Front Vise Racks Top to Bottom....?

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Forum topic by Matt posted 10-31-2013 04:39 PM 2512 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt's profile


2 posts in 1669 days

10-31-2013 04:39 PM

Howdy all, I scoured the site but couldn’t find a related post in the past so hopefully I’m not rehashing something that’s just been discussed. I have the large front vise that Lee Valley sells and had it previously installed on my doug fir and tamarack bench using two doug fir jaws. I noticed right away that when clamping, the vise would rack from top to bottom. To put it another way, even though I’d planed away the bottom of the front jaw, when I tightened down on the vise the top of the front jaw would rack away from the workpiece. I thought it was due to using a relatively soft wood for the jaws so in my bench tuneup I picked up some maple to redo the vise.

Long story boring, just finished up with the new jaws and the exact same thing is happening. It’s almost like the lead screw is basically pulling the whole thing out of alignment when it gets tight. The main issue I have with this in the first place is that the top of the workpiece is never supported when clamped so it vibrates like crazy when I try to saw.

Hopefully this makes some kind of sense, and I’d appreciate any help quite a bit. It was pretty disappointing to go through the 20 something steps only to land back on the same problem! Thanks much,

-- mg

4 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 10-31-2013 04:47 PM

Got any images Matt?

Sight unseen, you might place a shim piece on the underside of the bench top that forces the screw to stay more parallel as the vise closes. Those that I see on LV have alignment rods that should be doing that job.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2981 days

#2 posted 10-31-2013 04:55 PM

I have the economy front vise and experienced the same thing when testing it before fully tightening down the lag bolts on the underside and on the face side (to the bench). Once all was tightened, it reduced, but I still have a little bit of what you are describing, though it is small enough that I was able to plane in an appropriate angle, albeit a little more than what they suggest in the instructions.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Matt's profile


2 posts in 1669 days

#3 posted 11-14-2013 04:13 AM


How’s this? I realized it’s difficult to capture the out of plumbness of the front jaw, but you can see how much it’s pulling away from the top compared to the tight grip in the middle. You’re correct about the alignment rods, this vise has them along with support collets that are buried in the rear jaw.


Good to know, I should go over all the connecting hardware and tighten it all down again. I’ve planed a slight angle to favor the top edge of the jaws, but maybe I should make that more aggressive.

-- mg

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#4 posted 11-14-2013 06:26 AM

That is the exact same thing my Groz front vise did.
And why I bought another face vise to replace it.
Like this:

I have warned folks that the cheap front vises had racking problems but I always wondered if it was just the cheap ones or the whole group in general.
Looks like I have my answer.

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