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Workbench Vise

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  • Workbench Vise

    I recently finished building a workbench/assembly table. I am wondering if I should install and face and end vise or just a face vise with benchdogs? Those who have an end vise do you use it often?

  • #2
    Re: Workbench Vise

    I have my bench behind my TS and us it as an out feed table so an end vise would be mostly useless to me. I have a face vise I use all the time. I haven't drilled for bench dogs yet but will be soon.
    If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.


    • #3
      Re: Workbench Vise

      Depends on what you are using the bench for.
      A side vise is fine for holding a long piece on edge for jointing, etc (you can support the other end with a variety of methods, the simplest being a quick clamp to the table skirt). With bench dogs, you can clamp a relatively narrow or short piece (less than the bench width) flat for carving, routing or planing. A side vice can also be used to hold narrow boards vertical for cutting dovetails.
      An end vise is not good for holding long boards on edge, but, with bench dogs, allows you to flat clamp longer or wider boards. It can also hold a short board vertical for dovetailing, etc. The twin-screw type is less prone to racking so if you are making one the entire width of the bench, that is a better way to go.
      A tail vise allows the flat clamping of long boards with bench dogs, as well as will hold larger pieces like table legs, etc vertical for hand cutting tennons. It will also hold wide boards perpendicular to the table for tennon cutting. This is the most difficult vise to construct, and requires it be incorporated into the intial bench design. It is not an add-on.
      A shoulder vise allows clamping thicker items as well as do most things a side vise would do, and doesn't rack because the movable jaw pivots, so it will follow the contour of the work piece. Because the jaw pivots, it won't work with bench dogs. It does not have the strength of a traditional side vise, tho. For best results, this vise also should to be incorporated into the initial bench design because it sticks out like an "L" from the side of the bench.
      A pattern-maker's vise will allow you to clamp large items and hold them at odd angles as the jaws will rotate. Good ones are very expensive unless you can find an old one at an auction or flea market.
      A leg vise allows vertical clamping of wider pieces like cabinet doors or panels and/or thicker pieces while keeping the top edge closer to a reasonable working height.

      If you have not already wished for a certain kind of vise to hold your work, start with the side vise. You can always pick up a woodworking vise to throw on the end to make an end vise if you need one, or if you decide something like a leg, pattern-maker or shoulder vise is needed, you can move the side vise to the end for an end vise.

      Practicing at practical wood working


      • #4
        Re: Workbench Vise

        This is one of the better end vises I have seen,45114&p=45114

        Not cheap but very useful

        I plan on building a woodworking bench soon as well. Here's some good plans for those interested

        My opion would be that more vises are better then fewer vises
        Gives you more options.

        Hope you gets lots of use out of your new bench.
        Cheers! - Jim
        All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer


        • #5
          Re: Workbench Vise

          Thanks for your input, I ended up installing a 7" side vise. I am still new to woodworking so I started small, Rockler had 7" quick-release vise on-sale for $29. I may purchase another one and use it for an end-vise.