Question: I’m watching your commentary on this one quite carefully: I’m planning to build a bench this year or next and have wondered about torsion boxes instead of slabs. Also, could you post a picture of the hinge at the bottom of that leg vise?
– Karl Rookey
It’s not really a hinge at the bottom of the leg vise, but it does pivot. The piece of wood pierced with holes is called a parallel guide. It prevents the vise’s jaw from twirling like a helicopter blade and acts as a pivot point for the vise.
To use the guide, you place the steel pin in one of the holes that matches (as close as possible) the thickness of the work you are securing. As you screw the vise closed, the pin butts against the leg (as shown above) and the top of the jaw pivots toward your work. It’s remarkably efficient and strong.
Some details: The parallel guide is slightly smaller (11/16″ thick) than the mortise through the leg (3/4″). The closer the fit, the smoother the action. The parallel guide is secured to the vise jaw with a wedged through-tenon. The countersunk holes in the guide are 3/8″ in diameter and are on 1″ centers. Each row of holes is offset by Ã?Â½”, so you essentially get a hole every Ã?Â½”. The hole positioned between the two rows is Ã?Â½” from the vise jaw.
The pin is 3/8″ in diameter, 6″ long and steel. It has a rubber O-ring on it that has a 5/16″ interior dimension (the 3/8″ I.D. O-rings will slip off your pin).
The leg vise is a remarkable piece of engineering that I enjoy working with. It’s inexpensive, easy to make and grippy as all get-out.
– Christopher Schwarz
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