Portable wooden shoulder vise

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Man with many vises
User
I have never threaded a wooden screw before and came across this video by David Barron:

Decided to make my version of a portable wooden shoulder vise and came up with this which is approximately 12" x 12". It is made from SYP with walnut accents. The screws are maple and red oak.
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The first improvement(?) was this vise is reversible for either left or right-handed users.
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Construction started with planing 2x SYP from Homer's down to 1-1/8" and gluing up these parts.
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The thread box and tap were from TayTools via Amazon. The Vee cutter needed honing and I used an extra fine diamond paddle.
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I used a ring of HDPE as the bearing on the push end of the main screw and it pushes the chop via a fender washer inside of the chop. The bolt serves as the garter to pull the chop open.
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For mounting to your bench, a bracket goes in a face vise and optionally holdfasts can fit into a groove in the back.
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The smaller screw that inserts from the back is to support the inboard end of the chop in case you need to clamp something that is not centered behind the screw. Note that the vise is reversed in this photo.
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A shoulder vise is preferred by some woodworkers for dovetailing and tenoning.
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The bridle joints were drawbored.
 
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Man with many vises
User
A query to shoulder vise users.

What does a shoulder vise do better than other types of vises?

No screw or guide bars in the way is the only attribute that I can think of.
 

Scott H

Scott
User
How did you find threading and tapping the wood screw to be? I have thought about doing it for some projects but I have never done it myself.
 

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Man with many vises
User
How did you find threading and tapping the wood screw to be? I have thought about doing it for some projects but I have never done it myself.
Not bad as this was my first attempt. All of the threaders from 3/4” to 1-12” are 6 TPI so the threads are fairly shallow compared to router-cut threads.

For the large 1-1/2” screw, I got quite a bit of tearout in a fir dowel. Then, I bought a hard maple dowel and soaked it in linseed oil for a week or so and honed the V cutter with a fine diamond paddle. The second time the tearout was minimal. Repeating the cuts a time or two helps reduce any binding. Also scrubbed on a bit of paraffin on the male threads and melted it in with a heat gun.

I made the 3/4” screw from red oak that I turned thinking it would soak up the linseed oil better. Soaked for a day or so and it made a crunchy sound during cutting but the tearout was minimal. I also honed the cutter before I started.

You are nearby and you are welcome to bring a practice piece by my shop and try the tools.
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Staff member
Corporate Member
A query to shoulder vise users.

What does a shoulder vise do better than other types of vises?

No screw or guide bars in the way is the only attribute that I can think of.
My cheaply made shoulder vise was better than my current leg vise at holding boards for rip cuts. That being said, my leg vise is better for edge planing, which is more important to me.
 

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Man with many vises
User
Saw Rob Cosman on YT showing cutting end grain with a Wood River 5-1/2. He held the stock in a shoulder vise. Couldn’t tell if it was his duty vise or not.
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Staff member
Corporate Member
RC uses a Continental/Scandinavian-style bench, so it was most likely the vise on his main bench
 

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