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Alternative Leg Vise, V2

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Project by Don Broussard posted 756 days ago 3336 views 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a leg vise, so, inspired by LJs nobuckle and Serge, I made and installed this leg vise today. The handle is a 6” diameter adjusting nut out of cedar (thanks Serge) with a 1/2” x 9” carriage bolt through its center. The vise is mounted to the workbench leg with a plate and four 7/16” x 2-1/2” lag bolts. The vise’s nut is embedded in the unseen side of the plate and is sucked up into the plate (not mortised). The vise is a piece of 2×6 PT lumber (salvaged material) and can open to 6” and is pretty solid. I need to add a garter and the bottom guide before its actually useful.

I used the technique similar to one that nobucket used for his “One Hour Moxon Vise”(http://lumberjocks.com/projects/65207) and I used the technique that Serge introduced for his “Shopmade Jig Star Knobs” (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/66198)—I just super sized the knob to 6”. The holes in the edges are 1” diameter.

The first 3 pictures speak for themselves.

Picture 4 shows the scale of the adjusting nut compared to a Stanley Bailey No. 7 jointer plane, with shavings.

Picture 5 shows the vise removed to show the plate mounted to the workbench leg. You can barely see the embedded nut in the center.

I did have a little mishap during testing. The carriage bolt started rotating within its adjusting nut, and when I tapped the carriage bolt head with a hammer, the adjusting nut split in half along the grain. I will have to find another piece of lumber to make a new adjusting nut and hub.

Thanks for the good ideas, fellow LJs. You probably don’t have any idea how many of us you impact by your encouragement and sharing of ideas to novices like me. Finally, thanks for looking and for offering your comments.

UPDATE—I made a new and larger adjusting nut. This one is 2 thicknesses of 3/4” plywood and is 12” diameter. I was trying to figure out how to sand the nut where the circles were cut out. I realized that the cutouts were the right size, so I assembled 3 of the cutouts on a bolt, chucked it up in my electric drill and sanded the spindle smooth and spray-glued some 80-grit sandpaper around it. I ended up making a manually operated spindle sander. Worked pretty well too.

Here are a couple of pictures of the new adjusting nut installed. I should really call it a dinner plate or a steering wheel though. Since I doubled the thickness of the adjusting nut as well as the chop, the useful opening of the vise is only about 2” now. I think I’ll pick up a 12” carriage bolt tomorrow. For attaching the adjusting nut, I sucked the carriage bolt through the plywood, then used a few spacers to clear the unthreaded part of the carriage bolt. I screwed a 1/2” nut onto the carriage bolt and backed it up with a jam nut. For the vise chop, I attached a second 2×4 with glue and screws and did a little work on the edges. I still need to add a garter and the lower guide. So far, so good.

UPDATE No. 2—I applied too much pressure on the leg vise and busted the nut out of it housing. When I took the picture below, I had already removed the lag screws.

I made a new housing out of purple heart, embeded the nut in the leg, put a bumper washer behind the purple heart and lag screwed it back in place. Good to go again!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!





16 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile

jaykaypur

3315 posts in 1039 days


#1 posted 756 days ago

You did a great job on this. I need to make one of these myself.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4917 posts in 1429 days


#2 posted 756 days ago

Good thinking.
My next project is an “alternative” bench with “alternative” vices.
Glad I’m not alone in the unorthodox approach.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View ShopTinker's profile

ShopTinker

876 posts in 1400 days


#3 posted 756 days ago

It looks like it should get the job done just fine.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View whitewulf's profile

whitewulf

442 posts in 1568 days


#4 posted 755 days ago

Maybe oak would be stronger for the nut. A cheap source, Pallet wood.
Helps keeps cost down. as for the parallel guide, A large dowel might be easier to fit.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1942 posts in 883 days


#5 posted 755 days ago

@whitewulf—I made a new nut today out of two thicknesses of 3/4” plywood. I’ll try it out tomorrow to see if it works. Pallet wood is also a good idea. I have a couple of pallets on hand so my next effort will likely be a pallet wood nut. Re: the parallel guide, I was planning to use a 3/4” dowel, sanded down slightly to allow for clearance. I am also considering using an all-thread rod so I can thread a nut on the guide to set the vise’s thickness. We’ll see. I’ll post updates once it’s further along.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1392 days


#6 posted 754 days ago

That’s really cool Don. Looks like it’s pretty sturdy as well. You can really apply a lo of pressure with the upgrades to the movable jaw and knob. It will be great to see further developments. Take care.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1942 posts in 883 days


#7 posted 754 days ago

@nobuckle—Just remember that it started with an idea from your posting! I can put a lot of pressure with the vise, but I am worried that I could move the embedded nut. I’m still trying to figure out the garter too. I tried something this afternoon (mounting another 1/2” nut on the inside of the chop), but it’s too tight to be practical.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Bricofleur's profile

Bricofleur

1125 posts in 1824 days


#8 posted 754 days ago

Nice job and great ideas here. I’m glad to know that my humble star knob idea brought you that far in this particular project. As you said, here it’s all about sharing.

Best,

Serge

http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

PS: I really like your larger model of Star Knob!

-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. -- http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1942 posts in 883 days


#9 posted 753 days ago

The screw on the chop is really too low. It should be about 1/3 of the distance between the top of the chop and the parallel guide—mine’s almost smack in the middle. I am thinking I might just rotate my bench 180 degrees and put the leg vise on the “new” right front leg. I still haven’t figured out the garter yet either. Any suggestions?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3033 posts in 1298 days


#10 posted 753 days ago

Like the new hand wheel ,coming along good .
I epoxied the bolt in my hand wheel for my old table saw and a bearing may help between the hand wheel and vise leg .
Just some thoughts .

-- Kiefer 松

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1942 posts in 883 days


#11 posted 753 days ago

@kiefer—I haven’t worked with epoxy before, but that simple fact doesn’t scare me. Think I’ll give that a try. I also like your suggestion of a bearing between the hand wheel (steering wheel) and the leg. Thanks for helping me think!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View RaggedKerf's profile

RaggedKerf

407 posts in 752 days


#12 posted 732 days ago

wow, love it! This has really got me thinking about something similar for my bench build. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

-- Steve http://vaughtwoodworks.wordpress.com

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1942 posts in 883 days


#13 posted 729 days ago

@RaggedKerf—Thanks for the comment. If I do this again, I would install the nut about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the jaw, as opposed to its current location about half of the distance of the leg.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6805 posts in 1783 days


#14 posted 722 days ago

Very nice Dan, have you thought of adding a crank handle?

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

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1942 posts in 883 days


#15 posted 721 days ago

@Mauricio—Good idea. I will probably turn a small handle, like the knob on a hand plane, to serve as the crank.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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