Fully-machined massive 5" dia. cast-iron hand wheel provides momentum and precise control. Designed, cast and machined in the USA
Rolled carbon-steel acme-threaded 1¼" dia. screw with 4 tpi pitch strikes a balance between rapid movement & controlled gradual clamping pressure
1" thick acme nut milled from solid billet of cold rolled steel
Reversible sliding plate for both right-hand or left-hand bench installations
3/8" thick cold-rolled steel flange, black finished
Cold-rolled steel guide rails support the robust sliding plate assembly, which runs in precisely milled grooves
Suede leather jaw liner
Includes everything you need to install the vise, except wood
All components desiged and made in the USA
Typical wagon vises have the nut attached to the bench, necessitating the screw to protrude past the end of the bench when the vise is opened, causing both a nuisance and a potential hazard, plus sloppy action when the vise is opened. The Benchcrafted Tail Vise is different in that the screw is attached to the bench, while the nut traverses the stationary screw. The dog block is positioned alongside the screw to allow the full length of the screw to be utilized. The great benefit here is that the screw remains in the same position at all times, never protruding past the end of the bench. The left-hand thread precision acme screw provides for correct rotation when operating the vise.
Vises Versus Traditional Tail Vises
Traditional "moving-block" tail vises have some disadvantages that limit the usefulness of this area of the bench. Mallet work, such as mortising or chopping dovetails over the vise can damage the mechanism over a short time. The vise is also prone to sagging with use and wear, which causes all sorts of problems for clamping between dogs. Once the vise starts to sag, often it will raise up above the surface of the bench when tightening, raising up the workpiece with it. This can cause hand plane chatter among other issues. The vise also protrudes past the end of the bench as its opened. One advantage the traditional tail vise has over the wagon vise is the open-front jaws. However, the large gap of the open jaws can make for a large unsupported area below workpieces, and this can cause some problems when planing, especially with shorter pieces. Wagon vises solve almost all of the problems of traditional tail vises. The area of the bench around the vise can be used in the same way as the rest of the bench. The vise can't sag. The screw doesn't extend past the end of the bench when the vise is opened, making this vise a great choice for cramped shops. The dog block also cannot raise up when tightened. The area around the vise will always remain as flat as the rest of the bench, since the "moving block" section of the traditional tail vise is eliminated. The Benchcrafted Tail Vise is also much easier to install than traditional tail vises, since it eliminates the task of building the complex wood superstructure around the vise hardware. We think the significant advantages of the wagon vise more than make up for the lack of the open-front jaws of the traditional "moving-section" tail vise. Plus, there is no unsupported area that open jaws create, except on very narrow workpieces.
Tail Vise Features and Capacities
Clamping between dogs is the main task of any tail vise, and the Benchcrafted Tail Vise excels at this task. Spinning the handwheel makes it about twice as fast as a typical T-handle. The heavy wheel allows you to rapidly spin the dog block into position and the rosewood knob provides a comfortable grip. Grasping the rim of the wheel allows precise, controlled pressure to be exerted when approaching final position.
Vertical clamping between vise jaws can be easily accomplished with our vise, and when lined with the included suede leather, the grip is tenacious. This is an ideal vise for working the ends of smaller boards. The vise, when installed for its maximum capacity and using a 5" long dog block, is capable of handling an 11-3/4" wide board. Maximum travel is 12-1/4" using a 2-7/8" end cap. These capacities vary slightly depending on installation.
For those who've built Christopher Schwarz's Roubo bench featured in Woodworking Magazine and Schwarz's book Workbenches: From Design and Theory To Construction And Use and would like to install the vise in the same way that Chris did on his own bench, please download instructions and templates from our Downloads section.