Workbench/Vise Question
#11
  
Hi all,

First time poster here and I'm hoping you can help me out with a dilemma I'm having on the workbench I'm building.  I'm relatively new to woodworking and to get started I decided to build a solid workbench as a first real project.  As far as design I went with Jay Bates' workbench design, if you aren't familiar with it you can check out his build video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg5qjed7u-k

I built the bench very similarly to his design but just getting started in woodworking and having almost no tools, I ended up using an old stanley No. 5 hand plane that I restored to do all the milling for this entire project.  I'll post a separate build thread with pictures sometime soon for your viewing pleasure.  Anyway, here's a few recent pictures of the progress:







I pulled the top off to finish flattening it.




I've already purchased this vise which I plan to install as a tail vise with a row of dog holes down the length of the bench.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SIQ1DDG/ref...UTF8&psc=1

As you can see from the photos above, the legs are slightly off center giving a larger space under the bench top on one side.  One of the constraints I have is that I'd like to keep the bench up against a wall most of the time and only when working on larger projects, pull it out for more flexibility.  I originally thought that I would mount the tail vise on the end of the table that has the extra free space underneath since it would be the end of the table I would be working at more frequently and I could store a shop stool under the bench on that side.  I've later thought of two potential problems with that idea.  First, the vise would be further from the legs which means if I'm doing any heavier work in it, it would be more likely to move or vibrate since the work wouldn't be directly absorbed into the base.  The second problem is the orientation of the bench relatively to the wall.  I want the vise and the dog holes to be aligned closer to the edge on one side or the other and I want that side to be away from the wall.  To better illustrate, here's a quick MS paint sketch:




Since I am right handed, I'm pretty sure I want to have the vice in the location on the bench shown above so that hand planing can be done moving away from the vice, putting more of the stress on the dog/dog hole and the bench rather than the vise.  The question I have is should the vise be on the end of the table closer to the base legs or does it matter?  Thanks for the help with this.
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#12
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
Nice job on the bench! (Welcome to the forums as well.)  My opinion: you're overthinking it. Even if you did work some heavier pieces, all the weight won't be on that overhang area, much of it will almost certainly stretch back over the legs...unless you're working Lignum Vitae (it sinks in water). Besides, that vise will probably need to be 15" or so from the leg so the screw will clear, so you're probably stick with putting it on the longer overhang unless you mount it in the center of the end. So I'd say go ahead with your plan and enjoy.....I expect we will see some fantastic work as you start doing projects!
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#13
  Re: RE: Workbench/Vise Question by fredhargis (Nice job on the benc...)
(09-13-2017, 02:33 PM)fredhargis Wrote: Nice job on the bench! (Welcome to the forums as well.)  My opinion: you're overthinking it. Even if you did work some heavier pieces, all the weight won't be on that overhang area, much of it will almost certainly stretch back over the legs...unless you're working Lignum Vitae (it sinks in water). Besides, that vise will probably need to be 15" or so from the leg so the screw will clear, so you're probably stick with putting it on the longer overhang unless you mount it in the center of the end. So I'd say go ahead with your plan and enjoy.....I expect we will see some fantastic work as you start doing projects!

Thanks for the advice.  I hadn't even considered the length of the screw and size of the vice.  Rolleyes  Of course it will need more space.  Considering that I want it lined up relatively close to the side of the bench away from the wall the leg would almost certainly be in the way if I tried installing it on the opposite side.

I am hoping to add a leg vise at some point in the future as well and that would allow me to do heavier work directly over a leg but for the interim, I'll be using the tail vise for almost everything.
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#14
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
Ditto what Fred said: Great job on the bench and welcome to the forum. I agree with Fred's assessment and would add only one point. I don't think you need to worry about "heavy work" resulting in flex or vibration of your bench top. I can't recall ever having done any work on a workpiece held in my vise that involved serious pounding with a hammer or a mallet. If I'm going to pound on something, I clamp it with a hold down over a leg. That insures all the forces are transferred to the base and the floor. Any other work like chiseling or planing you are likely to do with your vise shouldn't come close to flexing your 4" thick bench top.
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#15
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
If I'm reading your photos correctly, I'd suggest you consider turning the bench around so the long side is to the right and mount the vise there. Being right handed you should have the vise on the right and you'll need the long side for the room to mount the vise as you noted above. Your bench looks symmetrical front to back so there doesn't seem to be any issues with flipping it.

And nice looking bench, by the way. Should serve you well.

Cliff
You can only be young once
but you can be immature forever.
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#16
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
I'd steer clear of the freezer with the vice. I don't think the weight will be an obstacle, but no room to maneuver on a smallish piece will force moving the bench more than you may like. As you are looking at the bench I'd put it left side, front. You can still dog out the area in front of it, and you will be surprised at what you can work between vice and the wall. Lee Valley has a slick dog hole vice you can operate easily from the front of the bench, and use across the front. Dog holes across the front will help mount a Moxon, which is a great addition if you do DT's.

Nice bench, and welcome to the forum
Worst thing they can do is cook ya and eat ya

GW
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#17
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
My bench is configured with the vise on the right and dog holes along the front, just like your proposed configuration.  (I am right handed)

I like it like that, works great for me.

Frankie.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who know binary and those who do not.
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#18
  Re: RE: Workbench/Vise Question by Steve N (I'd steer clear of t...)
I agree with Steve N about the layout.  That's a big vise.  When it's open, the handle is probably 15" or more from the edge of the bench.  That looks way too close to the freezer.  But, I also think that making the bench fit into the available space is the wrong way of looking at it.  I think you need to put your bench wherever it will make you the happiest, even if that means finding another spot for the freezer.  Can you move the freezer to the other side?

I also agree with Steve N about placement of the vise.  If it was my only vise, it would mounted front left.  You don't need an end vise to plane long boards.  There are lots of other options.  When you build your leg vise, you can make the Yost your tail vise.  This also means you don't have to find another place for the freezer until after you build the leg vise.

See?  Solved all your problems at once.

Enjoy the bench.

Steve
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#19
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
Thanks for all the advice, very much appreciated.  I think my rudimentary sketch on microsoft paint isn't giving an adequate representation of the space.  The bench and the freezer are both movable but that back wall is the only location in the garage with access to an outlet.  Since I'd like to have access to power near the bench and obviously the freezer needs to be plugged in they both need to be on that wall.  I'll be sure to measure to make sure that there will be enough space for me to work in the space between the bench and the freezer before mounting the vise on the end but I could move the bench substantially to the left when looking at the picture above to make more room to access the vise.  I actually thought hard about mounting the vise on the front next to a leg, but since my ultimate goal is to add a leg vise to the bench and use that for a wider variety of uses I feel like putting the cast iron vice on the end of the bench will give me a broader range of clamping uses in conjunction with the dog holes.  Steve's suggestion to use the Yost as a front vise now and then move it to an end vise when I have the money to buy the leg vise hardware is probably the most sensible thing.  I'm just having a hard time thinking about marring the underside of the bench top by mounting  and remounting in different locations Big Grin  I probably just need to get over that since this is a tool that is going to get beat up in other ways and that would be the most functional solution.  I guess my concern with that is figuring the right dog hole layout if I'm not lining things up with a specific vise.  I suppose I could mark the location of the Yost when I move it to the end vise position and drill the dog holes now based on that and then just use a plane stop and hold fasts to mill larger boards by hand.  I'll have to think about this some more.

If I end up diving into woodworking head first and use the bench multiple times a week, I'll probably just decide to park the car outside and turn the garage bay into a permanent shop.  This would allow me to move the table and have access to all four sides, but I'm not sure that I will use it that frequently and if it's against the wall I'll be able to park the car in the garage as well.  With two kids under 3 I may be limited in the amount of time I can spend on fun wood projects.
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#20
  Re: Workbench/Vise Question by timsta007 (Hi all, First tim...)
I have that vise and have been using it for over 15 years. It's pretty handy. I assume you will use it for wood working. It is mounted in the middle of my bench; not to one end or the other. So I can use it right handed or left, and don't have to move the work piece around to account for squirrely grain aberrations when planing. After several years I added a full length piece to the edge of the bench that makes the front edge exactly match the inside rear jaw. This adds a great deal of stability to handling long pieces clamped in the vise. I also drilled a series of holes for bench dogs across the top of the bench.

One more thing: If you have never mounted a vise before, don't get in a rush! Give the matter some thought and very carefully lay out dimensions, etc. You need to be exact and perfectly square to the bench. Once you have the vise in place and firmly mounted, it will be very difficult to to make adjustments, even minor ones. I have a large vise on another bench and spent an entire day mounting it. I thought it was perfect. But after several years of use I realized it was just off a hair and it wasn't discernible until I was clamping a longer piece in it. It's not too bad, but it irritates me no end when I'm working.

Just my 2 cents, R.
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