Hand Tools Archive
Paul in NJ
I have finally finished my kitchen make over and the shop is free of the new cabinets built in there. I am now spending time on projects on the exterior of my home. When we get a rainy day I have some time to mess around in the shop.
A while back, Steve Voigt (http://blackdogswoodshop.blogspot.com) had a blog post of a high vise he had built. I believe he was inspired by the Benchcrafted model (https://www.benchcrafted.com/hivise). The Benchcrafted hardware is very nice but Steve used some hardware he had on hand and modified it to his purposes. It was nice enough that I was inspired to build my own.
I found some cheap acme threaded rod and nuts on Ebay, ¾-5 for the main screw and ½-10 for the clamps. I had saved some cherry from the firewood stack. I didn’t complain to my firewood guy that the load he delivered wasn’t 100% oak. It sat under my bench for a few years waiting for the right project. The vise handle is a 3/8 bronze carriage bolt with the head cut off. The clamp handles are dogwood as is the hub. Brass waste plumbing pipe was used for the hub bands and scavenged brass hex stock for the clamp pads.
Steve’s vise used a parallel guide to regulate the jaw opening. The Benchcrafted version uses a sliding cross type of apparatus as the original did. The original also had a cheaper version that uses a second threaded rod at the bottom and a nut you spin to regulate the opening. This is the version I used. I have not installed a garter to pull the vise open when you back off the vise. I decided to live with it for a while before I do anything. The jaw is lined with cork from flooring tiles. This cork has proved durable glued onto my holdfasts pads. I added steel reinforcing plates to the back jaw. I was worried that there would be a lot of stress on the bottom arms since they only have a half lap joint. My firewood wasn’t long enough to make a dado joint there. The screw is epoxy bonded to the hub with thickened West System Marine epoxy and the hex nuts are mortised in with a little epoxy to hold them in place.
In use the vise is rock solid clamped to the bench and has tremendous grip. I will see if the missing garter and the adjustment nut are tiresome in use. I envision using it for chair spindles and detail work as well for spoon carving (I use a drawknife and spoke shaves).