|Forum topic by HarveyDunn||posted 02-16-2014 07:02 PM||2028 views||1 time favorited||16 replies|
02-16-2014 07:02 PM
I’m a newbie, setting up workspace on a tight budget – not enough money, not enough space, not enough time!
I don’t have a workbench; I don’t have the skills or the equipment to build a complex one myself. I’m working small – mostly keepsake boxes; nothing larger than an end table in my foreseeable future.
I know most benches have both a face and a tail vise. Do any of you get by with just a tail vise alone?
I’ve recently found two very inexpensive vises. There is this one, called a “pony” light duty vise from Highland Woodworking:
It doesn’t have much travel (4.5”, and I guess by the time you’ve added your wooden jaw plate that is reduced even futher). But it is only $24! I was wondering if two of these side by side would be sufficient for holding boards while planing edges.
There is also this one from Woodworker’s Supply:
Its on sale right now for $90 with $5 flat rate shipping. It has 9.125” inches of travel – I was thinking that with the addition of a wooden jaw plate with a benchdog hole in it I could use this for a tail vise.
What am I going to attach them to? I don’t know. I thought perhaps I’d get a wood door or a dining room table from Habitat for Humanity, cut them down to the best size for my space with a circular saw, then make some legs of the right height out of 2×4s. Then drill some benchdog holes.
Alternative: buy a bench.
Home Depot has a Sjobergs 53” Pine bench with one vise for $190:
Pretty lightweight, obviously, but it could be sandbagged if necessary.
Woodcraft has something similar but in birch and with a second vise for $350:
And of course there is always the option of waiting for the next sale and getting the HF bench for around $120 or so, depending upon the coupon.
Right now they are $165. The one set up in my local store is a mess – cracked top, very wobbly. But that could be a result of the incompetence of the staff – a few weeks ago I saw a half ton arbor go crashing to the floor because it had been put on the wrong stand and left unsecured.
Or it could be because it is just a piece of junk.
Your thoughts/advice will be greatly appreciated.