on the handle (glued) there is no need for a screw.

Having said that mine has been “screwed on” for a number of years, he, he…

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

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