Vises And Accessories

Some tail vises, like the one shown at left, incorporate an L-shaped shoulder block. The block allows work to be clamped between the rear jaw of the vise and the end of the bench.

Vises are the tools that transform the workbench from a simple, flat surface into a versatile work station. The modern woodworking bench incorporates two types of vise: the face vise that secures work to the front edge of the bench, and the tail vise that uses wood or metal bench dogs to secure work on the top of the bench. The pages that follow examine ways of installing both the tail vise (page 57) and face vise (page 58).

Face vises made entirely of wood are rare. However, a wooden vise is preferable to a metal type because wooden jaws can grip work without marring its surface. A good compromise can be reached by buying the hardware for a metal vise and mounting wooden face blocks. You can extend the capacity of a face vise by boring holes in the bench-top and securing work between a bench dog in the vise's jaws and one inserted in one of the holes.

Tail vises are available in two types: an enclosed model that incorporates a sliding dog block (below and page 57) and one that features an L-shaped block, as in the photo at left. Some tail vises extend across the entire end of a workbench and have two screws; these are known as end vises, and they extend the utility of an already versatile tool.

Some tail vises, like the one shown at left, incorporate an L-shaped shoulder block. The block allows work to be clamped between the rear jaw of the vise and the end of the bench.

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