Thoughts on the wagon vise

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Forum topic by pierce85 posted 08-13-2011 08:51 PM 5920 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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508 posts in 1985 days

08-13-2011 08:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question traditional woodworking vise

I’m still planning out my workbench and leaning strongly toward a wagon vise in addition to my Wilton front vise (gotta a great deal on a new one). I really like the simplicity and low-cost potential of a wagon vise as opposed to the traditional tail vise. Any thoughts, advice or opinions would be appreciated. Here’s a picture of a wagon vise (Source – Wagon Vise, Version 4.0 by Chris Schwarz).

8 replies so far

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12642 posts in 3520 days

#1 posted 08-13-2011 08:56 PM

Cool. Similar to this inset vice.,41659

What is your main reason for avoiding a tail vice?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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508 posts in 1985 days

#2 posted 08-13-2011 09:03 PM

^primarily cost and they look very cool to me – I’m a sucker for simple but highly function things. I’ve had an eye on that Veritas inset vise but I think I want to build my own.

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17577 posts in 3099 days

#3 posted 08-13-2011 10:42 PM

Awesomely simple ;-)) I like it!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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508 posts in 1985 days

#4 posted 08-14-2011 01:25 AM

The more I look at the Veritas inset vise the more I want it. I mean it’s only like $60 more than the other vise screw I was thinking about buying and the same price as the Lie-Nielsen vise screw. Someone please stop me!

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1083 posts in 2669 days

#5 posted 08-14-2011 02:02 AM

Funny, I never heard much about a wagon vise until schwarz said they were great. Word bs (before schwarz) was when they had a problem, you have to destroy half of your bench top to fix it. Something that is easier to work on, and possibly remove, is better. Maybe like that cool looking inset vise.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View rance's profile


4243 posts in 2583 days

#6 posted 08-14-2011 02:10 AM

I think you’ve made the right choice(wagon over tail). I too like the simplicity & economy. There’s no reason you couldn’t build it to be removable for repairs. Only drawback I could possibly see is the wagon doesn’t have a quick release, but with the handle shown, I can’t see that being a problem. Can you even get a wagon with a quick release?

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

View Tedstor's profile


1625 posts in 2056 days

#7 posted 08-14-2011 06:28 PM

I like that wagon vise that CS described. That design rides on rails below the bench, and I see no complications with removing the entire assembly if it ever needed repair. I suppose the wood holding the screw guide could eventually fail, but even in that case you could chop off the end block on the bench and install a new one. Not a small task, but not outrageous either…...assuming it even ever became an issue.
That Veritas vise is definitely cool, but I’d opt for the CS design. The handle on the Veritas design is microscopic and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t get annoyed with it. It also appears that the Veritas has limited options for accesories to use in its “dog” holes. The other design will accomodate anything you can conjour with a 3/4” shaft. Don’t get me wrong, the Veritas would be a great option. I’m just not sure its the best option for most woodworkers.

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508 posts in 1985 days

#8 posted 08-14-2011 08:39 PM

I’m having the same thoughts, Tedstor. I keep going back and forth on this. The other downside with the Veritas inset vise (related to size) is its turning capacity. Because the threads are so small it takes a lot of tedious turning to move the vise forwards and back. I think all the concerns about tearing the bench apart to fix a wagon vise are overblown. As you and rance point out, given Schwarz’s design and others, I don’t see why you would need to tear the bench apart to fix something.

Oh well, I have more time to go back and forth and sideways on this. I won’t be getting to this for several weeks anyway.

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