Workbench Vise layout..

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Forum topic by jeth posted 08-29-2010 05:25 PM 3177 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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262 posts in 3076 days

08-29-2010 05:25 PM

Hello all, am hoping to soon get around to building myself a decent bench. I have searched here and on other sites and seen many benches and have a good idea of how I will go about the general construction. The one thing I continue to procrastinate over is the choice of and layout of my vises.

I like the idea of a twin screw vise for easy holding of cabinet doors etc and was pleased to see that others here have achieved good results building twin screws based on the simple metal screws that are about the only hardware option available down here.
My main decision is regarding position of the vise. I like the idea of the twin screw as an end vise. I use more power tools than hand tools and am thinking a double or even triple row of dog holes will give me good workholding for wide flat pieces at the right side of the bench.
Putting the twin screw in the end position would also free up more space on the front edge of the bench, I have seen that many of you have built benches with a twin screw as the face vise, but I am thinking that when working edges of long boards that big vise might be a bit of an obstruction (this is one area where i do use handplanes). I may therefore be better of with a leg or smaller face vise on the front of the bench.

I know that a bench is a personal thing and depends on your style of work, but am hoping folks with experience of the different layouts might have some thoughts to share on the pros and cons of the twin screw as a face vise/end vise.

6 replies so far

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3199 days

#1 posted 08-29-2010 07:30 PM

well i would say that the layout and type of vises you use must be optimal for the most frequent use you have.
a frontal twin vise is verry handy in some cases, but for the remaining 90% of the time it sits in the way, or it’s unneccesarely large for the pieces you clamp in it. a simple end vise will probably be best for most of the work, coupled with dogholes in the vise and bench it will allow for much greater clamping possibilities.
but thats my opinion, i think the minimum is to have and end vise and dogholes. a twin frontal vise can be added aswell to make it better, but would not rely on that alone.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3313 days

#2 posted 08-29-2010 11:04 PM

I went through the same decision making process about a year ago.

Please note that the Veritas twin screw vice is not a quick release vice. I really like a quick release vice and therefore I decided not to get a twin screw.

I also like my vice on the end of the table. It just seems to work for me.

One of the better decisions I made was to add a couple of Kreg Bench clamp plates to my workbench.

You will be amazed at how handy these bench clamps are.

I invite you to look at my work bench in the pictures of my workshop.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 3076 days

#3 posted 08-29-2010 11:32 PM

Thanks for the replies.. Interesting to see you both seem to prefer just one vise ate the end of the bench, how do you get on working the edges of longer boards like this? is there enough support with a long board just clamped in the middle across the end of the bench? Working edges of long boards is when I envisage needing most support, the end vise i imagine using more to clamp boards for sanding or routing work. For this reason I had considered a leg vise and flush fronted style bench for long board egde work and the twin screw to make it easy to clamp up flat panels on the top.

Always frustrating when folks point me to obviously useful gadgets on retailer sites, i’m stuck in an isolated area of Mexico, shipping costs are prohibitive as is the general economic situation, everything has to be done “om the cheap”! As mentioned I hope to realise whichever vise configuration I settle on using standard bench screws, which are available here. I was pleased to see a couple of twin vise screws done using this kind of basic hardware during my searches, so definetely doable.
I’m most interested to know what advantages there are to a twin screw on the end of the bench, bearing in mind my thoughts on clamping panels there for power tool work..and after the previous replies I’m also interested to know how people get on with longer boards and using just an end vise, ie:no face vise at all?

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 3076 days

#4 posted 08-31-2010 01:00 AM

Hi Jorge, thanks for the reply.. I was thinking of using the standard “tornillo de carpintero” which are available in most ferreterias here. I can get them for about $200mxp each, which might actually work out cheaper than a threading kit, if indeed I can find one of those down here. The advantage I can see of the wooden threads is that they would be faster moving, and kinder on any material that comes into contact with them than a metal screw.

Do you have a link for the end vise, or is it not online? Be interesting to know what kind it is, quick release or not, dog hole or dog included?
Thanks again Jorge, hopefully catch up soon.

Nobody else have any thoughts or experience on the twin screw as an end vise?

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 3076 days

#5 posted 08-31-2010 01:29 AM

Thanks again Jorge, the vise seems a bit pricey for a very simple model but I guess its cheaper than ordering something from the states. I may get back to you on that.

My thinking on the TS on the end was that there it is both useful for clamping panels (cabinet doors for example) between the screws to work on ends/sides and with dogs in place and a row of dog holes down both sides of the benchtop could be used to work similar larger flat panel pieces flat on the top. The leg vise, or single screw face vise could take care of longer boards along the side of the bench with a clamp used to support the other end by fixing to the leg or apron.

Having never used anything other than a table to work on, it can be very confusing to see the myriad of different bench configurations out there and try to weigh up which combo would best suit me.

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 3076 days

#6 posted 08-31-2010 04:26 AM

Jorge.. your first point in your last reply was exactly why I figured the twin vice would be more useful on the end, as I think such a large vise is a bit of an obstacle to work round a lot of the time and as you say, a longer door perched up in that vise is not going to be practical. with a leg vise (or possibly even better a shoulder vise now you mention it) I could clamp longer doors as I mentioned in my previous post along the front of the bench with a clamp to support the non vise end.
Having never used a bench with dogs or an end vise I tend to look at them and think that the single row of dog holes and the smaller tail/end vise seems great for pinching longer thinner boards but that perhaps they don’t do so well clamping up a wider panel just pinching it on one side, or do they?

I think the idea of building the worksurface first and checking how I am clamping is a good one and I think that is what I will do. More than anything else I am in need of a more solid surface to work on and that way I can break it up and leave the vise decisions for later :)

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