I am in the process of building a new workbench. In reading the vice
instructions (Lee Valley 70G08.02,
it says to use Birch or Maple for the wooden jaws. Is there any
problem with using Walnut? It states to use closed grain hardwood.
Walnut appears to be open grain like Oak.
Any thoughts? Anyone using Walnut?
Thanks for the response. I thought that was the case. I am using a
solid core door for the top of the bench. This thing is 1 3/4" thick
and was 8' long and about 200 lbs. It has a light colored veneer and
I was planning on using walnut as a contrasting skirt for the bench.
Additionally, the skirt was going to be the rear jaw.
I didn't have any hardwood thick enough when I installed the vise in
my bench, so I used a big piece of qs pine that I got in a freebie bin
at the lumber house and told myself I'd replace it with something
harder as soon as I could.
Been a couple years now with no problems and it looks just fine. Now
that I have some nice hardwood pieces that would work, I find I'd
prefer to use them for something else.
Just don't use ring-porous woods which might be prone to split along the
porous areas. I favor woods like bass or aspen, personally. I can chew
them up without cracking them, and they aren't harder than what might be
pressed sideways into them and receive a mark.
Birch an excellent choice for resistance to splitting, but yellow would be
harder than I care to have in there.
If you're using the Veritas vice screw set, that's a small iron support
boss and a large span of unsupported wood. Clamp that tight and you'll
easily snap a wooden vice jaw, unless it's not made of something like
A Record vice, where there's a large iron faceplate and the wood
overhangs by no more than an inch or so is a whole different story.
Thanks for the input. That is what I thought you meant. I will use
maple for front jaw. I think I will still try to use maple for the
skirt/rear jaw since it will be supported from the rear by the bench
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