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Thread: workbench Design Question

  1. #1
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    workbench Design Question

    Ok so I'm building my workbench from the FWW Tools plan from a few years ago. I'm down to determining the length of the stretchers and the final placement/type of the vise to be mounted on the end. I wanted to re-use a Record style vise that I have but I think it may be too small. The opening is about 10". If I place it behind the apron (1 3/4" thick) and use a 3" outside jaw to match my front vise then I'm down to 5 1/4" for the opening.

    My overall need for the vise on the end is mostly to use it for planing and having an adjustable dog.

    Some options that I have:

    1. Leave it like I described above.
    2. Mortise out the apron and set it in and maybe get another inch of travel.
    3. leave it off and drill a pair of dog holes on the end and use the Veritas adjustable Wonder Dog.
    4. Install a shoulder vise. I'm using a 64" ready made maple top so I guess I could extend the apron another 10" and build out a spacer for the shoulder vise.

    Any thoughts? Do those who have a vise mounted on the end do you use it alot?

  2. #2
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    I have a Record, the biggest one, mounted on the corner of my work-table and I use it almost every time I'm in the Dungeon.


    You can see it there.

    I have it mounted so that the rear jaw is flush with the edge of the worktable, this way I did not have to give up any capacity.

    I do not have any wooden faces on the jaws, if I need a piece of wood in there to protect something, I've got lots of scraps laying around.

    I very much like my Record, I could use another one......... or two

    Cheers!
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  3. #3
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    I have the same vise as Stu, but with 1/2" oak on the inside of the jaws. I let the rear jaw into the bench far enough so the wooden jaw sits proud by a 1/16" or so. Loads of capacity, solid as a rock. My bench does not have an apron, though, it's 3 1/2" of Douglas Fir.

    I see lots of setups where a modern quick-release type vise is buried in massive wooden jaws - seems to be a recent fashion. It gives a more traditional 'bench screw' look to a bench, but you pay for that in capacity. If I want to spread the force of my vise jaws around I just stick a couple of pieces of dimensioned lumber in there temporarily.
    All the best,
    Ian G

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  4. #4
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    Stu / Ian - I guess my issue is that I will be mounting my vise on the end of the table. You have yours on the front. I'll be putting a front vise on the front left side. In the end the bench will have two vises front left and the end on the right.

  5. #5
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    Why not cut down the 3" block? I use a small Columbia vice with a block for a dog. Not sure what mine is but it doesn't have to anywhere near 3" thick to hold a dog if that is what your doing.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gabbay View Post
    In the end the bench will have two vises front left and the end on the right.
    I think I'll have to search FWW to see the model for you bench. 2 front vises and 1 end vise sounds like an odd configuration to me. A pair of end vises with dogs is much more conventional/useful IMO. But that's just me. Or have I misinterpreted and do you mean 4 vises in total ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gabbay View Post
    The opening is about 10". If I place it behind the apron (1 3/4" thick) and use a 3" outside jaw to match my front vise then I'm down to 5 1/4" for the opening.
    If matching the front vise is the problem, then don't. You'll get various opinions, but I'm in the camp that says a bench is a tool and not a showpiece. One end matching the other just isn't a priority for me. And I agree with Jeff that 3" jaws are unecessarily thick. If it's just for aesthetics, ask yourself why you're building a bench.

    Again, opinions vary and you're certainly entitled to yours.
    Last edited by Ian Gillis; 01-10-2007 at 09:52 PM.
    All the best,
    Ian G

    **Now holding auditions for a catchy new signature**

  7. #7
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    Ian - sorry to confuse... My design will only have 2 vises. One on the front and one on the end. The FWW design only has the front vise.

    I'll probably only use a 1 " or 2" jaw instead of 3". That should make this work out right.

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