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Project by Russell posted 04-10-2012 03:57 PM 11672 views 23 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been looking for inexpensive ways for securing the front vise jaw for a bench top work bench. I really like the ACME threaded rods with cast steel wheels kit but that option was way out of my price range. After months of searching for something to use I found two sets of wood screws at the local flea market ($2.00 a set). Prayers answered and with no more excuses….I got to work.

Using some scrap oak, maple and walnut I wanted to make a work surface that would bring smaller more detailed work up to me, my main “focus” was to reduce the strain on my eyes and lower back. The height of the bench top is just under a foot but it really makes a huge difference in my stance as I am 6’5’’.

The copper plate on the sides is from scrap sold by the pound at the local recycling yard. I know it may be a little over the top but it was fun hand shaping and polishing the plates. I’m interested to see how they age over time.

-- Russell , Indiana County, PA

17 comments so far

View Benboy's profile


105 posts in 2873 days

#1 posted 04-10-2012 04:10 PM

I am not sure I grasp how it works but it is beautiful. The wood screws are much better looking that anything you could have bought in steel. While I am a few inches shorter than you (6’ 1”), I understand the need to raise things up. Whoever decided std counter height was 36” must not have been much over 5’ 6”.

-- If I can't make it, I probably don't need it.

View reggle's profile


41 posts in 2856 days

#2 posted 04-10-2012 04:10 PM

very nice craftsmanship

-- reggle/england/Nothing like a good piece of hickory

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4189 days

#3 posted 04-10-2012 04:27 PM

Wow that’s a beauty Russ very nice and innovative.


View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3563 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 04:33 PM

Nicely done, Russell. I can tell that you don’t build anything just for function, but you put a lot of thought into its design and appearance as well!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 3015 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 05:02 PM

With four screws, does this not rack constantly and immediately? Beautiful build, and no need to excuse the use of copper, what a beautiful material

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18794 posts in 4287 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 06:49 PM

Great looking bench!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3763 days

#7 posted 04-10-2012 08:12 PM

Nice! I have one of these on my to do list.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2858 days

#8 posted 04-10-2012 10:43 PM

Beautiful job.

-- It is what it is...

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3647 days

#9 posted 04-11-2012 12:57 AM


-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4535 days

#10 posted 04-11-2012 03:08 AM

Great idea, so its just a mini bench for cutting dove tails and maybe some carving. I like the portable idea.

View Jeff Waggoner's profile

Jeff Waggoner

105 posts in 3302 days

#11 posted 04-11-2012 03:09 AM

Very nice. My son built one similar to this a couple years back. We are going to be in your neck of the woods next month for a school companion at Indiana U, PA. He is entering a chair he build for woodworking.

-- Jeff Waggoner,

View judgesawdust's profile


36 posts in 3234 days

#12 posted 04-11-2012 04:41 AM


I agree with everyone; very nice looking work. I too would like to hear more about the jaw and how it operates – I also cannot figure out what the little “jaw-on-top-of-jaw” is, or how it works.

Please expound.

Again, beautiful project!

-- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

View Chris Campbell's profile

Chris Campbell

27 posts in 2851 days

#13 posted 04-11-2012 12:16 PM

A beautiful piece – shows how much beauty there can be in a well-made tool.

Perhaps you could post a short video of it in action?

-- Chris, Minneapolis

View kaiser's profile


8 posts in 2836 days

#14 posted 04-23-2012 06:43 PM

very nice piece…..........I have something like it….it fits atop my bench…........yours is much nicer

View StumpyNubs's profile


7799 posts in 3412 days

#15 posted 05-28-2012 12:50 PM

You should enter this into our jig contest! Email photos along with your LJ name to [email protected] You might win!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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