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Thread: Too Many Vises!

  1. #1
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    Too Many Vises!

    I'm designing a new bench, it's going to be more of a hybrid bench to fit my own needs. It will have a 2.5" cherry top, Pecan frame and cherry drawer fronts.

    My question is this. I've never had / used a shoulder vise and I'm wondering if I'm missing out. I've been able to do everything I wanted with a single screw face vice and tail vise but for the new bench I'm considering a Shoulder Vise instead. Not having any experience with them though I'm not sure if it would be an improvement or not. BTW, I'll still have a tail vise either way though.

    One down side I can see right off is that I do quite a bit a edge jointing on long boards (6'-14') with the board clamped on edge in the front screw vise and board jack. (MAIN QUESTION) How do I still do this with a shoulder vise? Especially when we talking about 15" wide boards?

    I'm guessing there are advantages to the shoulder vise as well. I can see it being a better vise for Dovetailing wide and tall boards as well as edge clamping larger stock but is it worth the trade off?

    I think I've already decided to stick with the screw vise but I want to make sure I'm not overlooking some earth shattering advantages.

    As always, THANK YOU for your time and insight!

    ~tom

  2. #2
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    Oh heck, I'm first. I came in here to see what kind of answers you got. I shall return.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Becnel View Post
    I'm designing a new bench, it's going to be more of a hybrid bench to fit my own needs. It will have a 2.5" cherry top, Pecan frame and cherry drawer fronts.
    Wow, it should be a beautiful sight. Drawer fronts? Will be this something similar to a Shaker bench?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Becnel View Post
    My question is this. I've never had / used a shoulder vise and I'm wondering if I'm missing out. I've been able to do everything I wanted with a single screw face vice and tail vise but for the new bench I'm considering a Shoulder Vise instead. Not having any experience with them though I'm not sure if it would be an improvement or not. BTW, I'll still have a tail vise either way though.

    One down side I can see right off is that I do quite a bit a edge jointing on long boards (6'-14') with the board clamped on edge in the front screw vise and board jack. (MAIN QUESTION) How do I still do this with a shoulder vise? Especially when we talking about 15" wide boards?

    I'm guessing there are advantages to the shoulder vise as well. I can see it being a better vise for Dovetailing wide and tall boards as well as edge clamping larger stock but is it worth the trade off?
    I have never used a shoulder vise myself, but I think I understand the disadvantages of a single screw vise. That is why I went with a double screw vise. Being able to dovetail boards of moderate width was important to me. I have 12 inch capacity in my vise. I actually got the chain for 18", but it seemed like too much vise for this current bench.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The only disadvantage I could see with the Shoulder Vise is the complex build. I think it is a great vise. I always wanted to build a classic European cabinetmakers bench like Frank Klausz's ever since I saw it in Landis's "The Workbench Book". I also wanted to build a Shaker bench. I think I have a workbench problem.

    The face vise on my next bench will be another Double Vise. It will be built with these screws. I will also add the wagon vise that I have, but did not use on my current bench.

    Chris Schwarz's Workbenches book goes into great detail on the advantages and disadvantages of the different bench types, including vises. You might try looking at it for some information.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
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    Thx Bill, I'm considering a twin screw as well, I guess I should have mentioned that above. I guess I should check out Schwartz's book again. It's been quite a while I didn't remember it having an in depth comparison.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Becnel
    Thx Bill, I'm considering a twin screw as well, I guess I should have mentioned that above. I guess I should check out Schwartz's book again. It's been quite a while I didn't remember it having an in depth comparison.
    Sry, accidental discharge, lol. Did mean to hit send

    Like I said above, above I think I'm better off with a screw vise be it single or double but I just don't know. I don't know anyone local with a shoulder vise to play with either. I have to admit that my biggest attraction to it was getting to show off a bunch of bold dovetails on the design, lol.

    Thanks for the link to that wood screw co, that wood be cool (cough cough) but I think I want to stay with steel on this one.

    So, anyone have a shoulder vise? lol

  6. #6
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    Came back to the idea of a wooden thread vise. I sourced some persimmon lumber for it's excellent wear properties and will be doing a twin screw front vise and a a captive sliding nut end vise. The screws will be 1-1/2"... The largest wood tap n die set I could find commercially. I'll probably make a larger tap and screw box for future projects.

    Did a test run with mahogany yesterday... I'm liking the results I'll post pictures once they are done an in the bench.

    Thanks for the input.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image-775041684.jpg  

  7. #7
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    The threads look great Tom. I would be interested in seeing you make a larger tap and die for your future projects. It is something I have been considering myself.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
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    i would like to see how they put threads on wood period,, so maybe you could give us a short lesson..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
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    Jan 2012
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    Gonzales, Louisiana
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    Thanks Bill, and I'll document it next go around Larry. I was in the 'zone' so I failed to do so on this one, lol.

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