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Precision vises serve a purpose beyond their conventional use of securing workpieces on the drill press. In my workshops, these tools prove invaluable, especially when it comes to tasks like planing thin strips of wood.

Read part 1 here.

Take, for instance, the challenge of working with a long, slender piece of Sapele wood clamped between the jaws of a bench vise. The issue here is the vulnerability of overhanging sections that tend to bend under the weight of the plane. To tackle this, I opted for the Precision Vise—a practical solution that prevents collapse or deformation.

 Securing the strip within the jaws of the Precision Vise, comfortably nested within the bench vise, ensures that the majority of the strip remains flat on the bench top. This not only averts undesirable bending but also provides even down pressure during the planing process.

Even in benches equipped with a tail vise and bench dogs, the Precision Vise proves its worth. Attempting to hold a thin piece between the dog and the vise can lead to compression, causing the strip to crown upward and disrupting uniform wood removal. The Precision Vise, positioned within the bench vise, effortlessly sidesteps such issues.

Trying to plane a thin piece of wood unsupported in a bench vise can lead the piece to “dive” into the vise if not supported.

Placing the strip in-between the jaws of a precision vise nested in a bench-vise provide a much better support for this small strip of wood.

Beyond planing, these vises showcase their utility in holding small parts for filing or chiseling directly on the workbench. In the accompanying images, you can witness my small Stanley precision vise in action as it securely cradles a shoulder plane blade, facilitating precise filing and reshaping.

As highlighted in the initial part of the story, these vises are not only affordable but also remarkably versatile. Their applications extend across various workshop tasks, proving to be reliable allies. I encourage you to explore their potential—you won’t be disappointed.

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Showing 2 comments
  • dawatson833

    Interesting column for me. The first images in part 2 was something I needed to do last year. I struggled to secure the wood. Strangely enough I had a precision vise nearby, but never thought to use it. Used it for metal work occasionally, but didn’t use it for wood.
    Now I have another solution for a common issue

    • Yoav Liberman

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us, and I am glad you found my vise story helpful.

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