While I have a Benchcrafted end vise on my workbench, I still have a soft spot in my heart for homebrew wagon vises.
I started with a lame homemade wagon vise I made from a veneer press screw. Then I made a better one using a tail vise screw on my Nicholson workbench. Then I “perfected” that one by reworking it a bit – a story I still need to write up for the blog some day.
But last week I saw Will Myers’ homemade wagon vise. His is better.
He put the wagon vise on a near copy of a portable Moravian workbench in the collection at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, N.C. I wrote about this bench here. The original Moravian bench didn’t have a tail vise, so Myers concocted his own using a left-hand-thread Acme rod, some nuts, pipe and other assorted bits he welded together. It’s remarkably simple and works remarkably well.
He brought his bench by The Woodwright’s School last Thursday for the students to examine and use for the afternoon while he settled up some business with Ed Lebetkin in the tool store upstairs.
The bench itself is fantastic, built using common or reclaimed materials, yet with a furniture-maker’s eye and hand. The wood selection and joinery were superb.
I’m not going to yammer much about the bench because Will has done this for me by publishing an extensive article on its construction – including the making of the wagon vise – at WKFineTools.com. Check out the entire article here.
— Christopher Schwarz