Crazy leg vise idea?

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Forum topic by muddywaters posted 12-31-2015 07:27 PM 1236 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1119 days

12-31-2015 07:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question leg vise

I am planning my first proper woodworking bench. I have built benches in the past but just simple workhorses. No dog holes, vises, or any of the things I now find myself in a world of hurt for. I have been looking at different styles of vises and have pretty well settled on the three I wish to incorperate. But have issue with one of the vise’s mechanics. The leg vise. I, for reasons I can’t possibly relate, don’t care for the beam at the bottom of the assembly that extends into the leg. It’s holes and rod, or dowel, stabalize the vise and keep it from racking when tightened. For some reason I just don’t care for the design. I know you can do a chain type setup on the works instead of the holes and pin to keep things true, but I had something else in mind that seams crazy instead. I say crazy because through all the internet I could not find one instance where someone has done this. So of course in my mind it has to be wrong somehow and I have, like the fool I am, missed it. My idea is to take a Lee Valley large front vise and use it as a stand alone leg vise assembly. It would be turned vertically, it’s back half pocketed and set into a heavy laminated leg, and front side holding the vise plate. In my head it works. Just like a front vise but it’s wooden vise plate is lengthened a little on both sides, and widened a bit, and of course turned a full ninety degrees on it’s end and mounted in a leg. uuuuuuuuggggg. Well I am sure I am crazy but just wanted to know what you all thought of the idea.

-- Muddywaters, North Missouri

8 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile


3237 posts in 1722 days

#1 posted 01-09-2016 01:37 PM

There are scissor type hardware packages available.
You could probably fabricate one.

See Benchcrafted leg vise hardware for the general idea.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 3217 days

#2 posted 01-09-2016 01:46 PM

No idea if it would work but certainly thinking outside of the box!

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2818 days

#3 posted 01-09-2016 02:32 PM

I like it.

Maybe a pattern makers vise will suffice:

View ste6168's profile


255 posts in 1413 days

#4 posted 01-09-2016 03:20 PM

Take a look at this thread, for another idea… Post 69/70.

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2818 days

#5 posted 01-09-2016 03:44 PM

That’s awesome ste6168

View bearkatwood's profile


1684 posts in 1253 days

#6 posted 01-09-2016 06:10 PM

Sounds like you might have something, I did a quick change to a sketchup model I had to see if it might look like it would work. If you had a long piece to stick in there vertically it would work fine.I think the only think you would have to worry about would be the racking if you were just using it toward the top. That is why leg vises have the parallel guide with stops. Make up a simple rack shims with multiple layers of wood that can be flipped out to the right thickness like you would use on the vise normally and voila!
Let me know if this is what you were thinking.

Take care.

-- Brian Noel

View ste6168's profile


255 posts in 1413 days

#7 posted 01-11-2016 02:21 AM

That s awesome ste6168

- waho6o9

Certainly not my idea, I just saw it… It is certainly cool though! and shop made!

View muddywaters's profile


6 posts in 1119 days

#8 posted 01-15-2016 03:59 AM

I am blown away by your responses. In responce to bearkatwood and his awesome mock up, I believe you have the general idea of what I was going for. I wanted to use the front vise hardware to avoid any spacer blocks or guide beams and instead rely on the vises guide rods to keep the racking at bay. But it seems to be the consensus view that even with the vises existing guide rods racking will remain a problem. bummer. waho6o9’s suggestion about the patern makers vise got me curious. So I looked them up and holy cow what a vise. I am undecided whether or not I would go for another vise in place of a leg vise but if I did I think I have suddenly developed a shine for that one. And I am quite impressed with the saw toothed ratcheting looking design ste6168 directed me to. I get a kick out of good old fashioned ingenuity. Again thank you all for your thoughts.

-- Muddywaters, North Missouri

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