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Forum topic by Floyd Hall posted 01-31-2019 11:26 PM 892 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


01-31-2019 11:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi folks,

I’m just finishing up one project (a mobile work station for my planer and compressor) and now am looking to the next. I’ve started on two tables. One will be a 8 ft. long table that will double as an extension table for my radial arm saw. The other will be a heavy duty workbench/assembly table approximately 4ft x 6ft. that will go in the middle of the room. I already have most of the material for both and many of the pieces are already cut. The big question now is whether I should add a vise to one or both tables and what kind of vise. I’d like to make up my mind before I start rather than do what I normally do—keep remaking the plan in midstream.

Right now I have a small 3i. x 7i. Columbian metal-jaw vise I was going to attach to the end of the long table, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I’ve looked at tail vises, Moxon vises, leg vises, end vises and quick-release metal jaw vises, including the Wilton Vise with the pivoting head.

I don’t do much hand tool work right now, but down the road I might. Another option is to just leave the vises out, put some T-tracks in the long table and build one of those mini workbenches from FW using the Columbian vise I already have.

Any suggestions? I’m really completely confused and tired of thinking about this.

Floyd


28 replies so far

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

246 posts in 573 days


#1 posted 02-01-2019 12:21 AM

My choice would be a large face or end vise that is flush with the surface… add some dog holes and some dogs and you can always mount your columbian metal jaw vise on a piece of plywood with a cleat on the bottom that would allow you to clamp the metal vise in the face vise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1rxAHy0yAg

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#2 posted 02-01-2019 01:11 AM



My choice would be a large face or end vise that is flush with the surface… add some dog holes and some dogs and you can always mount your columbian metal jaw vise on a piece of plywood with a cleat on the bottom that would allow you to clamp the metal vise in the face vise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1rxAHy0yAg

- MrWolfe

The problem is I already picked and purchased the basic material for the table top, which is 1 1/4i. MDF. I don’t think it would be good for bench dogs. I picked it for flatness and weight. Bench dogs would require a substantial change in design and right now, for instance, I don’t use hand planes. I only use power tools.

Floyd

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

641 posts in 1911 days


#3 posted 02-01-2019 02:26 AM

So just an idea, or more of an observation. My bench top is two layers of 3/4” baltic birch ply wood. I have a couple friends with really nice rubio style benches. both are pro woodworkers, and they keep there benches covered with a sheet of 3/4 mdf. The dogs work fine, and when the mdf gets beat up they replace it, or in some cases flip it.
I too do not do much hand tool work. I was looking into some pretty pricey vises from Lee Valley Veritas and Lie Nielsen.
In the end I went with a quick release steel bench vise from Lee valley. Not the Veritas line, but still nice.
http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/page.aspx?p=49980&cat=1,41659
I did get the larger of the three, and I see the price has gone up a bit.
I also had a couple of vintage pony hold down clamps that I had been holding on too for some time.
Added them in, and they work great. Ponyjorgensen is back, but only a few products are available at this time.
https://ponyjorgensen.com/products/specialty-clamps/

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to what vise to use. Really a personal thing, what works for you.
Maybe check out Lee valleys vise page. Its a good selection to see what sort of vises are out there.
I was really wanting a couple different Veritas vises, but after a year plus planning a bench I just could not justify it for myself.
http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/Index.aspx
good luck.

-- John

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#4 posted 02-01-2019 02:37 AM

To change the subject a little. I’ve been looking at the Kreg benching clamping systems. It might actually work better. I can just mortise in a couple of their so-called Universal Clamp Tracks and maybe one of their plate systems. Then use their hold down clamps. It’s a little pricey, but no pricier than a couple table vises, and they are a lot easier to install.

Anybody have any experience with this stuff?

Floyd

View fritzer1210's profile

fritzer1210

13 posts in 836 days


#5 posted 02-01-2019 03:26 PM

Have you considered making a moxon vise? I plan to make one in the near several weeks. The biggest advantage for me is that it will not be fixed permanently to my already limited bench and that I will still have access to my bench vise when needed. Plenty of instructional videos on U-Tube. Best wishes

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

14358 posts in 4547 days


#6 posted 02-01-2019 03:34 PM

I’ve seen the Kreg and have Rockler t tracks in my drill press table. Make sure they are secure in MDF.

Also, fritzer is on to something in general. You could clamp fixtures to your bench for specific uses in addition to the T tracks. I have dog holes and end vices on my bench, but I have a vice mounted like the one Mr. Wolf has that I can drop in an end vise and clamp down. I have a planing stop that I can attach to the bench. I have a number of bench hooks that I use for sawing and such. I have a shooting board for use with a hand plane. So it may not be a single answer.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

246 posts in 573 days


#7 posted 02-01-2019 03:53 PM

There are some great ideas here…

A couple of ideas:
you could add a second layer of the mdf in the areas where you place dogholes. I would not use holdfasts in these but any of the other clamps would be good. Even the inexpensive F-clamps can work very well if you leave enough room beneath the table to access it. This video has a lot of options for using clamps and vises with a table.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1HDn7rNXBw

The other option if you go the t-track route, like WayneC has mentioned, MDF may blow out over time if you apply too much pressure to the clamps and with the tools you use. I would consider using washers and nuts on the bottom surface to secure the track . The larger surface area will help prevent that blow out from clamping pressure.

And like Fritzer has pointed out, a portable moxon vise is a great idea. There are some great moxon vise designs that simply clamp to the edge of the work table and use the really inexpensive but beefy barbell/dumbell threaded bars with the big star nuts. You can use that on about any surface you can clamp to the edge of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4voqYmO-dvc

Wolfe

View PPK's profile

PPK

1469 posts in 1259 days


#8 posted 02-01-2019 05:14 PM

It really boils down to what’s right for you! I personally just have a simple face vise, and it works great for 99% of the stuff I do, which is mostly power tool work and some hand tool.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005W16LVE/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1!https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/pm9bmx1.jpg!

If you get into dovetails and handwork, the moxon is great, but can be easily clamped into a face vise or other method of attachement.

One of the items that get used the most on my bench are the holdfasts. It’s really easy to drill dog holes and get a pair of holdfasts. I use these as much or more than my vise.


https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/MS-HOLDFAST.XX?searchterm=holdfast

And finally, ditto to Mr Wolfe. You can easily clamp your metal working vise into/onto your bench and have yet another great option for clamping.

Oh, T-tracks have their limitations. I don’t think I’d like them on a workbench.

-- Pete

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#9 posted 02-01-2019 07:11 PM



Have you considered making a moxon vise? I plan to make one in the near several weeks. The biggest advantage for me is that it will not be fixed permanently to my already limited bench and that I will still have access to my bench vise when needed. Plenty of instructional videos on U-Tube. Best wishes

- fritzer1210

Yeah, I’ve been looking at those videos, too. Also at something called a Milkman’s workbench and the Fine Woodworking mini-bench, which like the Moxon bench can go on top of of an existing workbench.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#10 posted 02-01-2019 07:40 PM

Thanks all. These clamp tracks are pretty heavy duty, but that’s why I was asking—I was worried about them tearing out with heavy use (and I tend to be pretty hard on tools). Using big washers is an excellent idea and the MDF is 1 1/4i thick, so I figure they should hold and they can also be used to set up to make face frames for cabinets, which is also good. Anyway, here’s what I’m looking at:

https://www.kregtool.com/store/c34/clamping-accessories/p364/universal-clamp-traktrade-kit--27-45/

Then I could add a couple of these strategically:

https://www.kregtool.com/store/c29/bench-clamps/p396/bench-clamp-system/

https://www.kregtool.com/store/c29/bench-clamps/p393/heavy-duty-bench-clamp-system/

Most of what I do right now tends to be just holding stuff down for work with a router, sanders, circular saw and chisels, so I shouldn’t put too much strain on these things. I will be bugged if they bend or tear out, however, because the tracks are not cheap. And of course figuring out how to place these things in combination is another set of headaches. But I do like the face frame utility because I do plan to do some cabinet work and they are easy to install. If I require heavy duty work, I can go back to my Bessey bar clamps. They never fail me.

So this is the way I’ll probably go and I’ll keep looking at these benchtop vise designs for when I decide to do hand tool work.

Thanks again,

Floyd

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#11 posted 02-01-2019 08:48 PM

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7496 posts in 3817 days


#12 posted 02-02-2019 12:06 AM

This is my choice for a multipurpose vise!
The Zylis portable vise

My dad bought mine for me over 45 years ago and even though it looks ugly this thing is a charm.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#13 posted 02-03-2019 07:35 AM



This is my choice for a multipurpose vise!
The Zylis portable vise

My dad bought mine for me over 45 years ago and even though it looks ugly this thing is a charm.

- oldnovice

Interesting, but a little pricey.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

853 posts in 2949 days


#14 posted 02-04-2019 08:33 AM

have a look here
and here

there is also a “vise of your dream” thread

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

160 posts in 720 days


#15 posted 02-04-2019 05:53 PM



have a look here
and here

there is also a “vise of your dream” thread

- Sylvain

Might as well just pack me off to the nut house. But thanks.

Floyd

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

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