Maple vs. Ash for workbench leg vise

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Brett posted 04-06-2012 06:58 PM 1765 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


636 posts in 1437 days

04-06-2012 06:58 PM

I’m still at the beginner stage of woodworking, so when I build something from plans, I’m reluctant to deviate too much.

I need to buy some lumber for the leg vise and other parts of a Roubo workbench. The instructions say to use ash, but my local lumberyard does not carry ash thicker than 4/4. They do have 10/4 maple that is about 9 inches wide, which the size I need.

Is there any reason why I could not substitute maple for ash for the leg vise? Are there benefits to using ash for a leg vise or other parts of a workbench?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

6 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile (online now)


1311 posts in 1563 days

#1 posted 04-06-2012 08:07 PM

Were it me I would prefer maple. I certainly cant come up with any reasons to specify ash in a design for a leg vise.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3590 posts in 2715 days

#2 posted 04-06-2012 08:12 PM

Maple will work just fine. Ash, oak, hickory… what? I have oak on my bench. Hasn’t fellen down yet.


View WDHLT15's profile


1215 posts in 1230 days

#3 posted 04-07-2012 01:07 AM

Go for it.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

422 posts in 1752 days

#4 posted 04-07-2012 01:54 AM


If for some reason you want all the wood to match (i.e. all oak, all maple, all ash), why not just laminate two or more pieces of 4/4 material to make your chop? That is what I did for my chop, and so far it works well.


View Brett's profile


636 posts in 1437 days

#5 posted 04-09-2012 06:20 PM


My top is going to be southern yellow pine (per Chris Schwarz’s directions), so nothing but pine would match any way. :)

I know that maple is used for benches, I just didn’t know whether ash had some benefit for leg vises over maple.


-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Loren's profile


7831 posts in 2402 days

#6 posted 04-09-2012 07:12 PM

I would use the ash. Ash is very tough and springy. Maple
is hard and brittle. Ash is generally cheaper than maple as
well. Hickory, oak and elm have similar characteristics to ash.

I suggest ripping the flatsawn ash and laminating up a jaw.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase