Vise Advise

Dear Rec,
I have posted pictures in ABPW but I hope my verbal description is enough for thos who can't access it.
I have a 10” wide, quick acting woodworking vise that I got from my dad. I currently have it mounted on my workbench, but I am planning a bench upgrade (better, flatter top) and I want to remount the vise to give me the maximum benefit of its features.
As you can see in the pictures, I have attached maple the jaw faces. If you will note, the moving jaw has a lip on the top that extends full width and stands proud of the top by about 5/16”. The thickness of the lip is about half the jaw thickness.
Currently, I have the vise mounted so the lip extends above the plane of my workbench top. I have also drilled a set of dog holes opposite the vise with the thinking that I can use the vise in combination with dogs to clamp larger pieces to the bench top. This works OK although the 5/16” lip doesn’t have all that much of a grab face. The down side of this set-up is that if I’m moving pieces around on my bench and they stick out over the sides, they invariably hit the vise lip and I mar the piece.
I would like, therefore, to solicit from the collected wisdom of this group with the following questions:
1. Have you ever seen a vise like this before? How was it mounted relative to the workbench top?
2. Would you recommend I mount this vise to continue to use the lip with the dogs or do you feel I should mount it lower to get the lip out of the way?
3. If I mount the vise lower, should I retain the current maple jaw liners or should I make a set that would extend up to the bench top, perhaps routing away part of the wood so it tucks up against the lip?
4. Are there any other mounting/use options I have overlooked?
As I said, I got this vise from my dad. I imagine I could probably find a better one, but I want to keep this vise (and al the tools I inherited) as working tools that are part of what I create in my shop.
Thanks for your input,
Bill Leonhardt
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I think the vise is worth keeping. I'd wish it had a pop up dog but it's certainly workable. I would do two things if I was mounting it in a new bench:
Mount it so the jaw at the bench was in line with the side of the bench instead of sticking out, and
Cover up the existing lip and put in a thicker piece of wood with one or two holes for bench dogs of some sort, so I could make it flush with the bench top when I wasn't using it.
I agree with you, having that lip there constantly would be a royal pain. But it's too nice a piece of equipment to toss. I'd use a new wood face to build it up higher, mount it flush with the top and the side, and use bench dogs in the new wood face. You'd lose a little bit of jaw opening by having a thicker face, but It would be worth it.
But that's just my first thoughts. There's probably a lot that I'm forgetting. Like, how deep should the hole for the bench dogs go? Would I build it so I could push the bench dog in too deep so I'd need to pound a nail in it to get it out?
And stuff like that. :-)
Oh, and since the face is much thicker, I'd also make the face quite a bit longer than the jaw.
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Thanks for your feedback. I did think of making the face thicker to accommodate dogs but your suggestion of extending the face to the side has me thinking I could put the dogs to the side of the jaw. Might rack it though, so I guess I'd better put a dog in the center (above the screw) in the conventional way.
BTW I'm thinking round dogs would be good since they can rotate to grab irregularly shapes panels.
Thanks again,
Bill
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I use round dogs. Frank Klausz is adamant: SQUARE! An oddly shaped piece can pop out of the round ones and he does not entertain arguments about it. I will never tell Frank that I have round dogs in my bench.
Regarding racking, how old is this vise and how thick are the rails?
Racking is a problem with newer vises because the rails are so thin. In my experience, older vises were treated much worse and rarely have racking problems because there's so much metal there you need hydraulics to bend it.
It's true my experience includes only four older vises and one new one but it was enough to give me a strong opinion.
However, if you put only one dog dead center of your new fence face, shouldn't that pretty much eliminate any racking issues?
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I have enjoyed Frank's presentations and have chatted some with him. I'm with you; I'll never admit to round dogs. ;-}

My earliest memories remember my dad having this vise and I'm in my 60's. So it's old. The patent dates on the face say 1894 &1898. I'm at work and the vise is home but memory tells me that the rails are at least 1" dia.

I'm thinking that it's time for me to stop thinking and obsessing over such things as racking and just get on with building and using the new bench. :-) As you said, this vise is probably old enough that I couldn't rack it if I tried.
Thanks again,
Bill
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I can't see the picture of yours but I bought this from Grizzly http://www.grizzly.com/products/Cabinet-Maker-s-Vise/H7788
I mounted the bracket under the bench and built up the apron for the inside jaw
For the outside jaw I glued up a Maple sandwich with Poplar for the bread. This gave me a forgiving hardwood for the face of the vise and I drilled the Maple for dogs. No lip above the bench surface and no metal pop-up dog. When I need to use it for clamping to the bench top I just shove a dowel in the hole(s) of the outside jaw and one in the bench. The outside jaw is a little over 2 3/4" thick but I have not yet needed the extra capacity I lost.
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