For woodworkers who don’t have a tail vise, wagon vise or other kind of end vise, the Veritas Wonder Dog has always been a great substitute. It drops into a round dog hole and allows you to pinch your work between the Wonder Dog and a second dog.
Now Veritas has developed a new bench-clamping device that is faster, more versatile and has a much longer throw than the venerable Wonder Dog. It’s called the Veritas Surface Vise, and Lee Valley officials were showing it off at the Woodworking in America conference last week. I got to toy around with it a bit and take a few photos.
Here’s how it works: The device has two posts that drop into dog holes on your benchtop. One post is cleverly split so you can lock it in place in the hole if you want (the locking mechanism works like the device on the Veritas Surface Clamp). The other post has a speed nut perched on top of it. The 19″-long shaft passes through both posts. You release the vise by slightly turning the speed nut , this makes the shaft slide freely. Turn the speed nut the other way, and it engages the threads on the shaft. With the threads engaged you can adjust the rod with the stainless steel handle at the end of the shaft.
In truth, this Veritas Surface Vise needs a video to explain it. All my words above just do not do it justice.
The jaw that clamps the work is removable (it’s held in place with a rare-earth magnet) and you can screw accessory jaws to it.
The Veritas Surface Vise should be available soon and will cost $79.
– Christopher Schwarz