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Discussion Starter #1
I have done a good bit of research on putting together a leg vise. I am familiar with Benchcrafted and would agree that it's probably outstanding quality but at $400 a bit more than I would like to spend. I thought I was SOL until I cam across this helpful vid:

In the video he shows a pretty good idea using bearings and mentions a MCMASTER website as a source for parts. The website seems to have everything needed like rods:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#threaded-rods/=qckorc
and hand wheels:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#hand-wheels/=qclhhu
along with threaded flanges and such.

My only issue now is the limitation of my own knowledge on the subject. The coil threaded rods with broad shallow threads for quick screw action that will resist getting clogged with debris, and a solid cast iron hand wheel sounds like what I would need but thats an uneducated guess. Will a paticular thread be more prone to slipping? I'm also unsure how the handwheel and the rod would be joined together since most of the wheels have small unthreaded holes. Anyone have experience putting one of these together from scratch?
 

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Again, I agree with Dave, Acme thread is the way to go. I purchased mine either from WoodCraft or Japan Woodworker. I think I spent around $60. Been using it for over five years, and I like the way it works.
 

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I'm in the midst of building a new bench and got the benchcrafted vises and IMO they are under-priced. The previous bench I built I used a cheap Woodcraft vise and cursed that vise for over 10 years. I would encourage you to buy quality once and not do what I did- build it twice and pay for it twice.
 

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I'm pretty sure this is the screw I bought for my leg vise. It's pricier but longer than the one from Lee Valley that Gilgaron pointed out. Either one would work fine, they just won't be as smooth in operation as the Benchcrafted.

If I was doing it again, I'd go with the cheaper shorter one: I can't think of more than one instance where I wanted to put something more than about 6" deep in my vise, and I could have done that a different way.

For the bottom of the leg, there are a few things you can do:
1) Try to duplicate the X style cross-brace that Benchcrafted sells. I'm trying to figure out how to do that so I can re-fit my bench.
2) Go with the traditional rectangular rod and mortise through the bench leg.
3) Don't have a brace, just keep block of various thicknesses on hand to stick under the bottom of the vise leg.
4) Go with something wacky, like this:

vise base by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr

After I built the frame, I attached a piece of aluminum bar stock across the back of the leg. I like it because I can just stick a toe under the frame while I adjust the vise to a rough opening, then tap the base of the vise leg with my foot to seat the stop. The notches were cut ever 3/4", give or take. I'd rather have the X style support, but this works well and was cheap to build.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Im thinking I may try to use the screw from my front vise, remove the horizontal guides and make a full length chop. I would like to go pinless and ive read about some problems with the ramp and bearing method, chain method looks to be more complicated and as expencive as a crisscross. And the flange bearing method would be a pain to install correctly. So may go with the crisscross.
 

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I used 3/4" all thread. For the bottom brace, I did this. It did exactly what I needed it to do. And I figured that if the all-thread ever went bad, it was no big deal since they are only a couple of dollars at the big box store.


 

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If you don't want a parallel guide you could try a wedge, as Schwarz posted here but it doesn't really seem any easier than any of the other methods to me.
 

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I have the lee valley shoulder vise screw on my leg vise. It works quite nicely and didn't break the bank. Easy to install also.

Greg
 

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If I were to redo my leg vice, I would still use the parallel guide, but I would increase the resolution. I staggered 3/4" holes 3/4" O.C. There are times that it would be nice to be able to place a pin 1/2" O. C.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I recently made a router sled out of some 1" square steel pipe with 1/8" thick walls and was surprised with its resilience and being able to work it with a drill press and hacksaw. I may try to make a crisscross on my own.
 
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