Workbench Vises


I did a google search in rec.woodworking and the answers are preety vague. Can someone tell me what each of these vises is used for? Tail vise Shoulder vise Face
I think I know but since I only have face vises, I'm not sure. Here's my stab at the answer:
Tail vise: To be used mostly in conjunction with bench dogs for planing long pieces. You can also clamp medium widh boards veritcally since there's no screws in the vertical path. To do so on a face vise or shoulder vise, you have to put the piece toward the side to avoid hitting the screw and guide mechanism.
Shoulder vise: Holding wide boards vertical. Say for cutting dovetails.
Face vise: General purpose. Because it's on the side of the bench, it is not well suited to using with long boards and bench dogs. The vises are also sued to hold long boards for joining the edges.
Corrections or embellishments?
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BTW, there's some good info in the rec.woodworking post called Workbench vises? started by Guy LaRochelle.
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This post was lost in a sea of spam to the group (March 31'st, 2005). So I'm posting this reply just to bring it to the the surface.
I'm beginning to think the death penalty should apply to spammers, even if they are 10 year old nerds. Just a thought.....I'd rather have replies on vises, than reactions to my death penalty statement, but I know I'll get both....
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Never Enough Money wrote:

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Will
Occasional Techno-geek
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Add to that class of capital criminals the new breed of Google Groups no-context posters, who make top posters look absolutely considerate!
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Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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Sounds right, except for the shoulder vise part. It also has no screws interfering with vertical clamping, so this function of a traditional tail vise seems somewhat redundant with a shoulder vise.

Shoulder vise is a type of face vise. I presume what you are referring to as a face vise is the self-contained iron vise, e.g. Record 52. But there are several alternatives. The bench I am completing has a shoulder vise, but my current has an iron face vise. Iron vise much stronger. But for vertical clamping, I have wooden faces attached that extend to one side (canted inward slightly to increase clamping pressure away from the center) A less-than-ideal solution, but it works.
Check out http://www.terraclavis.com/bws/benches.htm for a very complete discussion and comparison table on face and end vise alternatives.
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Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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Alex, thanks for the link to Bob's Benches. It's very informative.
Personally, I use two front, wooden vises on my bench, one centered on the side & one centered on the right end. (I'm right handed.) I have peg holes for 3/4" dowels in the bench top for them to push against. I also have them 1/2" above the top of the bench. On the front left leg, about half way down, I have an iron vise with wood padded jaws. I had to redo some windows & found it very handy. I can also put a board in it to pick up the end of a long board in the side, front vice when planing. Both my front vises are home made, single wooden screw with 2 stabilizer rods. I made the side one extra long & sometimes have to put a shim on the far side if I'm clamping on just one side. It's wide enough that I can usually put a vertical board between the screw & the stabilizer rod without a problem. That one is made of maple. The end vise is made of walnut.
They work pretty well for me. I like them sticking up over the edge of the bench, too. Occasionally, I have to pad a board up a bit, but usually I don't & I get good, solid pressure across the top of the bench. I did screw up & have the screw too high on the side vise (higher than the stabilizer bars. That can be a bit of a pain. Also, that vise has round stabilizer rods & they aren't as solid or steady as the square ones I have on the end vise.
I used a 6" quick release iron vise for years as my side vise, which is the one I primarily use. I liked it, but it just wasn't wide enough. I that vise to be at least 12" wide. My current one is 20", which is a little too long, I think. Next one, I'll probably drop back to 16" Also, the quick release had the disturbing habit of picking its own times to release. It was old & worn though.
Jim
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