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Thread: G. M. Yost Patternmaker's vise vs. Leg Vise

  1. #1
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    G. M. Yost Patternmaker's vise vs. Leg Vise

    I probably don't need yet another woodworker's bench, but the very first one I made 30 years ago isnít quite up to par and I would like to replace it with a very stable bench, possibly a split top Roubo (the BenchCrafted design).

    Years ago I had acquired, very inexpensively, a vintage G.M. Yost patternmaker's vise (similar to an Emmert), and it has been installed on this makeshift bench for many years.

    My question is, in your opinion, should I build the split top Roubo with (a) a leg vise, deadman and wagon vise (i.e., the BenchCrafted design) and move the Yost to a 2" thick but only 30" high solid ash assembly table I already have; or (b) incorporate the Yost into the new bench, instead of a leg vise?

    I have to admit that the Yost vise is very substantial for run of the mill front vise use, but I really haven't needed to rotate it, tilt it, or swivel the jaws very much, if ever. However, I have zero personal experience in working with a leg vise. In either case, I would still incorporate the sliding deadman feature and wagon vise.

    I primarily do rectilinear work, but I can see myself getting into projects involving more hand shaping, in which case the features of the Yost might be beneficial. Assuming that the 2Ē thick ash assembly bench can properly support the weight of the Yost vise, I would have just as much room to use it there as I will have on the new workbench.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

  2. #2
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    Mike,

    Oddly enough I started a thread a couple weeks ago with a near identical title. I have a pseudo-roubo style bench(not a split top), and I just installed an emmert's where the leg vise would have gone. Granted, ive only used the Emmert's for a weekend or two, but I dont know how a leg vise would compete with this vise as far as versatility are concerned. you say you wont use the rotation and tilt features, but i have been using them a lot while shaping the arms for a Maloof rocker. I know the BC leg vise performs well, and I also know it looks fantastic, but the Emmert has been really really nice to work with the last couple weeks. Helped that i saved a few hundred by going Emmert over BC hardware.

  3. #3
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    That's really an amazing coincidence, especially since I was thinking about someday wanting to shape components in the Maloof style myself. I'll have to look for that thread to see what others had to say as well.

    You are right - the BC leg vise looks great and apparently functions very smoothly, which is partly why I lean that way, even though I already have the Yost patternmaker's vise available to me. If I move the Yost to the assembly bench, I'll still have full use of it there.

  4. #4
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    This rocker has had many unique workholding needs so far. If you think maloof style furniture is in your future, then I would strongly consider the patternmaker's vise over a leg vise. Already ive stood back and thought for a second how i was going to hold something so i could comfortably and effectively shape it.

    Im plugging the Emmerts quite a bit, but make no mistake, i will 99% include a BC leg vise and tail vise on the next bench i make. Im drawn to the looks and how perfect the operation appears to be. The Emmerts is pretty smooth, but not BC glide legvise smooth. Also, my Emmerts looks like it had a stint as a ship's anchor, and thats after i spent some time cleaning it.

    Also, this is my bench top in my garage. I popped it off the base and took it out to the garage to install the Emmert(4" thick top required a ton of underside recess work), and the sculpting is messy business. I cant imagine grinding wood indoors.
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  5. #5
    Is your bench going to be up against a wall or will you have 360-degree access to it? I am just thinking, why not put the BC Leg vise on one side of the bench, and the Yost Patternmaker vise on the other side?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Thorpe Allen View Post
    Is your bench going to be up against a wall or will you have 360-degree access to it? I am just thinking, why not put the BC Leg vise on one side of the bench, and the Yost Patternmaker vise on the other side?
    It will, unfortunately, be up against a wall along it's length, and one end of it (where the wagon vise will be) is also restricted, which is why the wagon vise will work much better for me than a true tail vise, since the wagon vise wheel doesn't move out from the end of the bench when you back off the screw.

    One option I mentioned is to put the Yost on the corner of my heavy assembly table, which presently is just a 41" wide x 71" long x 2" thick ash glued-up slab, overhanging the base by 6" on all four sides. I have access to three sides of the assembly table, and with the greater width of the table (41") vs. a new bench against the wall (~24"), it would seem that I might have greater ability to use the tilting feature when holding larger frames, etc.; there would be a greater open volume around the vise. One downside to putting the Yost on the corner of the assembly table is that it may well become something I keep banging into. I guess I could spray paint it bright orange (just kidding).

    I'm about 60/40 in favor of the BC Split Top Roubo with a leg vise/deadman/wagon vise, along with moving the Yost to the assembly bench, but I'd still like to hear from others on the topic of leg vise vs. patternmaker's vise.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    This rocker has had many unique workholding needs so far. If you think maloof style furniture is in your future, then I would strongly consider the patternmaker's vise over a leg vise. Already ive stood back and thought for a second how i was going to hold something so i could comfortably and effectively shape it.

    Im plugging the Emmerts quite a bit, but make no mistake, i will 99% include a BC leg vise and tail vise on the next bench i make. Im drawn to the looks and how perfect the operation appears to be. The Emmerts is pretty smooth, but not BC glide legvise smooth. Also, my Emmerts looks like it had a stint as a ship's anchor, and thats after i spent some time cleaning it.

    Also, this is my bench top in my garage. I popped it off the base and took it out to the garage to install the Emmert(4" thick top required a ton of underside recess work), and the sculpting is messy business. I cant imagine grinding wood indoors.
    I had to hog out a bit of wood when I installed the Yost on my old 4" thick benchtop (2x4s on edge with 3/4" T&G oak flooring on top of that), but moving it to my 2" thick assembly benchtop should be easy if that's ultimately the direction I go in. If anything, I might have to add a block of wood somewhere.

  8. #8
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    Can you direct me to that thread? I haven't found it yet.

  9. #9
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