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Picking a vise

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Forum topic by AtlasRook posted 02-17-2022 03:58 PM 947 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AtlasRook

32 posts in 3018 days


02-17-2022 03:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vise workbench question

I’ve been looking to build a new workbench and have been looking for a good front vise. I’ve narrowed it down to 2 main contenders (but i am open to other suggestions):

The Lee Valley Regular Front Vise, item 70G0801 (~$76 at the time of posting), 7” wide
The Shop Fox D4026 Cabinet Maker’s Vise ($74 at the time of posting), 10” wide

Does anybody have experience with either of these vises or have a recommendation?


22 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

5394 posts in 1401 days


#1 posted 02-17-2022 04:46 PM

Do you have a hard budget?

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

199 posts in 1443 days


#2 posted 02-17-2022 09:27 PM

What type of bench are you building? I don’t have any experience with either of the vises listed so I can’t help with your specific question. I do suggest you look through the Work Bench Smack Down (part 2) post found here: https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/302785 . A lot of good information in there.

-- MikeJ

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

3876 posts in 1097 days


#3 posted 02-17-2022 09:50 PM

I wanted to go old school so I bought a Lake Erie wood screw and made a big chop. I think selecting a vise is like selecting a sharpening method, it depends who you ask.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

2415 posts in 1935 days


#4 posted 02-17-2022 10:02 PM

I think you need a fairly beefy front jaw if you use either one of those vises. They are probably both good products, I have not had either. I do have one similar and what I experienced with it is the jaw racked more than I wanted. although, I only had a 2” thick front piece. Preventing the racking might be something to do with how it fits the two outside rods and I didn’t pay a lot of attention to that part.
One other thing I found in using the one I have is that the rods and screw limited the depth you could set something down in the vise. Whereas the Record I have allows for a lot more depth in the jaws.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View AtlasRook's profile

AtlasRook

32 posts in 3018 days


#5 posted 02-18-2022 04:23 PM

I do have a budget, I’d really have to justify going over $80 or so.

I’m planning a Roubo style, similar to the plans Stumpy Nubs has (maybe with some modifications to fit my workspace. I have been scrolling thru the workbench smack down, lots of good ideas in there.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1626 posts in 1406 days


#6 posted 02-19-2022 07:05 AM

I have three cabinet vises on my work bench, (1) Shop Fox D4026 and (2) Grizzly H7788. They’re the same vises, just painted different colors. For what I do they work fine for me. I have one mounted on the back side and two mounted on the front side. I’m able to use the two mounted on the front side like a moxon vise if needed.

The Lee Valley 70G0802 vise is the same vise as the Shop Fox D4026 and Grizzly G7788.

I do have a Irwin 226361, 6 1/2” vise next to my drill press.

The only disadvantage with these is that there is no upper shim on the vise, if you want to use the upper shim to clamp with dog legs on a workbench. You can make an upper shim that attaches to a wood clamping face. Similar to the one on the Shop Fox D4920.

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Robert

5014 posts in 2976 days


#7 posted 02-19-2022 12:31 PM

You’re not going to get much for 80 bucks, sorry.

Rockler has some useable vices.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

3876 posts in 1097 days


#8 posted 02-19-2022 12:56 PM

80 bucks? I think I had about $150 in my Lake Erie wood screw, whoops, just checked and it’s $289 now. I also had to buy a 4/4 massive oak chop too.

One tip that I picked up somewhere here is to get a chamois rag at HD or auto parts store and glue it to the jaws. Grips well and doesn’t mar.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

10226 posts in 2070 days


#9 posted 02-19-2022 01:55 PM

An $80 vise can work, but like anything if you want to add attributes like smooth, and painless, I think your price point is too low. You can think about benches a lot of ways, but years of using them has me thinking of a bench as a flat hunk a wood, to which you attach your work holding apparatus, IE: a vise. So in reality the vise part is the more important of the 2. So important a lot of guys hang 2 or 3 of them off their bench.

Again, only if words like smooth, and painless mean anything to you. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

View Thedustydutchman's profile

Thedustydutchman

288 posts in 403 days


#10 posted 02-19-2022 02:19 PM

Are you sold on the idea of a cast iron vise? I have around 100.00 (if that) into my wooden vise. Its not perfectly smooth to operate like a cast iron one but I love it. It works well, is completely customizable and with leather on the chop it holds like crazy.

-- Jerry H - Holland Michigan

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8821 posts in 4293 days


#11 posted 02-19-2022 03:31 PM

I’m still using my wedge vices regularly and after ten years I’m still very happy with and still use both the wedge leg vice and the two wedge wagon vices. The three cost me less than $50 to make.
Not for everyone but they certainly work for me.
(Please forgive my Canadian spelling “vice” :-) )

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View GaryCN's profile

GaryCN

575 posts in 5430 days


#12 posted 02-19-2022 04:21 PM



80 bucks? I think I had about $150 in my Lake Erie wood screw, whoops, just checked and it s $289 now. I also had to buy a 4/4 massive oak chop too.
- controlfreak

Another option would be the Beall Tool Company wood threader, the threader, and tap would probably run about $150.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5765 posts in 2990 days


#13 posted 02-20-2022 03:00 AM

+1 Read BOTH Work Bench Smack Down Thread(S)

+1 Like Edge sharpening, Many ways to add a vise to a work bench.
They all have PRO & CON; which only YOU can decide which is best.

When I needed bench vises, I found some older 10” Wilton rapid acting vices for $50 each on CL removed from local college wood shop. They tend to sell for $75-$125 these days, when you can find them. As long as the cast iron locking cam underneath is not been abused, they will last 100+ years. A new clone Groz or Eclipse versions are close to $200. The quick reverse or rapid acting feature makes a wood vice easier to use than straight screw on/off type, and am really glad I have that feature.

Was originally saving my cash to buy the Veritas Twin Screw vise for end of my bench, and bench crafted ships wheel with Crisscross for front chop vise; till I find a stack of cheap Wilton’s. Never regretted saving hundreds of dollars, as the Wilton vices are top notch.

In hindsight, suggest you look past the cost and spend more time looking at how you will use the bench. Using a cheap vise can make you hate using the bench on some projects. Saving money is nice, but most folks only build 1-2 hand tool work benches in their lifetime, as they endure forever with minor care. Saving a few hundred on lumber or vise selection is not worth time wasted that could be spent making a bench you desire and will enjoy using for rest of your life.

Best Luck with decision.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

1230 posts in 2957 days


#14 posted 02-20-2022 07:32 AM

So I totally get the budget. And that is why I don’t have Veritas vises in my bench.
In the end I went with the Quick release steel bench vise that Lee valley sells. Dam that thing is up to $299.
I think I paid around $180 for mine.

Anyway, my point is the Quick release.
Below is a link to the Lee Valley quick release front vise. the small one more that doubles your budget.
But you won’t be sorry.
https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/workshop/workbenches/vises/54873-quick-release-front-vises
Woodcraft has what they call an economy version that is in your budget. But I can not say about the quality of it. https://www.woodcraft.com/products/economy-quick-release-front-vise


I’m still using my wedge vices regularly and after ten years I’m still very happy with and still use both the wedge leg vice and the two wedge wagon vices. The three cost me less than $50 to make.
Not for everyone but they certainly work for me.
(Please forgive my Canadian spelling “vice” :-) )

- shipwright

Paul, I love that wedge vise. Actually built one, but never installed it. Went in a different direction with my bench, and did not think it could fit. Wish I had made that modification to make it work.

-- John

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

678 posts in 4109 days


#15 posted 02-21-2022 07:00 PM

I’m w Big John in Vegas – the Quick Release functionality is really important.

I got a 10 or 12” Jorgensen vise that takes a long wooden rod/dowel that you can really crank on when needed. Small metal handles don’t allow for this kind of force.

Happy hunting.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

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