SYP Spilt-Top Roubo Workbench #3: (Mostly) Finished Tail Vise

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Blog entry by grfrazee posted 01-28-2013 05:00 PM 27684 reads 10 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Finished Leg Vise Part 3 of SYP Spilt-Top Roubo Workbench series Part 4: Cost & Weight Estimate »

Previously, I had run out of time to complete the tail vise on my workbench:

This weekend I finally got the time to remedy that situation. I started off by routing the dog holes in one of the boards, then gluing up the leg vise block. The dog holes are spaced at 3” for versatility.

Then I needed to figure out what to remove for the various pieces of the vise hardware. Some time was spent with the adjustable square to figure out the recess locations. Note: the measurements shown below are the depths of the recess, not the width.

The drill press and I spent some quality time boring out the recesses. Then I used a mortising chisel and a bevel-edged chisel to clean things up.

The groove for the sliding rail was done with a plunge router and a fence.

Since I mounted the attachment plate flush to the face, I had to route out a wide, shallow recess for that as well on the router table.

With that done, it was time to add the end piece to the tail vise. I used hickory again. I suppose a dovetail would have been better than a tongue/groove, but I don’t trust myself with accurate dovetails yet.

The dry fit worked out nicely.

Next I had to attach the sliding rails to the block. This proved to be an exercise in frustration. I had to shim the bottom rail since the block isn’t thick enough. Then I bored holes for the connecting bolts, which I had to ream out with a file to get the bolts in the right spot. There may have been swearing involved.

Finally, I got the %^&* things to fit. However, I had to take the rails off to get the block mounted on the workbench. Then I had to re-bolt the rails onto the block. Again with the reaming, since things weren’t lining up properly.

Finally it all came together. Here are some money shots of the vise in action (first one is blurry, unfortunately).

I realized too late that I had cut the groove for the end piece along its entire length instead of just for the width of the block. I’ll have to come back later and glue in a piece to fill that so that it works properly as a face vise. After that, I’ll pad both the end piece and the front of the vise with leather like I did with the leg vise.


5 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3182 posts in 3420 days

#1 posted 01-28-2013 08:50 PM

Nice job. Thanks for the photos and blog. I have always wondered how that style tail vise mounted.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View eff's profile


16 posts in 3199 days

#2 posted 01-28-2013 09:02 PM

Looks great. Nice work.

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4896 days

#3 posted 01-28-2013 09:37 PM

that is one massive block of wood. nice work!

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

View Jack_D's profile


9 posts in 3155 days

#4 posted 04-30-2015 10:54 PM

Hi. Is that the woodriver large end vise slide sold by Amazon for $90 including shipping?

-- Don't put a limit on anything. The more you dream the farther you get. - Michael Phelps

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3387 days

#5 posted 05-04-2015 02:02 PM

Hi Jack, no, it’s the Lee Valley tail vise. The vises are pretty similar, so the process is also similar with the WR vise.


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