Isn't there a possibility that a very hard wood could cause a softer piece
of wood held within the vise to be compressed?
It would appear to me that it would be preferable to have the risk of damage
taken on by the pieces of wood covering the vise as they are easily replaced
with scrap whenever necessary.
When I built my bench I had a nice piece of red oak for one of the vises
but the only piece of decent size for the other one was a hefty piece of
quartersawn pine that I got out of the freebie pile at a lumber yard. I put
it on intending to replace it when I got a better piece.
That was a couple years ago and I haven't noticed any difference in the two
of 'em. Maybe I'm not using it enough or something but so far, the only
thing I notice is I like the color of the oak better. That big chunk of
pine has a lot of mass and seems to take a beating pretty well.
If either the jaw or the workpiece dents that means that you did something
wrong. You either overtightened, or you need to fabricate a jaw liner that
more evenly distributes pressure between both the jaw and the workpiece.
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