Ready-made hardware simplifies end-vise construction
Synopsis: An end vise makes a workbench more user friendly, and exact plans and step-by-step instructions help you build one for yourself. Whether you build a workbench using the detailed project plan or add an end vise to an existing bench, this article walks you through the building process. A source guide identifies and evaluates materials needed.
From Fine Woodworking #162
I knew that when I eventually got around to building my dream workbench, it would have to meet a few basic requirements. It would have to be sturdy enough to last a few lifetimes. It would have to have storage underneath. And it would have to have good front and end vises so that I wouldn’t have to do a lot to get a workpiece held securely.
In 1998, I finally built my bench. And I’m pleased to say that after five years of heavy work, it has fulfilled my expectations, and then some. It’s rock solid and has plenty of useful storage, thanks to 15 drawers and an area of open space between the base and the top.
Building such a large workbench can be an intimidating task, but it’s actually basic woodworking. The only parts of the bench that call for anything other than straightforward biscuit and mortise-and-tenon joinery is the end vise. Whether you decide to build this bench using the foldout plans or add the end vise to a bench you already have, this article walks you through the process.
The front and end vises, along with benchdogs and a board jack, offer plenty of clamping options.
In the front of the bench I had planned to use a typical cast-iron vise with wood jaws until I ran across an Internet ad for a used patternmaker’s vise, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to…