We’ve been testing the Veritas Quick-release Sliding Tail Vise for several months now and have been keeping as mum as possible. Now I can break my mum-ness and discuss this interesting piece of new bench hardware.
The idea is simple: Put a traditional European tail vise and a machinist’s quick-release vise into a tropical hotel with an ocean view. Open the mini bar. Order room service.
Their love child is this vise.
Like a machinist’s quick-release vise, it is easy to install , even to retrofit. We added this vise to the LVL Workbench in about a couple hours of work. We cut out the recess for the vise using a jigsaw and trued it up with a chisel plane. Then we bolted the hardware to the underside of the top and made the walnut chop.
Like a tail vise, it offers 100-percent support to wide panels when you are working on them and gets your row of dog holes right up in the front of the benchtop where you want them.
Like a machinist’s quick-release vise, you turn a lever and the the jaw slides open and closed with a satisfying swoosh.
Like a tail vise, you can lock the threads so that the jaw opens and closes with a screw-feed action. That means you can use this vise for assembly, disassembly and holding your work
Like a quick-release vise, it has guide bars to keep it from racking and it doesn’t sag.
But like a tail vise, there are no bars that get in the way of the vise’s functions.
To show you how this works, Megan Fitzpatrick and I prepared the short tour above. (And no, Megan doesn’t wear those sandals when she is working in the shop, so just shut your pie hole about that.)
Also, before you ask: The Acme-thread screw is indeed small, but the sucker is robust. You can really crank the thing down (not that you should ever need to). I think this vise is going to be a real game-changer when it comes to deciding which end vise to install on your bench.
The vise is available and in stock from Lee Valley Tools for $269 U.S.
– Christopher Schwarz
Other Tail Vise Links to Consider
– We’ll be testing out the tail vise hardware from Lie-Nielsen soon. I am told that it is “bombproof.”
– The Benchcrafted tail vise is an engineering marvel. And now the company has released an updated version that is easier to install.
– Be sure to visit workbenchdesign.net for all your workbench information cravings.
– And if you want a heavy dose of my off-centered view on workbenches, my book is a good place to start: “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.”