Modification to end vise

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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 02-15-2018 06:31 AM 692 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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150 posts in 2548 days

02-15-2018 06:31 AM

Hi All, Last year I made a quasi-Roubo bench with an end vise across the entire width. I have used something like it for guitars for years. It worked OK but the chop was heavy enough that the acme screws ground and were hard to twist. So … I took a page from people who’ve used linear bearings on leg vises and put two 25mm versions under the twin screws.

It’s a sloppy job. Trying to bore 90 degree (side and up/down) 40mm holes freehand is hard so I had to ream them out a bit. I had to do the same to the holes in the chop and tighten everything down after I got it to slide. The bearing-to-rod fit is so precise that I probably could have used just one of them.

Now it really glides. One new problem I’ll have to work with is that I used to be able to tighten or loosen one side up to about 3/8” to accommodate irregularly shaped pieces (like guitar bodies). Now the screws will get hard to turn if I’m so much as half a turn away from parallel. For guitars I use carpeted cauls so I can shim those as needed.

At any rate, if this is of any use to anyone, glad it helps. sh

PS Got the 25mm bearings and supports on Ebay. Got the steel rod from McMaster Carr. Got the 40mm Forstner bit (outside dimension) on Ebay too but if I had it to do over I’d get something oversized. You need some slop. It all squares-up when you screw the bearings and supports in place. sh

3 replies so far

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1637 posts in 2408 days

#1 posted 02-15-2018 05:50 PM

Interesting solution to your issue.
I will be curious to see how you feel about clamping uneven stock a few months from now. :)

I remember seeing a post on this forum where a fella made a set of shims for just such an issue. He had them set up like a feeler gauge. You could pick the ones you wanted and insert them into the sloppy end of the vise. He had a cool method to keep them in place too when the vise was opened.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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150 posts in 2548 days

#2 posted 02-15-2018 08:43 PM

I have a pattern-maker’s vise on the other end of the bench and a versa-vise contraption that I can mount in all sorts of positions. For guitars, I’ve got a couple padded clamping cauls that are curved. One is carpeted. One has 2” memory foam which is pretty forgiving of body shapes. The latter also has a padded vertical cross piece with a neck opening so instruments don’t fall through while turning both screws.

I’ll need to work out a shimming system for steel-strings since the bottom of those instruments are an inch or more thicker than at the neck. Those have always been too irregular for the end vise without stuffing a 1X between the chop and the caul.


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150 posts in 2548 days

#3 posted 02-16-2018 04:46 PM

It didn’t occur to me that my Avatar shows the first version of the vise. Too small.

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