Workbench Build — 2019, Part 14

The Leg Vise

I made the leg vise out of a very hard piece of maple. I decided to make is a little fancier than I had originally planned. I had the vise cut out and was just going to do a simple chamfer and call it good. Then I saw the work my friend Paul Bayliss does with string inlay and it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. So I contacted Paul and he coached me through doing my vise like this. I have a limited retirement budget so I made my stringing tools.

It’s maple with walnut stringing. My whole bench is wood from near me. Old-growth Douglas-Fir from a Wisconsin barn, maple and walnut from within 50 miles of me. I like that.

Here’s the full vise. The vise screw is an old 1 1/2" one that’s 18" long. The handle is a maple dowel and the handle ends are honey locust. The pinboard is maple that is attached to the leg with a through mortise and tenon with drawbore pegs.

You can see the vise screw and pinboard better in this photo.

The walnut inlay was a new, and very fun, challenge.

It turned out very well, much better than I had expected.

There are flaws, of course. That’s ok with me.

I did a coved chamfer instead of a typical flat one. I always liked that I wanted to try it. I used a scratch stock for the cove.

The coved chamfer is more visible here.

The pinboard is maple with a nice flourish at the end. I’m not sure what that is called but I use it a lot. It’s fun to make.

The bottom of the vise showing the end of the pinboard tenon.

The pin for the pinboard is a masonry alignment bar with a honey locust handle. The wood came from an old tree from our front yard we had to take down.

The leg vise holds better than I could have imagined. I never used one before and made it on faith. It is very cool and give me a lot of work-holding options I didn’t have before.

With the leg vise installed and functioning well the bench is rapidly becoming more useful. I can’t really express how excited I am.


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