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Thread: roubo vise options

  1. #1

    roubo vise options

    So I plan to build my first roubo bench in the next couple of months after using my cheapo SPF nicholson bench for the past 2 years with a leg vise. I definitely want some kind of end vise to hold my work when planing and came up with 2 options. First and best option for my budget and skills would be a regular vise, exactly like the one in the picture below. The only drawback I can think of is that even with tightly spaced dog holes, part of the board will hang on the vise when planing, in other words, not resting entirely on the solid top. Is that a problem ? Could the vise bend or sag when applying downward pressure when planing ?

    The second option is getting a benchcrafted wagon vise but the price and skills needed to install it are a bit scary.

    Here's the type of vise I'm talking about :
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Charles,
    In a word: No. No, to both of your questions. I don't know the manufacturer of that vise but it looks rather robust. I have a small Sjobergs bench that came with two crappy vises in the same configuration as the bench in your picture. I built a lot of furniture on that bench. I've replace the vise on the corner (whatever they call that) with a leg vise and added a shoulder vise in the other side, but I still use that chincy end vise.

    -Chuck

  3. #3
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    Charles, Like Chuck, my bench is a Sjoberg. The vise on the image in your vise looks like it may have a metal frame. If that is the case it will likely be much better than the vises issued stock on a Sjoberg bench.

    This post may offer some confidence in using a tail vise > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?258381

    The Anti-Rack Spacer Stack used in the vise can be found here > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?183743

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
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    Charles, most vises are built to support the end of a board for planing. That small piece of the board on the vise is just that; small. The tension of the vise helps stop it sagging. The only vise this does not apply to is the wagon vise. Any of these will not sag until the bench gets very old.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  5. #5
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    I'm real confused by the bench photo in the original post. I see a Roubo bench on one side, with two Veritas vises, and a Nicholson on the back. When I do a Google Image search, it comes up with a site selling plans for a bench which claims it is a hybrid of those two and a German Holtzapffel bench. Schizophrenic is the word that springs to mind.

    Also, that's a Veritas QR Front Vise at the end of the bench. I'm sure it's outstanding quality, but it's pretty wide to use as an end vise where you usually want the screw, the center of the clamping force, nearer the front edge so you can clamp narrow pieces too.

    If the question is a generic can metal quick-release vises be used as a tail vise? Then yes it is done all the time. I suspect most people would agree there are better choices and the QR vises are economy or simplicity compromises though.

  6. #6
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    Let me say up front that I am friends with the Benchcrafted people. I've know them for quite a while. That being said I don't think you'll ever do better than the Benchcrafted vises. I have them on two different benches in my shop and on any occasion I have to work on bench with other vises the functional difference is obvious.

    If you can build the rest of that bench you can do the install of those vises. The wagon vise being an integral part of the bench makes it quite solid as compared to any vise that hangs off the side of the bench.

    Ron

  7. I used a Veritas twin screw as an end vise and I wish I had installed a wagon vise instead.

  8. #8
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    Charles,

    I have the Benchcrafted wagon and leg vises on my split top roubo. Absolutely no complaints about either. I probably use the wagon vise 10 to 1 over the leg vise.

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

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    David, I think your amusing bench description is quite accurate! That bench is trying to be everything to everyone but has some fundamental fails and bad choices.
    Primarily the leg design is poor, there appear to be no top stretchers; just mortices in the bottom of the bench top. The resistance to longitudinal movement when planing provided by the bottom stretchers and top mortices will be poor and get worse as the bench ages. This bad choice seems dictated by the sliding deadman.
    The large end vise will rack, however well it’s built and is a serious overspend for a simple purpose.
    The front vise has the usual limitations of that design, while large panels can be held with the edge and the deadman, more modest panels that won’t reach the deadman are awkward, there appears no clamping ledge under the top.
    The Nicholson side can make up for some of these fails but who has the room to work on both sides of their bench? Very few I think.
    The fundamental design of the bench legs and the end vise are the two biggest fails.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Brese View Post
    Let me say up front that I am friends with the Benchcrafted people. I've know them for quite a while. That being said I don't think you'll ever do better than the Benchcrafted vises. I have them on two different benches in my shop and on any occasion I have to work on bench with other vises the functional difference is obvious.

    If you can build the rest of that bench you can do the install of those vises. The wagon vise being an integral part of the bench makes it quite solid as compared to any vise that hangs off the side of the bench.

    Ron

    I agree. The BC screw with one of the crisscrosses is the best face vise I've ever used, easy to install, very quick, and you can't find better holding power. My only quibble is the wagon vise and that is with "need", while some find tail/wagon vises useful, I not so much. In fact a Veritas Wonder Dog works just fine for the few time a tail/wagon vise is needed. Of course YMMV and I guess will.

    I also agree with William, the design as shown is not a bench that has been well thought out, nor one I would build or desire to work on. It looks like someone just threw parts together with no real thought as to function or strength.

    ken

    ken

  11. #11
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    The front vise has the usual limitations of that design, while large panels can be held with the edge and the deadman, more modest panels that won’t reach the deadman are awkward, there appears no clamping ledge under the top.
    The Nicholson side can make up for some of these fails but who has the room to work on both sides of their bench? Very few I think.
    It does appear the deadman can work with holdfasts. For a panel that is too modest to reach down to the level of the deadman, a hold fast can hold it against the bench's face.

    My current bench plan is to have a two sided bench. Many folks do not have the space for this kind of luxury. Those who do can benefit from the dual bench approach.

    For some a wagon vise may fulfill all of their woodworking needs. At one time it seemed like a great design to me. Over time of thinking how some of my work would be accomplished with a wagon vise it seemed to be lacking some of the abilities of my current simple vise.

    For me my simple tail vise has done many things a wagon vise can not do.

    One is holding many of my bench accessories:

    Fret Saw Bird's Mouth.jpg

    Besides this bird's mouth is my saw vise. Before my other bench had a good metal vise a small metal vise was mounted on some construction lumber to be held in my end vise.

    A wagon vise holds work between two dogs. This works fine when one is face planing a piece. For many pieces it helps to be able to hold using four dogs:

    Four Point Holding.jpg

    This comes in handy for my miter box, shooting boards, circles, ovals and other irregular shaped objects.

    When working on a panel with multiple rails it can be used to simplify exact markings to the work:

    Working Multiple Pieces.jpg

    A wagon vise sits a bit in from the edge of a bench. This is a disadvantage if one wants to make molding or other work with a fenced plane:

    Starting the Bead.jpg

    Here the fence is riding on the edge of the work piece. At times it might be necessary to use the edge of the bench as the guide:

    Edge Guide.jpg

    The biggest consideration may be a simple end vise can act like a wagon vise:

    Works Like a Wagon Vise.jpg

    While on the other hand, there are a lot of functions a wagon vise may not be suitable to perform.

    Sometimes keeping it simple is better.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
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    Adam Cherubini makes quite a case for no end vise. However, I've ignored that advise and have purchased the HNT Gordon Tail Vise (which I think is really a wagon vise.) Regardless, for appx $235 USD shipped you can have the 150 mm (longer version). It is a cute little sucker and requires only the ability to make a mortise and rabbet for installation. The only space consumed on the end is for a small knob. Check it out.

  13. #13
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    Adam Cherubini makes quite a case for no end vise.
    There are times when my tail vise is removed. That is one advantage to the simplicity of a Sjoberg vise. Sometimes my face vise is removed.

    Today a 10"X30" piece of ash was being faced planed while being held by two or three dogs. One on the end and one or two in the middle of the bench. One could do the same with a doe's foot and a holdfast.

    In my opinion, it is possible for one to do all kinds of work without a tail vise. It is difficult to see how having a tail vise might be a hinderance. Especially if it is easy to remove the chop and screw so the bench is the same as not having a tail vise. That would be the best of both worlds.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Günter VögelBerg View Post
    I used a Veritas twin screw as an end vise and I wish I had installed a wagon vise instead.
    could you explain why please ?

  15. #15
    Charles,

    Vise selection arguably the most important decision when building a bench. In fact, I chose to build a Scandinavian bench solely because I like a tail vise and shoulder vise.

    To your question, the end vise wouldn't be open more than the distance of the dog holes, so as long as its a good quality vise, there shoudn't be an issue.

    FWIW, my other bench has an end vise and I rarely use it other than dog clamping.

    IMO a wagon vise is a very good choice combined with a twin screw face vise.

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