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Author Topic: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?  (Read 3142 times)

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Offline LaneC

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   I have read books and researched about benches and was wondering if it was worth building a bench and installing the vices and drilling holes for holdfasts and everything else that goes along with it. How physically demanding is it? Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Man makes plans and God smiles

Offline Just Me

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 08:10:54 AM »
Take a look at the Veritas twin screw vise. I do not have one but would like. I have three Record vises but one annoyance is when clamping something long vertically the vises tend to distort away from parallel.

Larry

Offline MattJ

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 08:22:06 AM »
I've built a few and have some pictures of my most recent one in my gallery.  My advice is to think about what you want to use it for and sketch out some designs based upon that.  Copying a design from elsewhere may be the right way to go once you determine what your main uses are.  Weight if its for handtool use vs chopping mortises vs assembly vs mainly power tool use.  The ideal bench for you will vary greatly depending on what you want to use it for. 

At the end of the day it is and has been very rewarding to build your own bench and make it right for you.

Matt

Offline LaneC

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 11:49:19 AM »
Ok, thanks for the replies.
Man makes plans and God smiles

Offline downsouth

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 02:01:03 PM »
Lanec I have not built one yet. But I will very soon. I found a good vice on the "list"  someone bought and never took it out the box. I got it for half price. I would like to get one more.
  I was gonna use white oak for the top, like butcher block style.
I have not really decided on how I will do the legs yet. I bought a few books on workbenches which will help a lot when I start building.
Good luck with your project and keep us informed.

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 05:29:23 PM »
Build a quick bench then plan your dream bench.  You need a bench to build one.  Im still using the quick one after 30 yrs, re-fitted a wide Record 52-1/2 E to it still planning the dream bench.
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Offline LaneC

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 10:50:15 PM »
Ok, thanks for the input. Hope yours turns out good.
Man makes plans and God smiles

Offline low_48

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 01:00:25 AM »
I made this one a long time ago. Red oak and low grade walnut. I used the plans from Fine Woodworking. All wood tail vise except of the screw, Abernathy face vise, Record threaded hold-fast on the top. It's been a beautiful work horse. As far as I'm concerned, it's a legacy piece that the kids will have to fight over!
 

 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 05:41:44 AM »
I have dreamed of one for sure.  ;D My shop was always too small, so I built a small rugged one that I just clamp small vices to and have a dowel cutter mounted. I will have a good sized wood workers bench some day. Gotta build the new shop first.  :D 8)
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Offline johnnyllama

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2015, 07:11:50 AM »
48, that's a beauty of a bench! As said above, you need to ascess what you're needs are. In our shop we use our main benches for sanding and assembly, sometimes large furniture and cabinetry, so ours are very large, 4' x 8' with drawer space under both sides so all tools and sanding supplies, screws, etc. are right there. One has a fold down top that holds a festool track saw setup to save space. Then I have a shaving horse setup for working on small pieces that are iregular in shape. Maybe one like 48"s is in the future but we made what fit our projects at the time.
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Offline LaneC

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2015, 08:38:38 AM »
That is an heirloom bench for sure. That is nice. I would be scared to scratch it :D. I have heard of those record vises and I think they said they have quit making them. I do not know that, but that is what I remember reading somewhere. From what I have been reading, the Veritas twin screw vise is very popular. Anyone have one with any recommendations? Thanks for the input everyone.
Man makes plans and God smiles

Offline low_48

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2015, 10:23:13 AM »
Personally, not a fan of the twin vise. I don't think it takes two dogs to clamp up work on the top. If it did, I can throw a quick grip on for the second. I used that holdfast on one end so I can clamp table tops on the bench, and rout around 3 sides. Actually, soft pad quick grips had not been invented when I made this bench. I did elevate the bench top from the leg system so I could always have an easy access to hooking a clamp under the top. Abernathy was sold to Jorgensen a long time ago, but looks like they still sell it.   http://www.amazon.com/Jorgensen-41012-Woodworkers-Vise/dp/B0000223R2
I should mention I cut those big dovetails on the top rim and vise with the bandsaw and table saw. Then after glue up, drove 1/4" aluminum pins through them to cross pin them.

Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2015, 12:01:33 PM »
That's a great looking bench, low_48.

I've been watching a ton of videos lately on building a work bench.  I'm unsure if I want to give up the space in my garage/shop for a bench, but it looks like a great project.

Many videos I've seen are describing the Roubo bench design (or a variant).  "Stumpy Nubs" has a video, I think it's  "2x6 Andre Roubo Workbench", where he gives a good account of the benefits of the design.... which many others don't seem to discuss.  If I build a bench it will probably be something similar, possibly with a split-top or 'well'.  Paul Sellers has a great video series on Youtube where he builds an entire bench with hand tools using 2x4s.    Sorry I can't link to the videos - I'm at work and cannot access youtube.

Regarding the twin-screw vise....  I have very little woodworking experience and it seemed like overkill to have 2 screws like that.  Then I started trying to hand-cut some joints and I quickly realized how much a single screw vise likes to go out of square as you tighten a single piece of wood on one side.  Then I saw a 'moxon vise".  It appears to be essentially the same as a twin-screw, but uses hand wheels instead of traditional cranks and appears to be much easier / faster to adjust.  I watched a video of a guy cutting dovetails on one and it adjusted and held all the workpieces perfectly.  I sometimes see it advertised as a vise you store out of sight and then clamp to your workbench when you need it - but I think it would be a great substitute for a twin-screw to be built right into the front of a Roubo style bench.  Not cheap, but here's an example:

http://benchcrafted.com/moxonvise.html

It would be great to hear from  anyone whos ever used a moxon.

I see that 'low_48' commented about a twin vise for use with dogs... so I guess I should distinguish that I'm talking about a twin screw or moxon vice for use as a front vice for holding pieces to cut joints, not a tail vice to hold pieces for planing.  I'm not sure which context you were talking about them.

Given my low level of experience, my opinions aren't worth much.   But I wanted to get in on this thread :)  :D



Offline low_48

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2015, 01:11:20 PM »
lowpolyjoe, the Veritas twin screw has a roller chain, running over gears keyed to both bench screws, to keep them in sync. No problems with racking.
Here's a bit of a gloat, but me and the bench made the cover of a magazine. I worked at Woodworkers Journal Magazine for 3 years as the project builder/designer until they were sold to Rockler and the magazine moved to Minnesota. Wow, getting  close to 20 years ago now!
 

 

Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2015, 02:55:56 PM »
Cool cover :)

Thanks for the info about the Veritas   - I didn't realize the screws were linked with a chain. 


Offline jueston

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2015, 04:30:20 PM »
lowpolyjoe, the Veritas twin screw has a roller chain, running over gears keyed to both bench screws, to keep them in sync. No problems with racking.
Here's a bit of a gloat, but me and the bench made the cover of a magazine. I worked at Woodworkers Journal Magazine for 3 years as the project builder/designer until they were sold to Rockler and the magazine moved to Minnesota. Wow, getting  close to 20 years ago now!
 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

are you still sporting that awesome mustache?  :)

you must have built a few fun projects working at the magazine for 3 years, have pictures of other projects from that time?

Offline Andy White

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2015, 06:10:13 PM »
lowpolyjoe.
The Moxon vice is a great tool for any type workbench. I built mine from the kit from Benchcraft, and it really grips the work. I placed several dog holes to mount it anywhere on my bench with a set of hold fasts. A great addition to the face vise for the work I do.      Andy
 

  

  

  

 
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Offline low_48

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2015, 06:36:08 PM »
lowpolyjoe, the Veritas twin screw has a roller chain, running over gears keyed to both bench screws, to keep them in sync. No problems with racking.
Here's a bit of a gloat, but me and the bench made the cover of a magazine. I worked at Woodworkers Journal Magazine for 3 years as the project builder/designer until they were sold to Rockler and the magazine moved to Minnesota. Wow, getting  close to 20 years ago now!
 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

are you still sporting that awesome mustache?  :)

you must have built a few fun projects working at the magazine for 3 years, have pictures of other projects from that time?

Oh, I'm sportin' something, but it's not like that 19+ year old pic. LOL Lot less on top too!
That job at WWJ was the best I ever had. Trips to Delta Machinery, National Hardware Show, International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, American Woodworking Fair (Anaheim in those days) now in Las Vegas, Sears/Craftsman Editors Conference at a beach resort in Florida, all expense free and with free tools at home and at the shop when I got back to Peoria. I was treated like a Congressman!
 

 

Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2015, 09:39:28 PM »
Thanks for sharing Andy.   Do you think it would be reasonable to have a moxon vise built into a workbench for use as the only front vise?  Or are there things you need a normal crank handle front vise for?

Appreciate the fast-forward pic, low_48.  That mustache has been busy :D

Offline Andy White

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Re: Has anyone built their own woodworking bench with woodworking vices?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2015, 06:30:56 AM »
lowpolyjoe,
I don't think the Moxon alone would be capable of doing all the clamping needs of a work bench. It normally mounts on top of the table, and is used for vertical work. My ideal bench would have a face vise on the left front, and a good tail vise on the end opposite of the face vise. Several dog holes, and some hold fast,s would complete the setup. I am studying the possible installation of a tail vise on my bench now.   Andy
Learning by day, aching by night, but loving every minute of it!! Running HM126 Woodland Mill, Stihl MS290, Homemade Log Arch, JD 5103/FEL and complete woodshop of American Delta tools.


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