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Bench vise - UPDATED

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Project by pete4242 posted 04-08-2014 06:09 PM 1748 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi,

UPDATE

The Bench vise looks like this now.

I cleared the outside from any part sticking out by reversing the clamps, as per swirt’s suggestion and the support of the outside jaw is on the sides now. Very happy with how it turned out – much better than the first version.

Very new to woodworking and am still putting together my apartment workshop. Built a very basic workbench, needed to add a removable vise. I got the idea of this vise from woodsmithtips newsletter and added the stops rail with the help of Vertigo to prevent the jaws from cambering when tightening the clamps to hold a piece.

If you are to build this vise, would you do it any different?

- pete





13 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

666 posts in 1393 days


#1 posted 04-08-2014 09:07 PM

That looks like a clever idea. I’ve been thinking about building a big workbench, but the vises that other folks are putting on thier benches cost several hundred dollars. What you have done is dirt cheap and probably quite functional.

Honestly, I haven’t looked at it long enough perhaps, but I don’t understand how the peg board is to be used.

Can you explain?

-Ocelot

View NormG's profile

NormG

4566 posts in 1758 days


#2 posted 04-09-2014 12:05 AM

Well thought out piece, congrats

-- Norman

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#3 posted 04-09-2014 02:25 AM

Pete4242, I like the basic idea of this vise. In use I might get annoyed by all the stabby bits sticking out the front when I am trying to lean in and see my dovetail lines. Especially if your shop is as small as mine.

One suggestion as it sounds like you may need a variety of clamping options, get a pair of 10 or 12” handscrew clamps. Those paired up with a pair of F-clamps can be a very effective clamping system to reproduce what you have there, plus a whole lot more.



Handscrews are often overlooked as clunky and awkward, but they are incredibly helpful for all kinds of vise like tasks. Do a quick image search on google for “handscrew vise” or “handscrew clamp” and you will find tons of creative uses.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View BustedClock's profile

BustedClock

112 posts in 1277 days


#4 posted 04-09-2014 04:50 AM

Hmm… I like these. I don’t have a bench to do any traditional vises. These I might be able to get away with.

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

View pete4242's profile

pete4242

20 posts in 336 days


#5 posted 04-09-2014 04:51 PM

Ocelot, I find it to be very effective for what I am doing and the cost is really dirt cheap! I am using dowels with the peg board to serve as stops for the loose jaw, preventing it from cambering to the inside when tightening the clamps. I will reposition the dowels according to the width of the piece I am clamping – Vertigo suggested this idea and it is working perfectly.

I loved the idea of the screw clamps though, if I have not built this vise, I would have definitely used the suggestion made by Swirt. I am not sure how small your workshop is Swirt, mine is 2.2m x 1.7m – that’s really small. You are completely right with the stabby bits sticking out… especially that I am now planing long 2×4s for the storage shelves (I am currently working on), I have to move from one side of the vise to the other along the board. I think I will be much more organized when these shelves are done.
In fact before making this vise, I used somehow a similar strategy as the handscrew clamps, only when jointing – I clamp the piece between two smaller boards using two regular boards flat to the workbench and then clamp it down.

Now discussing this, I will turn the clamps tails to the inside and maybe cut the support rails shorter as I don’t think i will use the vise with as wide pieces.

It is always great to discuss with fellow woodworkers, great forum as well! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Here are some pics of my workshop, or what I call so ;)

I am using the bathroom as storage. The room is meant to be a maid’s room but I preferred having a workshop rather than having a maid:))

- pete

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#6 posted 04-10-2014 02:47 AM

pete4242 You win the small shop contest my friend. ;)

A suggestion or two that might help with your current vise.
a) Shorten the chops’ height. You are getting all the racking (cambering) because there is so much free space between the bottom of the wood you are trying to hold and the screw line of the clamps. So unless you have something specific in mind for all that height of the chops, if you shorten them, they will rack less. (see blue line in photo below)

b) The other alternative, if you need all that height is to drill a hole at the end of slot for the bar clamp so that once the bar clamp is in place, you can actually pivot the clamp up a bit so that clamp pads actually contact the face of your vise so that the workpiece you are clamping is inline with the clamp pads. That will make it so there is absolutely no vertical racking. (see dark circles in photo below)

The other advantage to either of these methods is that you can get rid of having to fiddle with your pin system and get rid of one more set of stabby things sticking out the front of your vise. Don’t get me wrong, your pin system is clever, but the less you have to fiddle with, the more fun you’ll have woodworking.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Rick's profile

Rick

7346 posts in 1787 days


#7 posted 04-10-2014 07:01 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed Pete. Well Done. Thanks for Posting.

Rick

-- How long is a Minute? That depends on which side of the Bathroom Door You're On!

View pete4242's profile

pete4242

20 posts in 336 days


#8 posted 04-10-2014 05:10 PM

Thanks a lot Swirt for your suggestions, I liked the idea and already did the amendments.

the racking is gone almost completely but it became a nightmare to use it as the loose side of the vise is completely unstable so I have to use two more hands when clamping a piece :))
To fix this, I will be adding 2 steel rods on both ends, fix it in the loose chop, and make it travel through holes in the fixed chop. This way nothing will be sticking to the outside, the main reason for the change.

Thanks again Swirt and everyone for your comments.

- pete

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#9 posted 04-10-2014 05:40 PM

Hi Pete,
A quick test, (will cause no damage if it doesn’ t work) if you have some dense foam just pack it in around clamp rails on the loose chop. It needs to be tight enough to sort of trap the clamp rails in the holes. It should help them keep their location and prevent some of the wild tipping. If it works it would make it easier to operate. If it is an improvement you could work toward a similar but more permanent solution.

My fear for the rod method you are describing is that if the holes for them on the fixed chop are too tight, you will get binding which will make it even harder to adjust and if they are too large they won’t help you.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View pete4242's profile

pete4242

20 posts in 336 days


#10 posted 04-10-2014 06:17 PM

Hi Swirt,
I dont have the dense foam right now but I will look around to see if I can find something that can stabilize the clamp inside the hole. I will post updates.

Question: while drilling the holes with the forstner bit, using it for the first time… with the portalign drill guide (I dont have a drill press) the bit was not going through the wood. So I applied some downward pressure, it started the hole but burned the wood and heated up a lot, I had to cool it down in water. Then I applied a lot of pressure and it seemed to do a not bad job but did not go fast enough. I know it is probably the lowest quality of bits, the price suggest it too :) The question being, is it normal to apply a lot of pressure when using the forstner bits? Dull blade? or does it have to be in a drill press to get the best results?

- pete

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#11 posted 04-10-2014 08:14 PM

You may be able to try a proof of concept just by folding up some strips of cardboard in place of foam.

Forstners are touchy with a couple issues that might be at play:
1) one they have to be sharp. I would look at where you noticed the burning marks as that is sometimes a pretty good indicator of where is is not sharp.
2) if there is much rocking off off the line you start drilling, then the cutting edges don’t engage the wood. They work best in drill presses because the press keeps that alignment consistent throughout the operation. The protalign is a good start but may not keep it consistent enough.
The burning you describe to me suggests it is probably issue #1

I’d make a separate forum thread question about the forstner bit with a photo or two of the burning. You’ll get better answers from people.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View pete4242's profile

pete4242

20 posts in 336 days


#12 posted 04-11-2014 07:45 AM

Hi Swirt,

Thank you for the information, reading your reply you gave me this idea and it is working great now!

These two pieces on the sides are holding the loose chop stable without it resting on the clamps, and it is moving smoothly, no binding… and most of all nothing is sticking out now, the main reason for all this change

I believe that would be the final design for now! Thanks for all the help, greatly appreciated.

- pete

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#13 posted 04-11-2014 01:00 PM

Nice work Pete. Looks like a great solution.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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