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Project Information

SPECS
Timeframe: Nov 2011
Wood Used: Reclaimed SE Asian Mahogany
Galoot Index: 6 on a 10 point scale. Material cut to dimension by table saw and RAS. Otherwise smoothed and jointed w/ hand planes. End profiles with shoulder and block planes, 12" back saw
Cost: $0 for wood, paid $80 for vintage vise

NARRATIVE
My workbench is well documented here on LJs, and one of the bench's features was specifically added as part of the Roubo Cabinet build: a line of dogholes along the front of the bench top. In that entry I opined about the merits of an end vise or even a wagon vise, but figured the Veritas Bench Pup solution would be just fine. Well, it was fine. But I recently found an end vise that fits my bench's dimensions perfectly (vise pop-up dog centered to dog holes on the bench and short enough that the rod doesn't hit the right front leg). Adding any vise means I lose the drawer that's been there, but now that there's a cabinet…

After thinking about it a week after first sighting, I took measurements and went back for a second look. It would fit, so I bought it.



At a 20% discount, too! Yeah, I know. Not real cheap, but I've been looking for the right vise for my bench for a long time. New is not an option, and all old vises that I've seen have been priced at or above the one presented here… This project presents the installation of said vise and the making of the wood chop for it.

DETAILS
Used Everlasting 5/4" chisel for the tedious task of creating the recess for the vise 'baseplate' in the benchtop.




Lots of fit checks along the way, and things were taking shape.



The major reason I'm wanting an end vise is for it's pop-up dog; raising the vise high enough on the end to get that pop-up into play meant bringing the vise's top edge very close to the work surface. First try, too low.



Another round of chopping, and we're there.



I wanted a solid wood top (no through-dado), so I worked with care. I stopped with a pop-up that extends about a ¼" above the surface of the benchtop; that ought to be enough to hold pieces to work faces and edges. I'll draw the baseplate tighter at the top edge of the recess when I do final tweeks to the install…
The second night of work was to make the vise chop. Because the pop-up dog on the vise lines up with my bench's line of dogholes, no need for a dog in the chop. I simply want a chop that extends the width of the vise against the bench, for glue-ups mostly… That's what I mostly used the wide face vise on my cabinetmaker's bench for and I miss that.

Picked a piece of mahogany from the rack; it's the same material that my leg vise is made of. Incredibly dense, heavy and highly figured stuff that's perfect for this application. Worked face and edges with my cambered #5, then smoothed it all with the #4 ½, and I'm ready for a decorative touch.



I don't know what the profile is called, but I drew it out in pencil then figured out how to make the cuts pretty much on the fly. Heck, it's a chop… if it doesn't work, I'll make another.



So I penciled straight lines and cut them with the backsaw. Note the shameless presentation of the wonderful Diamond Edge etching:



Then I used a trick learned from The Schwarz last year: I angled the #93 shoulder plane into the cut and created a bevel that in turn guided the plane towards making a shoulder as it was worked to a vertical position.

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I repeated the cutting and planning on the edge of this end of the chop, then used a low angle block to work the round-over portion of the detail.






Repeated the process on the far end of the chop and had this:




Applied some Watco's, screwed the chop to the vise and it was done:




Does it work? Yes!




I'll finish the task with final fitting of the baseplate to get it flush with the end of the bench, then apply leather to both the bench end and the chop for added grippyness. And this addition to the bench is complete! Thanks for looking.

Gallery

Comments

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13,677 Posts
I can only see the first picture but…
O….
M….
G….!
That is one of the coolest vises I've ever seen.
 

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11,468 Posts
Im with Bertha. All I could do was stare at the handle. Oh and that was a very detailed blog to . Nice work. Now I am going back to the top of the page and drool. First I will cover my keyboard. You know I am getting older when a vice flips my switch. Great build Smitty
 

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Man, pics in the narrative are HOSED! Regrets, everyone, but I did resize and rotate so they'd be right. Even preview looked right. Stupid Photobucket…

@Al - Thanks! Once I saw it, couldn't get it out of my head.

@Super - LOL, 'big smiles' :)

EDIT: Ahhh… looks like some of the pics have 'self corrected' at least…
 

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It dosent get more sexy!
I love it.
For me the number on the scale is close to ten.
Smiles, congrat,
Mads
 

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Go away I am looking at your vice.
 

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Hello, Mads! Thanks for checking it out. Held out for the right vise for a couple years, didn't know if it'd ever come to pass. For the chop build, there are certainly other ways to do it, probably that include a fine rasp. Even the right moulding plane, or hollow, would have made shorter work of it. But it was fun!
 

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Sweet Looking Vice, Nice detail on the ends!!!
 

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Congrats on getting the vise installed! It looks very massive.
 

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way cool. I've never seen a vise with a handle like that.
 

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Wow, Smitty you got that put together fast. Looks great, I think it rates a little higher than 6 on the galoot scale. I would give it at least 9.25, with vintage bonus points. Great pictures, thanks for sharing.
 

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@Daddy, Brandon and Don - Thanks much. It was the handle that got my attention when I first saw the vise. Only a 7" face, but Oh! so much more interesting than the Wilton vises that are most common at that size. And I needed smaller to line up w/ my dogholes. I'm guessing it's between 25 and 30 lbs, and draws out more than a foot from the baseplate, fully extended.

When the vise is closed tight, one end or the other of the vise can be turned 'up' so that it is below the top of the vise and won't get in the way of work. Really different, and the amount of torque that could be applied is incredible. I love it. And I'm hoping the chop darkens over time to match with the leg vise.
 

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@Shane - Couldn't help myself, had to move it forward. I'll add a pic down here when the leather gets added, likely over the weekend. 9 1/4 on the Index? Do that and I'd get murdered for mentioning the use of the RAS and TS. Awarding bonus points for going vintage is a good idea, though… I like that! :)
 

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I think you show us all that the truth is that there are many ways so we should not listen too much to those wood guro guys that seem to have taken the right to say what is right and wrong.
For me it is a big pleasure to see your tools in action.
Smiles,
mads
 

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No maker's markings anywhere on the vise, but I did see one on ebay just like it Tues evening. Would love to know who made it, how old it is, etc.
 

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I envision pulling with the 90-degree handle whilst pushing with the 180-degree handle. It just looks like you could clamp something to death in that thing. I wonder if it has blacksmith roots?
 

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Wondered the same thing (weight, handle material, thick and flat 'through bar' that's notched) about it being a 'smithy' tool. There are tool marks in the form of indents on the top edges of the jaws, but no grinder marks. No metal shavings in the old greasy gunk of the turnscrew, either. So if it was an ironmonger's tool, it's not been used that way that I can tell.

The pop-up dog was pretty much gunked into place and took some persuading to slide up and down, if that's any additional clue. I'm thinking it was on a farmer's 'fix it' bench, maybe.
 

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^peculiar. And fascinating!
 

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thank´s for the how to :)
I like the handles on the vice …. they are coool !

thank´s for sharing

Dennis
 

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Hey, Dennis, glad you enjoyed! The handles remind me of the tall knobs of a Stanley #40 scrub…
 

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That is a wonderful old vise.
I enjoyed the pics showing the process.
Thanks for posting.
Scott
 
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