leg vise side play

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Blog entry by benchbuilder posted 09-19-2013 03:00 PM 1175 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About a year ago i built a leg vise from cherry, but now it needs some attention. I built the vise to replace my old craftsman front vise, the craftsman wasn’t useless but as a front vise it was done. I obtained some nice cherry wood and built the leg and chop, this new vise would set to the far left end of the bench. I made the leg 5” square and set it into the corner of the bench top with two 8” lag screws, with the weight of the top it’s very sturdy. I guess i now have a five legged bench but the fifth leg has a greater use. The chop is 2-1/4” thick and has a 1-1/8” acme screw from LEE VALLEY, a nice screw and nut but the thread fit isn’t too good. I also used the roller system for the parallel guide, this makes for easy movement of the chop in and out but does nothing for the side play. The leg vise over all seemed to work very well but with some side play, this i believe is due to the poor thread fit and my poor fit of the parallel guide through the leg.
Now after a year of use the side to side play has gotten worse and needs corrected. I first tried to shim the mortis in the leg but the mortis though over sized isn’t large enough for shims and causes binding with the shims. So i looked over the internet and really didnt find a good answer for my problem. I really didn’t want to build a new leg or plug the mortis and recut it. Then i thought if i could control the screw movement on the back side of the leg i might control the side play. So my answer was to control the movement of the screw at the rear of the leg. I made a tee block , the lower block is 1-1/2” thick with a V cut on one side by the length of the block that fits about half way over the screw and about 2/3rds the length of the screw at the rear of the leg. I then cut a piece 3/4” by the length of the bottom block, this block is centered and screwed to the lower block. There are mounting holes along each sied of this top block to mount it to the bottom side of the workbench. Wth this tee block in place over the screw, the screw and the chop has little to no side play. Using bees wax on the screw makes for easy movement and less wear. I am happy!! The size of this tee block is determined by the distance from the center of the screw to the bottom side of the bench top. I used cherry left over from the leg vise build for the tee block. When the lower block becomes worn it can be easily replaced, or the top block could be made in two pieces and one of the two top pieces replaced with a new piece just a bit thicker. This is just my idea and maybe will give you a better idea to shear with us.. Thanks, benchbuilder

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