Vise advice


I have posted pictures to ABPW to illustrate this question.
I have a quick acting woodworking vice that I inherited from my dad. The front jaw is higher than the rear jaw by about 1/4". The vise doesn't have one of the sliding dogs and I have previously mounted the vise so the projecting front jaw sticks up higher than the surface of my workbench where it acts like a dog. On the positive side, I can use it to clamp work on the bench, however, on the negative side, as I slide work around on top of the bench, it catches on the vise and gets dinged.
My bench top isn't as flat as I would like and, in the near future, I will be installing a new top. I will, therefore, be remounting this vise. I'd like to hear comments from the group as to whether people feel that it is more important to have the dog-like clamping ability (install vise with the lip proud) or the "clean top" (recess the vise lip).
Of course, I could be looking at this all wrong, and, in that case, I'd be happy to have you straighten me out.
Thanks,
Bill Leonhardt
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Duplicate of post made to abpw before this propagated here: This is one of those questions that has to be answered "do what is best for the way YOU work." You've had experience with it, and it sounds like the dinging is a problem. How often do you use the dog feature?
If it were my bench and vise, I would be inclined NOT to remount the vise, add a new surface tot he bench to slightly above the iron of the vise, and install new vise-liners to be flush with the benchtop (probably including a strip to fill the dado in the front iron jaw). If I found the current dogging ability useful, I would duplicate it with a removable dog. Before installing the front liner, I would clamp a 1/2" piece of hardwood on the top of the liner, and drill through it and the liner three 1/2" holes. Then get some 1/2-inch dowel, and glue it in the holes of the dog piece. Then slip the dowels extending from the dog piece in the holes in the liner when you want the raised dog functionality. I'd probably make the center dowel noticeably off-center, to help with orientation of the dog.
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Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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You can have both: Install wooden jaws on the vise, and position the vise so that the tops of the jaws are even with the table top. Make the wooden face on the movable jaw thick enough so that you can install some type of dog in it when needed.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Looks to me like you should mortise the rear jaw into the front of the bench top, yet lowered the same measurement as the hight of that lip, so the lip is flush to the bench top.
There would need to be additional spacer underneath to compensate for the drop.
This way you could screw the rear (bench side) jaw cheek into the front of the top, yet the screws going into both outsides of the iron of the rear jaw, using countersinks for the screw heads.
Actually what I think you have is a natural end vise, the lip intended to be the replacement of a sliding dog, not a front vise. That's a WIDE one.
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Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
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Simple solution. Mount the vise so it is flush with the top and drill the rear wooden jaw for bench dogs.

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>

SNIP
Thanks for the "vise advice". I think I'll go with mounting the vise flush and incorporate a sliding dog in the maple jaw face.
Bill
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...

In my opinion a dog isn't very useful on a front vise. I'd add spacers to the vise mount to drop its height, mortise the back jaw into the bench, and add a mortised sleeve over the front jaw. Here's how I did a similar thing on the bench I built: http://home.earthlink.net / ~nateperkins1/Woodworking/projects/workbench04/P8260187.JPG
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Is that vise a Record 52-1/2?
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Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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AAvK wrote:

Made in CHICAGO.
Dave in Fairfax
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daveldr at att dot net
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Nope, it's a second rate Chinese clone from Harbor Freight. Works okay but nothing special.
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