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A Pair of Simple Ten Dollar Wagon Vises That Work

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Project by shipwright posted 605 days ago 14158 views 163 times favorited 52 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I designed these vises for my new bench. They are now installed and work perfectly and yes, they cost less than $10 each at a $4 per fbm price for the clear arbutus of which they are made.

When I was building boats we often used wedges when screw clamps were not powerful enough so it wasn’t much of a leap for me to choose the wedge as the go-to devise for my “outside the box” workbench. The concept is simple. The vises are made as “inserts” and as such could be dropped into any existing bench. In the case of mine they are two of a set of inserts that were all built in as the top was assembled.

The wedge itself is an 8 degree inclined plane that will advance the wagon a little over 1/2”. There are 1/2” and 1” shims that drop easily into place to bring the travel up to just over two inches. The wagon has three dog holes that are 2” apart so by choosing the appropriate dog hole on the wagon, I have over 6” of travel. The dog holes up my bench are at 6” intervals so I have all the travel I need and don’t be worrying about the power, it is massive.

The main point of interest that makes this all work is the modified deck beam joint, an old boat builders standard for load bearing. The back end could be glued in place but by employing this wedge style joint the base half of the wedge system can easily be removed. Once it is out, the wagon will slide back and come out for cleaning etc. The video will make this a little clearer.

With two of these wagon vises and two rows of dog holes I will be able to stabilize a large flat piece quickly and efficiently.

The photos:
1) The two wagon vise inserts ready to install.
2) An exploded view of one vise.
3) Preliminary assembly of the main components.
4) A close up look at the modified deck beam joint.
5) Comparison between assembled and exploded. In the foreground are the pieces for my wedge powered leg vise. Stay tuned.
6) The assembly into the back end piece of the bench showing how the end of the vise is trapped.

The following video was made before I had installed the vises and before I was actually sure that my preliminary guess of 8 degrees would do the job. It does do the job.

My apologies for the audio…. so I mumble, OK. It gets better if you listen twice.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JSZxPd8EaWs
<iframe src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/JSZxPd8EaWs” frameborder=”0” height=”360” width=”480”></iframe>

Here they are in the finished bench, going through their paces.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj218m8QXmk
<iframe src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Bj218m8QXmk” frameborder=”0” height=”315” width=”420”></iframe>

EDIT: Here’s a sketchup I did. I’m no pro but I think it works OK.

<iframe src=”http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/mini?mid=985b3d9d548dcc9252d9fc61873164a1&etyp=sw&width=400&height=300” marginwidth=”0” height=”300” frameborder=”0” width=”400” marginheight=”0”></iframe>

Thanks for looking
I hope that this gets some of you thinking about alternatives to the expensive bench jewelry down at the toy store.

Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome.

Paul

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





52 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11609 posts in 2194 days


#1 posted 605 days ago

Thanks for the video explanation…I’ve never seen or heard of this item before : )

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1066 posts in 1920 days


#2 posted 605 days ago

Wow Paul what a great idea! You never cease to amaze. Thanks for the video it was real helpful in showing just how it works. I can see how that wedge idea could really work for a bunch of things.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109551 posts in 2083 days


#3 posted 605 days ago

Very cool Paul you always come with the neatest projects . I like this one

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

795 posts in 702 days


#4 posted 605 days ago

That is very interesting Shipwright. No screws to rust, or handles sticking off the end of the bench. Does the dog carrier block also have an 8 deg. bevel? I might have put one of those on my bench if I had known about it. I built with the idea of using just the Wonder Pups but they proved to be too slow and a bit cumbersome for continual use. The are good for the odd clamping now an again so I do like them, just not for every day.
Keep us posted on how they work for you actually in the bench top.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7455 posts in 2558 days


#5 posted 605 days ago

Nice – Clever design!

Very well thought-out!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2096 days


#6 posted 605 days ago

Great idea.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

10293 posts in 1611 days


#7 posted 605 days ago

Neat idea, with a lot of travel too!....................Jm

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!!

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

4671 posts in 1304 days


#8 posted 605 days ago

Jim, No, the wagon (dog carrier) is square on the end, the other half of the angle is on the deck beam joint block. You can retrofit this in your bench if you want. It only needs an accurate hole and a little epoxy..

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

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4624 posts in 2388 days


#9 posted 605 days ago

Very nice Paul,

You could put a loose (removable?) connecting rod between the two wedges for easy dual adjusting with one motion. It also might make it easier to loosen by having something to pull up on. Or not.

Keep it coming,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View peteg's profile

peteg

2718 posts in 1329 days


#10 posted 605 days ago

As usual Paul, you make a very usefull tool look so simple to make, man you have a hatful of tricks to share, :: ))
Pete

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View slapdash's profile

slapdash

52 posts in 730 days


#11 posted 605 days ago

Awesome, I want one. My imaginary workbench just got more complex

-- I'm not creative, I'm just bad at copying

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1563 posts in 697 days


#12 posted 605 days ago

Wow, very nice. First I’ve seen this. I like. Thanks for showing and the video.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View rance's profile

rance

4107 posts in 1666 days


#13 posted 605 days ago

Now that’s what I like, clever alternatives to an expensive problem. I’m assuming you remove the wedge from underneath with a mallet.

I don’t know that you mumble so much as you have an ineffective mic. That’s a problem on a LOT of videos on YT. All in all, the audio was not needed this time. I still don’t know what you said. :)

Nice job on this one Paul. I did a SketchUp for a later build. Thanks for sharing a really clever idea.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Edit:
> and a little epoxy..

NO!!!!!!!!!!! Say it isn’t so. You used EPOXY? Well there goes the HHG neighborhood! :D

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

2799 posts in 1173 days


#14 posted 605 days ago

Thanks Paul!
Now I have to rethink my work bench plan that is going to be build this winter.
I am impressed with the simplicity and strenght of this vise set up and beautiful joinery to boot.
Hope to see the bench completed soon .

-- Kiefer 松

View Roger's profile

Roger

13076 posts in 1310 days


#15 posted 605 days ago

Some really nice machining there. I’m with you on the crazy cost of some things. (all things) It’s really rediculous if ya ask me.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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