Thoughts on a Basic face vise

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Mike, I will be following your post with a great deal of interest. I use the Tall Vise all the time, so if it looks like I will be able to build your newest design I will be giving it a try!
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Staff member
Corporate Member
Here's what I did as an alternative to a garter on my high vise. I screwed the hub/handle onto the other side, but I wish that I would have pinned it together instead.

PXL_20221129_222605882.jpg
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Needed to find a place on my bench to mount a basic bench vise prototype for testing.

After some hawing and hemming, I decided to remove the large Record vise and use that spot at the end of my bench. My benchtop is 3-1/4” thick.

At this point, I’m thinking a chop that holds work against the edge of the benchtop. Here is a short mock-up section of a 5” wide chop temporarily attached with tape:
5E96CB15-3186-44D5-9A2C-ED69EEC6FFB7.jpeg


If aligned with a row of dog holes, work also could be held like this:
44129115-B849-4E32-993E-E8AF7C71E3D0.jpeg
 

Wiley's Woodworks

Wiley
Corporate Member
Hey Pop-Pop--I just purchased a moxon vise hardware kit on sale from Wood River. I want to make a clamp-to-my-bench, large size vise, primarily to be used for hand cutting dovetails. Googling for plans turns up a mind boggling set of plans. Do you have or recommend an on-line set of plans to build what I want? Thanks.
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Hey Pop-Pop--I just purchased a moxon vise hardware kit on sale from Wood River. I want to make a clamp-to-my-bench, large size vise, primarily to be used for hand cutting dovetails. Googling for plans turns up a mind boggling set of plans. Do you have or recommend an on-line set of plans to build what I want? Thanks.

A Moxon vise is basically two planks, two screws, nuts/handwheels, and washers. The particulars of the hardware influence the vise design to a great extent. My advise is to wait until you get the instructions that come with the kit. Chances are, that design will work fine.

I don’t think that I could improve on the design that comes with the kit. Make sure the distance between the screws will handle what you expect to make.

EDIT: After reviewing those instructions more carefully, I disagree with moving the right screw 3” inboard. Unless you have a very low ceiling, there is little need to clamp a long board outboard of the screw. That 3” is more useful between the screws IMO.
 
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Unknownroad

Sarah
Senior User
For the Basic bench vise design, I plan on using these dumbbell handles. One screw is for clamping, the other for the reaction, and they are arranged vertically. This is the same screw that was used in the tall vise workshops and all of the tall vises that I have built.

Are those keeper nuts metal on yours? According to walmart.com they're plastic, but the nuts look different on the website images than they do in your images.
 

Craptastic

Matt
Senior User
At this point, nothing to sign.

I am planning on developing a bench vise design that can be customized to fit various benches. A bolted-on bench vise like I’m thinking of does not lend itself to a workshop very well due to bench variations. The tall vise like you made that fits almost any bench (or picnic table) thus was good for a workshop.

My goal with this project is to try to remove high cost and complication as a barrier to making a decent wooden vise.

An admirable goal if I ever heard one.

Lead on sir!
 

Craptastic

Matt
Senior User
And I just caught them at $7.20 a pair on Amazon with only 4 left in stock. Ordered all but willing to part with a couple for other folks as needed. PM and we will figure a way to get them to you.
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Most of the vise construction will be basic joinery and hole drilling. Slightly more complicated are the two nut recesses. These nuts are housed in shaped recesses, one in the front of the leg, and another in the adjustable nut block.

I began thinking of making the recesses with a router and a 5/8” mortising bit and made this template:
A8E8B4B8-C2E5-4629-B17C-1564A632D686.jpeg


I was planning on drilling out the bulk of the waste and whilst laying it out thought why not drill it all out and not use a router at all? The fit needn’t be precise.
77C109C8-882A-4E29-995C-007712E3A0B6.jpeg


Six 5/8” holes and 2” for the center.
BD7B3A06-4EE3-4AE6-8691-45131656A43F.jpeg


After a few minutes paring with a chisel, here is the adjustable nut block which will fasten to the back of the leg. My technique needs more refining but it seems viable and requires less tooling than other methods.
0FFAC566-5D40-4A26-AE79-D4944ECAF98E.jpeg


I am posting this to start your thinking. A hexagonal recess is fine also. The nut just has to be restrained from rotating. Many methods and recess shapes will work.
6EC03F9C-518C-4073-80C0-86416A414962.jpeg
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Something that warms an engineer’s cockles is any inexpensive part that serves several functions. This bit from a kitchen cutting board will simultaneously be a thrust bearing, a spacer, and a bushing that supports the chop.
5F3DF698-63B6-4961-9F9E-3FE39116030F.jpeg


Cutting boards often are coated to reduce slipperiness and that is a negative here. Plus that coating abrades easily. A few strokes of a plane will remove it.
D4A81B97-6E1C-46BD-8E05-27B7782030CC.jpeg
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
The basic-bench-vise design that I am working is intended to bolt to the bottom of the bench top with lag screws or hanger bolts much like a Record vise would mount.

If you built your bench like Chris Schwarz recommends, your front leg would be flush with the front edge of the bench top. This is so you can easily hold doors, face frames, and other big things on edge.

If your bench leg is flush with the edge of the bench top; the vise chop, screws, and nut block could be fairly easily retrofitted into the existing leg. Fitting would involve two through-holes and a shaped nut pocket concentric with the top hole. This could be a way to add an inexpensive leg vise (or two).
 
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pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Here is my progress so far on the basic bench vise. As usual, I have used SYP for this feasibility prototype.

This is the vise leg assembly that gets lag screwed (one shown) to the bottom of your bench top flush with the edge. This clamping screw will pass through the chop to a handwheel. A reaction screw and nut will be added near the bottom of the leg assembly and the chop.
6C3ED871-5816-460D-A5B6-297FCD708E07.jpeg


Viewed from the rear, the adjustable nut block surrounds the clamping screw. The reaction screw will protrude through the reinforcing block at the bottom.
865D4B7A-446B-4D17-8AD9-45D1264405EE.jpeg
 
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pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Only had a short time in the shop today but did get the leg assembly fitted for the reaction screw. Note that the leg assembly is designed for functionality and did come up short in attractiveness. However, the chop will be a bit wider than the leg and thus will hide the leg when the vise is viewed from the front.

Next is to make the chop which will hang from the top (clamping) screw. Rotating a handwheel fastened to the right end of this screw will press the chop against the edge of your benchtop.
7EA7D7BA-503D-46B0-BBD6-D3F14D24A1D3.jpeg

The right side end of the bottom (reaction) screw will be pinned to the bottom of the chop. A spinner nut will bear against a plastic bearing surface on the leg as shown. Adjusting the spinner position on the reaction screw is how you keep the chop parallel to the leg with varying stock thicknesses. Note that you only have to adjust the spinner when the thickness of what you are clamping changes.
 

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