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Forum topic by Nezzerscape posted 01-21-2016 06:39 PM 549 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nezzerscape

25 posts in 331 days


01-21-2016 06:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench vise question

I picked up a maple top workbench from work a few years back. The legs are metal (and have places for outlets to be wired). The dimensions of the top are 60×30 x 2. I would like to convert this to a more standard/useful wood working bench. It currently does not have any vises through I have an old (cannot remember name) vise that I was planning on using for starters.

While I have a list of questions let me start off with vices. I was thinking about using a twin screw at then end of my bench. My thought was that I could use dogs for longer pieces that might be a bit out of square. I know they are typically mounted on the face (or front). Thoughts?

Lets assume I have another type of vise on the face (standard or leg vise). Does that change your thoughts?

Nez


9 replies so far

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 606 days


#1 posted 01-21-2016 07:38 PM

For my money, I prefer a full length vise on the end of the bench and a shorter vise on the front (face or leg). I work mostly from the front of my bench and having a 24” chop and 2 screws sticking out would get in my way A LOT. But that’s just MHO. The only thing that really matters is how you work and how the vises will suit you. Remember though that if you put your “dogged” vise on the front and run dog holes front to back, you can only clamp something as long as your bench is wide. With the vise on the end, you can clamp boards that are as long as your bench.

Just some food for thought. There are endless vise configurations, it’s just a matter of finding the one that works best for the way you work.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Nezzerscape

25 posts in 331 days


#2 posted 01-22-2016 01:54 AM

Thank you Ken. It help to hear another’s thoughts.

The vise I mentioned in my original post. I looked it over but could not see the make/mfg. Can someone ID it for me?

It opens to abount 9 inches.

Nez

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JBrow

819 posts in 387 days


#3 posted 01-22-2016 02:46 AM

Nezzerscape,

I agree with HokieKen; and the most important thing he said was “The only thing that really matters is how you work and how the vises will suit you”. The work bench is unlike most other tools in the shop. It is indeed a very personal piece of shop equipment.

My work bench has only an end vice with a single acne-thread center drive rod with a pair of guide rods. Square dog holes run the length of the bench of both sides. I have no face vice.

What I have learned is that my full bench-width end vice is a pain to use. I do not ever recall using the dog holes on both sides of the bench at the same time. I have used the dogs on one side or the other a number of times, just not at the same time. I find when I dog in a piece of stock, I must insert a filler block on one end of the vice to keep the vice from racking, so the vice has good purchase on the stock I am clamping in place. I wish that when I made the bench, I had installed a single row of dog holes and an end vice in line with these holes. Perhaps had I installed a twin-screw vice would have avoided the racking problem. Better yet, a single end vice on one or the other side of the bench would have worked well for me.

I see no reason why you could not use the vice shown in your photo as an end vice for a single row of dog holes. I have no idea who manufactured the vice.

While I have no face vice, it would have come in handy from time to time. Whenever I needed to clamp a board with its edge up and its width against the edge face of the bench, I have used pipe clamps – a real pain. However, I have not done this very often. On the other hand, a face vice, which I do not have, has never gotten in my way.

Also, and perhaps you already know, a bench hook will hold stock in place without the need for clamping of any kind. It is useful for many tasks, including surface hand planing. While the bench hook does not eliminate the need for or the convenience of integrated bench clamps, it comes in handy and may affect the design of your bench and has no metal to nick your tools.

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 606 days


#4 posted 01-22-2016 12:26 PM

I don’t recognize that vise. It’s similar to many but I’ve never seen a handle like that. It looks to be a very well-made and good quality vise from the pics though. I’d definitely give it some TLC and get all the rust off, lube all the moving parts and put it to work.

JBrow makes good points about the type of vise you use and how long it is. I use the same basic setup for my end vise but I put the screw and guide rods on the left side so I can clamp boards up to 24” or so to work on the ends. Kind of like a twin screw without the second screw. But, it does require using a spacer to prevent racking. I keep meaning to make one of these but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I put a single row of round dog holes on the front of the bench and have never needed more. I also have to do some “creative clamping” to work board edges like JBrow. Next bench I build will have a leg vise and possibly a sliding deadman for that very reason!


Nezzerscape,

What I have learned is that my full bench-width end vice is a pain to use. I do not ever recall using the dog holes on both sides of the bench at the same time. I have used the dogs on one side or the other a number of times, just not at the same time. I find when I dog in a piece of stock, I must insert a filler block on one end of the vice to keep the vice from racking, so the vice has good purchase on the stock I am clamping in place. I wish that when I made the bench, I had installed a single row of dog holes and an end vice in line with these holes. Perhaps had I installed a twin-screw vice would have avoided the racking problem. Better yet, a single end vice on one or the other side of the bench would have worked well for me.

- JBrow

Might be worth your time to check out the link above too JBrow.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#5 posted 01-22-2016 12:45 PM

Diff types for diff ww’ers.

What I have:

Front: 10” Jorgensen quick release. Most used vise by far. Mounted about 2’ from the left end I wish I had mounted it at the end.

End vise.

Benchtop moxon. Love it!

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#6 posted 01-22-2016 01:35 PM

It’s familiar.

And it’ll work fine in conjunction with holes, as an end vise.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#7 posted 01-22-2016 02:02 PM

Totally agree about vise setup being a personal thing, depending on how you work. Best advice I can give is to be flexible and allow that as you work, you may decide that a different setup will work better. Don’t be afraid to change it to suit you.

My bench started with a face vise and an end vise. After a year of not using the end vise, I took it off and sold it. For me, using a holdfast and batten is much faster and easier. The English Woodworker blog has a good post and video about that technique. Learn to use holdfasts and you will find much less need for vises.

I also have a twin screw benchtop bench (Moxon style) for joinery and detail work. I’ve found the twin screw vise to be so useful that if/when I ever upgrade my main workbench, it will have a twin screw as the face vise.

Again, that is how I work and your preferences will be different. Jbrow is correct that the bench is very personal. It’s easy to adapt to a different tool, but adjusting to a different workbench is difficult.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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theoldfart

8136 posts in 1918 days


#8 posted 01-22-2016 02:36 PM

Nez, that vise has some features similar to a Sheldon. I’ll post a pic later. I have a set up like Smitty’s and it works quite well as an end vise

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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theoldfart

8136 posts in 1918 days


#9 posted 01-22-2016 04:11 PM

While the screw mechanism is quite different, the main casting are similar

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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