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3015 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bobj3
I'm finally building a new workbench and I need some advice on a shoulder vise. Any ideas on a good one? I've seen Wilton and jorgensen but I'm still lost. Advice would be helpful since I'll probably go online to get it.
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Hi Willym24

This is a real hard one :) in the of case of a Vise the bigger the better, they are all made about the same way ,if you can find one that slides out (Quick Release) then clamps so you can screw it down on stock works best and it makes it quick and easy to drop stock in place, some come with a Dog that you can install in the push block (vise block,hard wood the norn.the dog is a black iron block 1 1/8" x 1/2" thick x 3" long with push up button) and you will use it all the time but it must be a strong one and one that can drop out of the way when you don't need to use it.
Most of the vise dogs are small, find one that's widest one you can find and the tallest.

Good luck with your quest.
This is a good one ,it will show you how to make the work bench from sq.1
shoulder vise ▼
I should note *** I made my vise with some 1 1/4"-6 Acme threaded rod and Acme nuts (that I cut in 1/2) that I got from a fastners supply company and some copper fitting from H.Depot, total cost was about 18.oo bucks but I'm a cheap SOB . :
If you want to see a snapshot just ask and I will post one.

Bj :)
Record makes a fine vice. I got mine at Seven Corners Hardware in St. Paul. but that was many years ago.
You might want to take a look at Anant vises as well. I seem to recall reading that it appears Anant has the old Record tooling and that the quality is right up there with the old Record vises.
Here's a snapshot or two just in case some one wants to make one :)

Bj :)

Note *** "What are the 1" holes for in the dogs , I put hvy. rope in the holes so I can use them to pull chairs apart to repair them, in this way I don't damage the legs with clamps.

You will see silver plug caps in the snapshots on the side of the work bench, when I made the work bench I put in wooden plugs in but I did remove them and use auto.freeze plugs for car eng. that's because I used 1/2" all threaded rod to hold the work bench together and I needed to pull it together again after a year or so.

Bj :)


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What kind of wood is your bench made out of? Just curious. Oh...and about how old is it? I can see you use it and I'm gauging (in my mind since I over think everything) how well these things hold up.

Hi reilimaster
It's about 25 years old maybe a bit more :) it's made out of spruce ,most of it is 4" x 6" and some of it is 4" x 12" for stretchers, some of it's hard walnut for the vise face and 4 " x 4" for the legs and the foot base.
It's a bit longer than the norm, 8ft long and 4 ft wide at the shoulder vise with a tool tray on the back side and a 6" hole and a cloth bag to catch the chips from hand planing in the tool tray.
I have used it for everything as you can tell in the snapshots but I do recall how I made it and just about all the details.
They hold up well and if you buy one today you can drop over 700.oo to 1600.oo dollars so it's worth the effort and the time to make one it can be the most expensive shop tool you will have in your shop but you will have it for a long ,long time I'm sure.

But as long as you don't get carried away with buying high end lumber you can make one that will last a long time and that's not to expensive to build. :)
And if you cut a corner or two like making your own vise you will be happy with it because YOU made it your way. :)

Bj :)
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Boy, you got me confused. :confused: :confused:

Maybe its just me or an age thing :eek: :eek: but I would have thought that "spruce" would be too soft a wood to stand up to the rigors of a work bench!!!

Based on the color and tightness of the woodgrain, it looks more like "douglas fir or hemlock" to me, unless the finish is hiding its true color.

I have 3 acres of spruce and none of it looks like that!!

Set me straight BJ, before I get any worse!!!! :eek: :eek:

:confused: :confused: Ric :confused: :confused:
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Hi Rick

Well it's been about 25 years ago that I made it but it could be douglas fir back then I just used what I could get for free I still have some of the planks that have not been milled down all the way. ( bow and arrow stock by now :) )
But I have used it for just about everything welding table,paint table,etc. you name it and it has taken all I could give it and then some , I did break the end vise about a 4 years ago but I was using it for a welding frame clamp (trailer tool box I was making) but it just snapped a 3/8 lag bolt off, no big deal I just replace it, now it's like new again.

About 2 years ago I moved the legs out by 2ft. on one end (end vise end) so it would not tip up when I put 200lbs on the end .:) that was a pain to do because of the stretchers but it will hold just about anything I put on it now.

"true color" = real light yellow/brown with white sapwood.
I did find one of the old stretchers ,see below
See snapshots below ▼

Bj :)


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I see I've gotten some advice with my workbench project. Thanks for the pics BJ. Since I haven't been at it too long, I don't know if I have the resources to make my own vise..... welding etc. but I'll give it some thought. I originally come from New York but now I'm living in Miami Florida and I haven't found too many people interested in woodworking around here and it's tough to find someone to bounce ideas off of. Glad to see you guys are out there.

You're Welcome Will

It's easy to make things the hard part is the 1st step... :)
Welding shops are all over the place so don't let that hold you back,you can save big bucks by making the items you want :).
advice, we have here and it's FREE :) just for the asking .

Have a good weekend Will

Bj :)
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