I just got done building my base for my workbench. Now I am planning for my
vises. I see front vises, tail vises, veritas twin screw vises, etc out
there. I was thinking of putting a veritas twin screw vise on one end of the
table and I was going to put a front vise or something on the side of the
table at the opposite end. Would a tail vise be better than a front vise? Or
how about one of those shoulder vises? Can someone give some pointers on why
I would choose one over the other? Regards. -Guy
This is exactly what I did with my bench and I think it gives a great
combination of clamping options. The twin-screw vise is simply a work of
art, in my opinion. I use it to hold boards for dovetailing or similar
tasks. Using bench dogs with it is a breeze, and I've done that for wide
panel planing, etc. The front vise I have is a Record 52 1/2 quick-release
type. The quick-release is a must have option, IMO. I use that vise for
long boards with a board jack along the front edge of the bench. I also
have some clamping hold downs from Veritas that are great for utility
clamping on the bench surface. There are a lot of good alternatives in
vises than these two, but for the money and ease of installation and use, I
think it's hard to beat them. This was my first bench and I doubt I'll
replace it anytime in the foreseeable future.
I agree. A few years ago I moved shops and the new shop was much smaller.
I had to give up one workbench. I kept the traditional workbench, and love
it for most things, but there are times when I really miss my Veritas twin
screw vice. It was great for cutting dovetails because I could fit wide
boards between the screws. I have the vice in storage and have been
thinking of modifying the current bench to accept the twin screw vice.
Do you think a Record quick release vise is better than one of those front
screw vises with a front and rear face made out of wood? Or do you just like
the Record because of the quick release feature? Regards. -Guy
I have a record 52 1/2, installed with the rear face BEHIND the bench
apron and a slab of maple attached to the front face. Love the quick
release feature and the large capacity. Havn't owned a traditional
single screw vice, so I can't comment.
I have mine installed exactly the same way as Gary. In this configuration
you use the front apron as a clamping surface, which allows you to clamp
long boards with support along the entire front of the bench. I use board
jacks and a hold-down at the far end and it holds the boards extremely well.
As for the traditional screw vises, I've only used one a couple of times.
They definately have an authentic look to them, but I don't think they
accomplish the job any better than the Record vises. The quick-release
feature simply saves time, allowing you to quickly clamp and unclamp items
and cycle through jobs if you're doing repetitive tasks with the vise.
Ditto on that. I've got the Veritas twin-screw on the end, and a
Record 52.5 or 53.5 (forget which) on the front corner, mounted
flush with the apron with maple and masonite jaws. The quick
release is an absolute must in my opinion. I use the Veritas when I
have to, but the Record is the default choice for everything else.
It's hard to appreciate the quick-release until you've used it
in practice. Believe me, spinning a screw to move a vice jaw
several inches is tedious at best, but mostly just maddening.
With the Records, just be sure to install rubber washers on the vise handle. I
should have taken that advice myself. My 53ED nipped my finger yesterday and
as a result put some red stains on the white chair leg I was working on:)
Today I got my ass to the store and picked up some faucet washers.
I posted a couple pictures of my bench on alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking
I followed to the letter Sam Allen's joiner's bench in his "Making
Workbenches" book. It is definately not the most attractive bench to look
at (someday I'll make my own version of the dream workbench), but it was
economical and easy to build and, most importantly, extremely functional.
But what's the fun of making things that are easy to build? No big
dovetails, no mortises or tenons, no pegs or wedges, no dovetailed
splines, no shoulder vise? (I'm almost done with my first "dream
bench" - the Frank Klausz bench with the shoulder vise but with
the Veritas Twin Screw Vise on the right end - I like challenges
but his end vise is just too much for me.)
BTW the shoulder vise will let you clamp up parts that aren't
flat rectangles. You still need the flat parts put not the parallel
The main thing with building things that are easy is two-fold for me.
1. It saves time. I work full-time, have a 7 month old son and am taking a
half-time load of MBA classes. I also do projects for pay via a cabinet
shop, which takes 1-2 weekends a month of my time. So, my shop time "for
me" is a bit restricted right now.
2. I don't screw things up and have to repeat them. I'm still on the near
side of woodworking beginner-ship, so the more straightforward a task is,
the more sense it makes to me. I definiately appreciate the more complex
joinery and aesthetic nuances of design, but for my developing skills,
sometimes simple is the best choice.
I fully intend to someday put my woodworking skills (hopefully greatly
improved by then) to the test and build a "real" cabinetmaker's bench, but
for now I'm absolutely thrilled with the one I made, despite it's masonite
surface and construction lumber base.
And, despite the "ease" of the projects, I honestly don't think they are any
less fun to make.
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 18:00:22 -0600, "Guy LaRochelle"
My main bench (Tage Frid design) has a shoulder vice and a movable dog
in the tail vice. Both are hand-made in timber (3" x 4" oak) with
factory steel screws.
A shoulder vice is good for awkward items, and it allows you to put
tall things in it vertically. However it's otherwise a poor vice for
clamping. It works on my bench, but only because I usually work
If you get an English pattern face vice, get a big one. The downside
of such a vice is the guide bars in the middle that prevent you
holding things vertically. Go for a big one so you get some space at
the side. Fit wooden faces too.
An Emmett pattern patternmaker's vice is handy, and quite affordable
for the modern Taiwanese repros. A great second vice, they're not so
good as an only vice. They're always on the skew, so they're less
rapid to clamp up square things, which is after all what you do most
of the time. They're also difficult to mount rigidly on some types of
My "tail" vice has an L-shaped moving jaw, which gives me a "notch"
vice in the front edge. More usefully though, it carries a row of
moving dog holes. These turned out to be more use than any vice I've
I'm unconvinced by tail vices. The L shaped wooden sort isn't a vice
and shouldn't be used as one. As Tage Frid pointed out, this puts
racking forces into the joints and distorts it from sliding smoothly.
Don't use the back "jaw" as a vice on the end of the bench.
I also have no use for a tail vice, because there just isn't space
around my wall-standing bench to work on the end of it. Maybe if you
have a free-standing island bench, then YMMV.
If I did have a tail vice, I'd probably go for a twin screw with easy
independent adjustability. I only have one row of dog holes and I
really wish I had two (given how useful the first row has turned out
The frame of my bench is 4" deep, which is about right for rigidity
and for getting a clamp over it. My other bench is stiffened by a
vertical apron on the front, which made it unusable for clamping - bad
FYI: a vice is a bad habit. Smoking, drinking and womanizing are all vices.
If you want to clamp wood, you need a vise. Now if you collect vises, and spend
your all rent money on them, then your vises are also your vices.
The Spelling Police
On 06 Apr 2004 00:38:31 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Charlie Self)
NO, NO! It's you Murricans who spell funny. Every other
English-speaking country in the world spells stuff like the Brits do.
(Except for some contamination in Kanuckistan - I don't know why LVT
spells it "vise".)
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
Is that sort of like, like, "50 million Frenchman can't be wrong"? Or your
kids, "But Dad, everyone does it"?
As for LV spelling vise correctly, the Lee family long ago learned how to work
the marketing game, and I'd be willing to bet, even with Rob refusing to give
us retail stores, the U.S. holds most of LV's customers.
That good customer bit is a thing that has baffled me with Yurpeen's and
Chiwanese: the U.S. is by far the largest customer of both areas. So both areas
force their metric system on us, instead of giving us what we're used to and
comfortable with. Was the whole thing a worldwide conspiracy to force me to buy
an extra set of wrenches?
"It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
When I was working in England I was often told that Americans were
inconsistent in their spelling (and pronunciation) and that I needed to be
careful with regard to spelling consistency in my written reports. The very
next report on wing flaps I turned in followed the phrase "centre flap",
with "innre flap" and "outre flap" ... that got a BIG rise. I would also ask
why, if they pronounced "schedule" like they do, did they not do the same
for "school"? That pretty well ended all argument on consistency in
spelling and pronunciation.
British "english" and its American cousin "plain english" are a
lot, a line with heritage linked to so many other cultures and
some Teutonic, hence knight, laughter and daughter, the latter
since only one letter changes but the pronunciation is totally
If you want a dog that'll do one or two things very well, get a pure
bred. If you want a dog that can get by quite well without you but
hangs around because he likes you - get a mutt.
In a nation of "mutts", it was Webster and his dictionary that made
"the melting pot" work. No common "terms" and "definitions" - no
contracts/agreements. No contracts/agreements - no business and
that leads to disagreements and conflicts - which sometimes leads
to the exchange of "common words" and often fists.
Anyone want to try and explain the spelling and pronuncition of
Sequoia - to a Dutchman?
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