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.


3 thoughts on “Workbench Build — 2019, Part 14

  1. I really enjoyed reading your workbench blog. I’m on the verge of starting my Roubo bench with leg vise and wagon vise. I have my vises, wood and everything else I need except the time. Soon…


    1. Looking forward to seeing them. Was wondering if you had more to share on this project. My favourite part was that satisfying ‘thunk’ in the video when you inserted the first leg into the table.

      Liked by 1 person

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