Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just picked up this wood screw vise from an old Amish bench (see pictures below), I needed a vise and the price was right. Got it on the internet and am awaiting delivery. It's appears well used but in good condition, especially the screw, nut, and dynamic jaw post. I thought I'd stick it on a temporary bench I'll be building this spring.

A few questions... Can anyone tell me why it has the two jaw posts instead of the one like on a contemporary leg vise? I see a lot of these old ones with the two. How were they attached to a bench? Was the nut rabbeted into the leg? How were these with two jaw posts used? Should I remove the back static jaw post and use vise like a contemporary one, with the leg of the bench as the opposite jaw face? What would be the pros and cons of either keeping or changing the jaw configuration?

Thanks!







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The "second" piece probably was a leg on a bench.
Thanks. I had explored that, and I really don't think so. First, the top of the dynamic leg should be coplanar with the top of the bench top, not the top of the table leg. Since the table leg would be under the bench top it would be short the exact thickness of the bench top.

Second, I find examples of static vise legs that are so shaped that it would be impossible for them to be table legs. It would be a reasonable assumption mine was attached in a similar manner as these. See 3 examples below that have shaped vise tops.









Below is a contemporary version by Benchcrafted of a two-legged screw vice. But the shape of the nut on my vise would, I think, prohibit it being attached in this particular manner.





Now, the inspiration that the nut might be rabbeted into the front, side, or back of table leg came from examples like in the following images.





And...







And this example shows a sliding dovetail. Was this slid onto the front of a table leg?







All that said, I think the rabbet theory plausible, but still hard to envision with mine. Could there be other ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Just speculation here but it could have been used as a jack in conjunction with a bench vise to support a long workpiece. Let us know more after you receive it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Just speculation here but it could have been used as a jack in conjunction with a bench vise to support a long workpiece. Let us know more after you receive it.
Right! Good thinking. I think that could very well be if the bench vise (likely another wood screw) was not coplanar with the bench side. I don't find old examples like that, but still searching.





What was that nut attached to? There are two fastener holes. Also, the seller tells me it is attached to the static leg. Hmm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,529 Posts
Could it have been built as a retrofit for an older bench, to replace a crochet maybe? If someone didn't want to cut a through mortise in the leg of the bench they'd been using for years, this could have been a simple way to upgrade. The two fastener holes would have been well placed for driving screws through into the inside of the left front bench leg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
While awaiting delivery....

The winter storm back East has delayed delivery. While waiting I thought I'd take another look at vises. I found another one in the wild with the same ziggurat-shaped nut as mine. See pictures below. If I deduce correctly--I'm no expert on wood screw vises--this one is a face vise. I could see how it could be a wagon vise, but I'm assuming it's not.









Okay, here's how I read assembly--please correct me if I'm wrong...

A) This is a retrofit. The static jaw (the middle piece in last photo) fastens with two screws or bolts under bench tabletop, with its inside jaw face coplanar with side of tabletop. By look of it, vise accounts for about a 3-, to-4-inch bench tabletop thickness.

B) The nut (far left ziggurat-shaped piece in last photo) is snugged up against back of static jaw (middle piece), and fastens to bottom of tabletop with two screws or bolts.

C) Square-shaped anti-racking parallel guides (not pictured) are made from wood and tenoned into the dynamic vise jaw (mortises pictured in second-to-last photo). These guides then ride in the square slots in static jaw.

D) Nut is ziggurat, or stepped, in shape to allow clearance for the parallel guides. The latter which probably would have some sort of block-shaped stop on them, which would further explain the extra relief cut into the nut.

So, if the above is true, then my nut may have been from a face vise with parallel guides, repurposed into a leg-type vise. Very likely scenario I think.

The next question is then why on mine the nut is attached vertically? I think the obvious answer is for fit and greater mating surface. (It wouldn't fit nicely horizontally.)

Then, the still unanswered question why so many leg-type vises like mine, and those pictured in previous posts, have a full-length static leg which almost ensures their clamping surface cannot be coplanar with bench sides? Still a mystery to me. I think amckenzie4 is right (above), these were probably retrofits.

What do y'all think of this analysis (if you even troubled with such a lengthy post)? Like I said, I'm pretty green to wooden screws, so fire away...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,932 Posts
Legs vices normally have an adjustable bottom pin assembly so the clamping surface can be made parallel for the size of the stock it's holding. One of the things I don't like about leg vices.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top