Roubo Workbench End Vise Question

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Forum topic by Marshall posted 12-22-2013 10:32 PM 1281 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 2051 days

12-22-2013 10:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench bench roubo lie-neilsen vise end vise

Hello all,

I’m designing my first “real” workbench and looking to get started this week. The design is based heavily on the Roubo in Chris Schwarz’s book.

I’m sold on a leg vise for the front, and I’m 90% sold on a twin screw vise on the end. I’m looking at the lie nielsen twin screw vise—while I was hoping to avoid spending that kind of money—it looks like a really good solution.

My question is this:

The vise instructions show a wide apron around the perimeter of the bench that must be modified to accommodate the stand offs, and drilled through for the screws to pass. My bench will have a 4” solid top with no apron. Is there any reason, I cant just screw the stand offs directly to the bottom of the bench and use the end of the bench itself as the rear jaw?

Link to the instructions here:


-- Marshall -

6 replies so far

View theoldfart's profile


9699 posts in 2447 days

#1 posted 12-22-2013 10:54 PM

I think you would need to distribute clamping force across the entire end and not focus it on a single top plank. That stress could fracture your glue lines. I have an apron across the end of my current batch and am planning on the same for my new bench build.
I just reread your post and you say you have a solid top so maybe not as critical on glue lines but I still think there could be some deformation on the end grain from clamping stress.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View danoaz's profile


222 posts in 2166 days

#2 posted 12-22-2013 11:06 PM

Marshall – Kind of hard for me to explain but it has to do with getting equal pressure on both front and back side of the material or else it would start to pull in the front bottom in further once the top stops. This would create an uneven torquing action. Does that make sense?

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 2051 days

#3 posted 12-23-2013 01:55 AM

Thanks for the replies. I just finished my sketchup model that shows what I’m talking about (adapted a model of Chris Schwarz’s bench found online). As far as I can tell, the mounting of the hardware is basically the same as instructed in the Lie Nielsen instructions, with the exception that the vise screws arent going through an apron on the bench. The standoffs are mounted to the bottom of the bench the same as lie nielsen shows.

The benchtop is yellow pine and I’m thinking walnut for the end cap and vise jaw. Thoughts, feedback, recommendations appreciated!


-- Marshall -

View richardwootton's profile


1699 posts in 1951 days

#4 posted 12-23-2013 02:01 AM

How are you attaching the end cap to the top? Are you going to use bread boards?

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 2051 days

#5 posted 12-23-2013 02:09 AM

Breadboard is what I’m thinking… three tenons. The center one glued and pinned and the outer two floating.

I’m open for suggestions though. Like I said this is my first design.

After thinking about my last post, I could increase the width of the breadboard and it basically becomes the apron from the lie nielsen plan, but I guess I don’t understand why that would be advantageous.


-- Marshall -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15348 posts in 2614 days

#6 posted 12-23-2013 04:07 AM

Straight to end grain, hope this helps.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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