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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Default Bench vise/clamp

I thought I had made a most excellent discovery at the store the other day, a Bessey 6" woodcraft vise. I don't have anything of the sort, and thought it would be a nice addition to the shed, at least until I can procure the time and funds to build my new workbench (Fall, probably later) that will have two clamps/vises in it.

All was good, until I read the review this morning. I do admit, the clamp seems to work backwards than intended (closed first at bottom). I was going to mount this to one of my tables, but wanted to hear opinions before I couldn't take it back. For $20, it was quite a sight less expensive than my other options.

Unless one of those other options is to make my own for anywhere under $40.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:06 PM
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Chris,

If you aren't happy with it now, you probably won't be happy with it later. Take it back while you can and save your pennies for something that will perform as you want it to.

Nothing worse than a tool you're not happy with reminding you of hard earned money you won't have back!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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About the time you posted that, I was looking at HF and I picked up their 10" vise. Had one set up in the store, and it looked to at least close evenly, if not properly. With their generous return policy, I'll be giving this one a shot.

Their quick-release one gets some pretty good reviews, but I'll pass on spending double for the time being. Perhaps if I like this one I'll incorporate it (the quick release) in my master build.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2010, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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I went to find bolts mount this thing today, so I busted out the manual because I remembered seeing a spec in there. Open it up, and it says 3/16"

o_0 3/16"? That can't be right. Off to the store I go. Pretty sure it meant 5/16", so I grab some 1/4" (just in case) and head home.

It's 3/16", alright. That can't be enough to support the weight of this clamp, can it? I'll be headed back to the store on the way home to take a look at the quick-release version. I'm going to measure those holes, and if they are bigger, I'll spend the extra dosh. Undermounting a ~15# clamp with #8 or #10 screws (I doubt I'll find bolts long enough) isn't my idea of a good time.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Took both the Bessey and the $30 HF vises back and sprung for the $60 HF vise - $48 w/ coupon. I have to say, I'm glad I spend the extra bucks. Much more secure mounting it with 3/8" bolts. Also, a fairly nice quick-release lever.



Drilling holes so the bolts sit flush is on the to-do list, but it's not a huge priority at this point, because it's not as if I can use the dog anyway. Not with a ply top. And for that reason, I'm not real concerned with it sitting below the top of the table. Had to really beef up the front of the table as well, and I'll have to add some corresponding weight to the back if I ever want to do anything heavy.

I might get around to do the table I really want later this year, and this will get ported over. I like it. Have to fab up some face with any stock I have left over. I know I've got some poplar that will do in a pinch.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thought this would be the most appropriate place to put this for the time being:

Finally got around to making faces for the clamp. Had a piece of birch that was the perfect size. Don't know if it's a good wood for the face, but it's there for the time being. Did a relief on the bottom to clear the mechanicals, and put a small chamfer (first time!) on all sides.



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