Leg Vise, Shop made #2: Time to start over from scratch

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Blog entry by Jeremiah posted 10-22-2013 03:10 PM 7957 reads 7 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How many times can you remake something? Part 2 of Leg Vise, Shop made series no next part

Here is the leg vise i made, it works OK, but i can tell the force it puts on the mounts i made are going to fail over time. (see pic below)

Then i came across this picture of an old black smith vise and wondered why hadn’t anyone one done one like this before? seemed simple, strong and fairly fool proof (ie Me Proof)

So off i went to build my own:
1st i turned a wheel using 2 pieces of 6/4 hard maple, laminated together.
then i epoxied and pinned some 3/4” acme rod in to it ( found 6’ of the stuff on ebay for less than $40, so dont feel like you have to drop big money to use acme rod)

Next i bought 8 3/4” ID falanged bearings. Put 2 in the leg vise itself, and 2 on the bench, along with the 2 acme nuts (also ebay. 5 for $12)

The chain is 35p and the sprockets are 17 teeth (i think)
i bought all 3 from a GREAT sight for less than$15

i used my mortiser to cut the grove the nuts fit in. Made it tight so there wouldnt be any slop

Yes that is my blood on the wood…not a bad cut, just bled a lot

I then built a very robust mount for the bottom half of the vise. the top is ok, im going to rework it.
(ill show that in my next post)

I’m not finished yet..there are more tweeks and touches to go. I’ll show you the finished product and steps on my next post

8 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4702 days

#1 posted 10-22-2013 03:14 PM

nicely done

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19984 posts in 3621 days

#2 posted 10-22-2013 03:20 PM

well done.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View poopiekat's profile


4918 posts in 4787 days

#3 posted 10-22-2013 03:46 PM

Great application of the design of the blacksmith vise!
Y’know, if you don’t want to spend big dollars on hardware, you can get a good hunk of acme thread from cast-off office chairs. There’s usually also a female threaded nut of some kind that can be adapted to a leg vise for cheap!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Jeremiah's profile


82 posts in 3377 days

#4 posted 10-22-2013 06:39 PM

That is a great idea. i never thought about re purposing chair parts. I even know where i can get my hands on a couple. If i try it, ill let you know how it works.


View Boatman53's profile


1065 posts in 3250 days

#5 posted 10-22-2013 10:13 PM

Actually Lie-Nielsen uses that twin screw with a chain for their leg vise. Since both screws are pulling in when you tighten the vise if you can adjust the lower screw so the jaw is toe in at the top and just comes into parallel when full force is applied it will work great. The jaw will flex and you need to accommodate it.

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

View BenR's profile


341 posts in 3681 days

#6 posted 10-22-2013 10:16 PM

I like your idea. Sorta works out like a Veritas chain driven vise, except it is vertical instead of horizontal (maybe they got their idea from a blacksmith vise also). I love the benchcrafted stuff too; but $300 for a vise? Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Will follow along. Thanks

-- Ben in Va

View Jeremiah's profile


82 posts in 3377 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 02:32 AM

I totally agree Lyn, $300 for a vise would be a HUGE luxury for me. I think i have less than $50 in hardware with this vise. Of course i should include the materials for the 2 previous (not chain driven) vises i made that didn’t cut it. That would about double that number.


View gordosande's profile


1 post in 2361 days

#8 posted 10-26-2014 07:11 PM

Scissor jacks & old car jacks have some pretty decent screw & nut assemblies also. Food for thought

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