Whenever I try to explain the new Veritas Surface Vise with words, I get only blank stares. Perhaps I don’t have the language skills to manage it. Perhaps a short movie will help.
The Surface Vise is , in essence , a quick-release version of the Veritas Wonder Dog. One post guides the rod of the vise and locks the vise to your workbench. The other post contains a speed nut , a clever way to release and engage the threaded part of the rod. Twist the speed nut clockwise, it engages the threads. Twist it anticlockwise and the rod slides freely.
It’s a clever way to add a quick-release tail vise to any bench or work surface.
The only quibble I have with the Surface Vise is the same quibble I have with the Wonder Dog: It’s a challenge to clamp thin material. The mechanism is ideal for stock that is 3/4″ thick or thicker. Once you start clamping thinner stock, you’re going to have to come up with a dodge to make it work. One such workaround is to add a secondary jaw to the head of the Surface Vise. This jaw could taper to whatever thickness you wanted. (The head of the vise is bored with clearance holes to make this easy).
However, all in all, it’s an amazing piece of work. It is simple to install, works remarkably fast and (unlike some tail vises) never sags. The unit is $75 from Lee Valley Tools.