Chris Schwarz's Blog

More Wooden Vise Options: Evans Wood Screw Co.

I try to stay abreast of the world of workbenches and workholding. But sometimes a place like Evans Wood Screw Co. escapes my eye.

For six years, this Franklin, Ind., enterprise has been cranking out wooden vise screws for workbench builders. You can find the company at TheTraditionalCarpenter.com. The small site offers a good selection of free plans and instructions for incorporating wooden screws into a workbench.

There are plans for a traditional face vise, tail vise, wagon vise, leg vise, twin screw and others. Even if you don’t buy one of their wooden screws, the plans offer a lot of good ideas for how you could adapt a vintage wood screw into your workbench.

There also is a price list, of course. And you’ll find the prices very close to those offered by Lake Erie Toolworks and Big Wood Vise.

I got to chat with Matthew and Micaela Evans during Woodworking in America’s Midwest show. Matthew was showing a variety of vise screws, including some with custom-turned hubs. Matthew said he’s happy to do a custom hub if you are trying to match an old-school design on a workbench – vintage workbenches tend to have far more elaborate hubs than what you see today.

It’s actually remarkable that we now have (at least) three companies to choose from when shopping for a threaded wooden vise screw. When I built my first bench with wooden screws, the Holtzapffel, I bought my screws from some guy who bought them a decade earlier at some California flea market. And I was happy to get them, even though their quality isn’t even close to what you can buy today.

All three of these wooden screw companies are small family-run shops that turn out products that haven’t been on the market for almost a century. So if a workbench is in your future, consider a wooden screw. They are fast, beautiful and durable. I love the one I have on the Roubo bench I built for my daughter.

— Christopher Schwarz

If you are looking for a design for a workbench, you might want to check out “The Workbench Design Book” available through ShopWoodworking.com. It’s a huge American-made book that has several plans for benches incorporating wooden vise screws.

9 thoughts on “More Wooden Vise Options: Evans Wood Screw Co.

  1. hhbeam

    I am building a bench similar the 18th century in your latest book. The end vise on the bench above the tc bench has a great deal of interest to me. Do you have any more photos of it that I may mimic the workings? thanks

    hhbeam

      1. hhbeam

        Megan,
        Thanks for the reply. I had the impression the end vise above was a totally made of wood, ie wood screw, wooden guides etc.. I have a metal quick release type that I could use, however, I was looking for some guidance to make a small ( 8 inch wide) end vice. I have this notion to avoid metal if at all possible. Call me crazy.
        hhbeam

        1. Megan Fitzpatrick

          Sorry! That’s what I get for looking at comments in the site backend instead of on actual posts…thought you were commenting on something else. Alas, I can be of no assistance with your actual question – though you might want to visit Woodnet.net and look at Jeff Burk’s many fine photos of WIA Midwest 2012 — he may have a few in there that could help: http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=6161557&page=2&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=

  2. Lee

    Went to their site but was unable to open their instructions/plans up? Couln’t even leave a post or contact them. If I can open your links, what did they not do to make available to others?

    Lee

  3. John Hutchinson

    Beautiful stuff! I love the idea that there are still little companies around the US that do just one thing and then do it very well. Something like the Columbus Whistle Company here in Ohio. Every NBA and NFL referee has one.

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