Bench Vice for Woodworking – Inexpensive and DIY Part 2

In part two we will build the vise we introduced in part one

Cut your board (2×6, 2×8) a little more than the hieght of your bench. Then drill a hole about eight to ten inched from the top. The hole should be a little bigger than your screw (1/2″ Bolt or Threaded rod). A nut should be inserted on the inner side of the bench into which your screw (bolt) will pass. It can be glued in or wedged in. If the nut is placed on the outside of the bench, it will come out during use. Once the screw is installed, move the board to the side (installed position) and mark it for cutting.

Figure 53 (and 54) below shows how the vise is trimmed parallel to the bench leg and attached to the pin board. The pin board can be a 2×4, or other piece of scrap wood. Figure 53 also shows how the pin board is boxed in against the bench let. 3 scrap pieces of wood are used and this “box” simply restricts the movment of the pin board (in and out only). Holes are drilled in the pin board and an old screw driver can be used as the pin, as illustrated in 53.  Figure 54 shows the correct orientation of the vice when the pin (screwdriver) should be installed. If you are confused about the function and use of the pin board, simply build and use the vise and it will become clear. The pin board is to prevent racking of the vise. A handle can be fashioned from scrap wood and epoxied to the screw to tighten or loosen the vice.

The below picture shows

Bench Vice for Woodworking – Inexpensive and DIY Part 1

This type of vise is known as a pinned shoulder vise and it is really simple to make. We here the Cherry Valley Studio have built and used this vise. It is a good project for those looking to get into wood working. It is from an old book called Woodworking for beginners : a manual for amateurs by Charles Gardner Wheeler. It was published in 1905 and is now public domain.I would suggest using a 2×6 for the main structure and a 1/2 inch bolt or threaded rod for the screw component. Scrap wood can also be used. These componets should cost under $10.

Here is a picture of the completed vice.

Here is a picture of the vice being used. You can see the pinned mechanism better in the below picture. It is on the  bottom left-side of the bench and is necessary to prevent the vise from exerting uneven clamping pressure. The below picuture also shows the use of a bench dog on the side of the bench to support longer boards.


Undiscovered photo of Gusav Stickley

Woodworker Gustav Stickley lived his adult life in the Syracuse Area. Cherry Valley Studio is also based on Syracuse. Stickley Furniture is still made in the Syracuse Suburb of Manlius NY. Stickley was probably the leading proponent of the craftsman movement. This is an arts and crafts style that emphasizes clean lines, simple design, and celebrates details of workmenship and jonery.

I was recently looking at historical books on google about Syracuse. One book that caught my interest was a portrait book of prominent people living in Syracuse from the late 1800’s. Who is I find in there but a young mustachioed Gustav Stickley. It gave is occupation as simply editor of The Craftsman.

I actually think it is the most flattering picture of him that I have seen.

The book was called Notable Men of Central New York: Syracuse and Vicinity, Utica and Vicinity … .

It was published in 1903 so I believe he would have been about 43 at the time of this photograph.

One good chisel

I’ve got one good chisel. Here it is. I love this thing.

All my other chisels are mediocre at best. I got it at a flea market for 7 dollars. It said Dunlap on it.

The handle was just stuck on, not original. I brought it home and glued the obviously-not-original handle back on with some two part epoxy. Then I shapened it up. About this time I noticed it said “Germany.”  I own a Dunlap block plane, but it says “Made in Western Germany,” so I am thinking that this is an old chisel.     My hopes were high.

When I finally used it, I knew that this was the one for me. It just cut right between the wood, like magic. The I used it some more. It just kept on slicing through the wood. It didn’t get dull. Then I used it on some difficult wood; hard wood. It kept cutting with an ease I’d never experienced before.

Soon, I put all my other chisels away.  I used the Dunlap for everything. After all, it was half-inch. Not too big, not too small. A jack of all trades. Sometimes I will need to chisel in a space too small for the half-inch to fit. I grudgingly use my smaller, inferior quarter-inch chisel. Just temporarily, with a kind of distaste. Knowing it won’t cut as well or as easily as my Made-in-Germany, Dunlap chisel. This tool has ruined me for all other chisels. For now.

In the back of my mind I have a thought that just won’t go away. Are there other Made-in-Germany, Dunlap chisels out there somewhere? A quarter-inch one? On e-bay? An eighth-inch? At a garage sale? I tell myself. I will find you someday. Meanwhile I just use my one chisel whenever I can. So far, so good.

Do you have a favorite tool? Or do you know what those Germans did to that steel? Let us know in the comments.