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Of Short Legged Leg Vises

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Forum topic by Nicholas Hall posted 12-14-2013 09:02 PM 1139 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nicholas Hall

350 posts in 1568 days


12-14-2013 09:02 PM

I searched the forum for posts about short leg vises, but I couldn’t find any. I’m guessing that means that I might be headed in the wrong direction. In any case, my question is how short can a leg vise be, and still be equal to or superior to an average face vise with respect to holding power.

This being lumberjocks, I’m betting that there is no variation on a workbench component that hasn’t been attempted multiple times. If anyone has a short leg vise, which I would define as being less than 25”, I’d be very curious to hear your experience and see a picture (if you have one handy). Are you happy with the vise? How does it compare to other leg vises you have used? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Thanks in advance…

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx


4 replies so far

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7167 posts in 2259 days


#1 posted 12-14-2013 11:05 PM

A leg vice is a third class lever ie: a mechanical disadvantage. You do not have a leg vice IMHO to get superior holding power. You have a leg vice for superior clamping depth.
As a third class lever, the distances of the load (jaws) and the force (screw, wedge, etc.) from the fulcrum will determine the holding power.
That means that the farther you can get the fulcrum (lower brace) from the power, the better.
A short leg vice would have to be either a) very shallow in the throat or b) really gutless.

I think that’s why you don’t see many. :-)

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1138 posts in 1135 days


#2 posted 12-15-2013 12:45 AM

I’ve been using this design for 30 years. They only need normal crank pressure to hold well. The big advantage…it is easy to adjust the pin.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

350 posts in 1568 days


#3 posted 12-15-2013 01:18 AM

Shipwright,

Just goes to show how little i know about this stuff. I was thinking that the amount of force applied to the clamped object was more a function of the force applied to the vice handle and the length of the vise handle. I thought that the reason the leg vise chop was so long was that it allowed increased leverage for the fulcrum, meaning the pin-board (and the leg it’s attached to) experienced less force.

I guess what I’m still trying to figure out is how short the leg vise chop can be before it becomes “too gutless”. Obviously “too gutless” is pretty subjective. For me, I want too be able to put a 2.5” table leg in the vise and mortise out a 1/2” mortise with chisel and mallet in the vise without the leg moving throughout the full mortise. It’s probably a dumb way to cut mortise but it works for me, and if a vise couldn’t handle it, I’d say it was gutless.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

350 posts in 1568 days


#4 posted 12-15-2013 01:34 AM

That’s an awesome set of benches Texcaster. I really like your leg vise design; you’ve done exactly what I was thinking of only 30 years sooner and a he’ll of a lot better! :)

Three Questions,

How tall is the vise (top of benchtop to bottom of vise)
How deep is the clamp depth (top of chop to screw)
How much leverage is there( distance from screw to top of pin-board)

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

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