Tail vises are funny things. I’ve installed many of them during the last 20 years, and I have a formula to calculate the time to do it right. Here it is:
Time to install a tail vise with precision = time to build the rest of the bench.
I’m not joking. With the exception of bolting a quick-release vise on the end of the bench, a good tail-vise-installation job takes time, concentration and effort. For this circa 1505 bench, it took me about 10 hours to build the basic bench and install the face vise.
So far, it has taken me seven hours of painstaking work (which I greatly enjoy by the way) to get the 10 critical surfaces of the bench in the same plane to install the vise’s bushing, vise nut and screw. Tomorrow I’ll install the screw, bushing and vise nut. If I’m lucky, it will take only three hours.
If I’m wrong, then my formula is off.
— Christopher Schwarz