End vise conundrum

I could use some advise.  Attempting to add the monster quick release vise to my bench as an end vise has hit a snag.  Because this vise is such a beast, the parallel bars are quite long which means the nearest leg is in the way if I use a symmetrical overhang.  Moving the leg out of the way would require it to move nearly 6 inches, resulting in a 42 inch base on a 6 foot bench.  The other complication is my garage floor has a heavy slope for drainage and the end vise is on the downhill of the slope so if I shift the leg the long side will have a heavy vise and be downhill.

The other choose is to shift the vise 2 inches away from the front edge (or do something crazy and notch the leg).

Anyone have any thoughts?

The red clamping brace is where the leg should go.
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9 thoughts on “End vise conundrum

    • I’ve been doing some reading and I think I don’t need to move the leg as much as I thought. In the August 2010 issue of popular woodworking, Chris Schwarz used a small quick release vise and added a 3 inch think chop to make it wider. If I add a thick cop to my vise then I only need to shift the leg 2-3 inches which is way more reasonable.

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  1. No need to move the leg Alex. Just lengthen the bench a few inches, and add some stout wooden chops to the vice. An 8/4 piece of (is that Ash?) running perpendicular to your glue-up, plus some 10/4 chops would do the trick.

    Alternatively, why not mount it in the center of your bench, so that it does not hit either leg? Then you can extend the chops the entire width of the bench. (Thats how my Ruobo is etup – works great).

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    • Its air dried Douglas fir, its my wood of choice these days.

      I think the cop idea is great, Chris Schwarz used a three inch thick one on the back in the August 2010 issue of popular woodworking.

      I thought about offsetting, but I want my dog holes close to the front edge. I also realized that one of the dog hole I had drilled for use before the bench was finished overlaps where the leg would go in symmetrical placement so I think I’m going to do a combination:

      -Add a thick chop (glued up out of scrap white oak I have laying around)
      -Offset the right legs an inch or two (however much is needed to clear that doghole)
      – Notch the leg for any additional clearance needed (I figure a 1 inch notch wont effect a 4×4 Douglas fir leg that much)

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  2. Sounds like you have the solution in hand, Alex.

    So I’ll just say that I’m going to use your blog posts here on your bench build for motivation. I have some benches to make (two) and that’s kind of been keeping me hung up on getting stuff done in the shop.

    I have some Douglas fir, as well, for one of them. A little too short for my main bench, but I’m going to try and build a bench for the little one (that will be a secondary/backup bench for me). I was able to snag some 100+ y/o DF beams from the old Checkerdome in St. Louis (they took it down in 2000 or so). I have two that are about 3″ thick and will clean up to 15″ wide and one that is about 10″ wide. All are 6′ long. Should make for a nice smaller bench.

    Probably the one I’ll build first, too.

    Good luck with the rest of your build!

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    • Thanks, I am finally buckling down on the bench work since it is really making my worker harder not having one. My wife really wants a new dining table soon so I need to get it done.

      I’m surprised the Checkerdome had Douglas fir beams, I figured with all of the oak trees in Missouri it would have used oak. I need to go back and look at the pictures from my old St. Louis house.

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    • I can’t tell for sure but it looks like the exposed beams in my old Tower Grove house were in fact old growth Douglas Fir. It was built around 1914 (if I remember correctly) I guess they must have shipped it in by rail from the west.

      (that wallpaper was there when I bought it, it came down within a month)

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