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Thread: Vise options for end of bench?

  1. #1
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    Vise options for end of bench?

    I am getting ready to build a workbench from the Plans offered by Jay's Custom Creations on YouTube. I am planning to put a leg Vise on the front but I would also like to put some sort of Vice on the end. So far the 12 inch quick release Vise from Rockler looks like the best option to me being the amateur that I am. But the $200 price tag has me wondering if there are other similar options for less money but at this point I am wondering what options are even possible since the top will likely be 4 plus inches thick. I am guessing I will have to route a portion of the underside of the bench top out to get the Vise Jaws anywhere near lining up with the top of the bench.

    I have also been considering the Shop Fox D4648 13-Inch Large Capacity Heavy-Duty Cabinet Makers Front Vise .it looks nearly identical except it doesn't have the quick release feature and it is half the price I'm not sure if it is worth paying double to have the quick release or not. I'm also wondering if it can even be used for what I want it looks like it can but they have it labeled as a front vise

    I would have started on this project months ago but I just keep going in circles trying to decide which Vise setup to use and how to arrange the dog holes.

  2. #2
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    You might look into the Eclipse and Yost vises (both on Amazon I believe) that others are using. The Eclipse has been around for a while and some folks have recently tried the Yost out (less cost I believe?) and like what they see so far. If you run a search of the SMC posts, some info should come up on both. I have always used a quick release type face vise and, while I have no experience doing without the quick release feature, have a hard time imagining having to do without. My leg vise is not quick release and I don't use it unless I need the game it brings to a particular situation. Others, of course, may do very well without.
    David

  3. #3
    Dad has the 12" Rockler vise hardware. After a year of lack-luster performance we finally just wired the quick release mechanism closed. The vise works much better now. Your satisfaction with your choice will depend on what you are going to use it for. A front vise in the tail position has worked well for me.

    vises 002.jpg

    When I wanted greater capacity I moved to a twin screw. If you are looking for the more traditional use of a wagon vise at the tail, the Rockler and the Shop Fox will fall short due to racking. My old QR vises in front and tail position were both the same and the racking eventually pushed me to the twin screw. I do not use the tail vise as a "single dog mover" enough to be satisfied with that format. My current twin screws in front and tail positions are just an upgraded morph from what I was previously doing.

    TNNW End Vise (22).jpg
    She said How many woodworking tools do you need?
    I said Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?


  4. #4
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    Like Glenn B, I also have a twin screw vice at the end of my workbench. Coupled with the Pattern Maker's Vice on the side of my bench, I've been happy with the two clamping options for my work. I also make good use of the bench dog holes/dogs for bench-top clamping. Couple of pics for illustration.

    Tom

    IMG_2121 (Small).JPGIMG_2114 (Small).JPG

  5. #5
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    Brandon, I am curious to see what you end up with here. I am getting close to pulling the trigger in a quick release tail vice for a new workbench and my small shop is pushing me down the wagon vice road. My current winner is the veritas quick release tail vice mounted at 90 degrees for a wagon vice. I have retrofitted a few other mechanisms as tail vices in the past but always been a little disappointed but there are no shortage of screw options out there if you want to make something work or quite a few great off the shelf end vice options.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Hanley View Post
    I am wondering what options are even possible since the top will likely be 4 plus inches thick. I am guessing I will have to route a portion of the underside of the bench top out to get the Vise Jaws anywhere near lining up with the top of the bench.
    Not sure I understand your comment here. Assuming I'm looking at the correct vice on Rocklers site, I would guess you cut the jaws to whatever dimensions your application would require.

    http://www.rockler.com/12-quick-rele...IaArsLEALw_wcB

  7. #7
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    I have never built a vise before but I would have thought that the taller the jaw would be the the more likely it would be to have an effect kind of like when you try to clamp something all the way on one side of a vise and the Vise twists instead of clamping evenly . But like I said I have never built a voice before so that may be completely wrong

    I figured that was why some places list that they are made for a certain thickness bench top like the shop Fox 13 inch front Vise I've been looking at says it is for a 1.5 inch thick bench top?

    I have considered a twin-screw vise using the same bench screws as I was planning to use for the leg vise from Yost but I wasn't sure how that would work out with bench dogs

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hartranft View Post
    Like Glenn B, I also have a twin screw vice at the end of my workbench. Coupled with the Pattern Maker's Vice on the side of my bench, I've been happy with the two clamping options for my work. I also make good use of the bench dog holes/dogs for bench-top clamping. Couple of pics for illustration.

    Tom

    IMG_2121 (Small).JPGIMG_2114 (Small).JPG
    Do you see any reason that a very thick top would be an issue with that Lee Valley twin screw vise that you used? I know all the reviews and information I have found on that vise caution straying away from the instructions at all costs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Hanley View Post
    I have never built a vise before but I would have thought that the taller the jaw would be the the more likely it would be to have an effect kind of like when you try to clamp something all the way on one side of a vise and the Vise twists instead of clamping evenly . But like I said I have never built a voice before so that may be completely wrong

    I figured that was why some places list that they are made for a certain thickness bench top like the shop Fox 13 inch front Vise I've been looking at says it is for a 1.5 inch thick bench top?

    I have considered a twin-screw vise using the same bench screws as I was planning to use for the leg vise from Yost but I wasn't sure how that would work out with bench dogs
    Brandon The twin screw will work fine with a thick top. The jaws on my mine I believe are around 6. The instructions will recommend that you put a slight taper on the vice jaws from top to bottom to prevent the kind of issue I believe you are referring to. My biggest issue with the twin screw is how slow it is to open and close. Its a very nice vise, dont get me wrong, and has a lot of nice features/capabilities, its just slow.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    Brandon The twin screw will work fine with a thick top. The jaws on my mine I believe are around 6. The instructions will recommend that you put a slight taper on the vice jaws from top to bottom to prevent the kind of issue I believe you are referring to. My biggest issue with the twin screw is how slow it is to open and close. Its a very nice vise, dont get me wrong, and has a lot of nice features/capabilities, its just slow.
    Yes it is slow. I have a quick release vice in the tail position and use that 95% of the time. I bought another quick release vice to replace the twin screw I have in the front position, but have not installed it yet as I will have to figure out how to position it wrt the leg. The twin screw straddles the leg, the quick release can not.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Hanley View Post
    So far the 12 inch quick release Vise from Rockler looks like the best option to me being the amateur that I am. But the $200 price tag has me wondering if there are other similar options for less money
    Quick release is definitely worth the investment! You will likely have this vise for a very long time and use it a lot. Get the quick release. Save money somewhere else.
    Frankie

    I have a great Border Collie, she just can't hold her licker!

  12. #12
    Brandon - The value of a quick release vise will vary on how you hold your work. The first pic in post #3 shows my old bench with a quick release vise at both positions. As my methods morphed I stopped using the vise so much to grab stuff as to operate dogs for grabbing stuff. With good dog hole positions on the new bench I rarely have to move the vise jaws much so the loss of the QR feature was a non-issue.

    Having said that, (there's always a catch, eh?) I will contradict myself and say that at least a couple of times a year I threaten to add an additional QR vice for dynamic holding tasks of that sort. Its the age old answer to so many questions; what is 'best' for you "depends" on so many things.

    What made the twin screw solution "best" for me was that my main complaint about my work holding was having to deal with racking. I used stepped blocks and shims like so:

    vise-anti-rack-002.jpgvise-anti-rack-005.jpgvise-anti-rack-004.jpg

    These are very workable solutions. I just found myself using them so much I decided to change. The original plan was for a twin screw front vise with some sort of QR at the tail but, I couldn't commit. I built the new bench leaving the tail position design open to the three vises I couldn't decide on. Once I'd run the twin screw at the front for some time I went ahead with one at the tail as well. Your Mileage Will Vary

  13. #13
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    Brandon,

    Ref ... "Any issues with a thick top using the twin screw Veritas vise?"

    My bench top is 2-1/4 inches thick maple. I put a 5" high maple skirt around the edges. My maple twin screw vice ends are 7" high and the twin screw threaded in/out rods are vertically centered on the ends at 3-1/2 inches height. With this setup, the Veritas ~1-1/8" diameter threaded in/out twin screw rods clear the underside of the bench by ~1/2". I believe it'd be best to center your twin screw threaded in/out screw rods vertically at the mid-height of whatever you use as your vice ends.

    So, to answer your question, if your twin screw vice ends are 7" high, you'd need to hog out a substantial channel on the underside of a 4" thick bench for your twin screw threaded rods so the rods could move in/out without contacting the bench underside. To avoid having to hog out channels underneath your bench, you'd need to make the height of your twin screw vice ends commensurately higher. You may not want to have your vice ends that high?? Some combination of hogging out along with higher vice ends may be your compromise solution to using a twin screw vice.

    Tom

  14. #14
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    If you haven't made a decision on vise hardware by now . . . I learned from experience that buying the cheapest vise hardware has its problems. I bought the least expensive hardware at Woodcraft and saved a lot of money on the hardware. I used it to install a vise that extends along one entire 30" end of my bench. The concept is a good one for what I use it for. I drilled dog holes parallel to each other and dog holes in the wood jaws to allow me to clamp boards on the bench top without using vertical clamps. It works great when the hardware doesn't fail. The "nut" which makes the quick release feature work has fallen of onto the floor about a half dozen times. It can be reinstalled but will eventually work itself loose and fall lout again.

    I would recommend either the twin screw vise or the quick release front vise (which could be installed with long wood jaws across the end of the bench). If I redo the vise, I will most likely buy the Quick Release Front Vise. I have never heard of anyone being dissatisfied with the twin screw vise, but it's a little more complicated to install. You just have to make sure that, when making your bench, you build it to fit whatever hardware you buy, so it's best to decide on the hardware first.

    For me, cheap isn't always best and that was certainly true with vise hardware.

  15. #15
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    Tom,
    That's kind of what I was thinking. I figured I could use a router with an edge guide but that makes me nervous with the reviews that seem to all say your doomed to failure if you stray from the directions. I tend to overthink things so i don't do well with coloring outside the lines.

    Randy,
    I didn't mean to imply that I was only interested in cheap, but rather that the fancy $400+ videos weren't an option. Currently I'm open to suggestions. What I'm looking for in the vise is usefulness and versatility over convenience but easy to install with a thick top would easily sway my choice. Also consider this is the first vice to put on the bench with plans to add others as needed.

    I'm currently considering;

    Veritas twin screw

    Leg vise made w/ yost screw

    Rockler QR end vise. I'm thinking this is a new version since all the others were recently on clearance recently

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