Vice Depth opinions please

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    neil grayson

    For various family health issues after two years my Paul Sellers workbench is finally built. OK so I did not leave enough shoulder on the rails and after rounding over the mortices look worse than they are but its my first woodwork since school in 1969. I am actually pretty chuffed with it over all and I can only get better, Thoroughly enjoyed the use off the hand tools and that I can say “I did that” (all be it with a lot of help from Paul’s videos – thank you Paul).

    I have create myself a problem now because some 9″ vices came on offer at around 2/3 price so I jumped at one without thinking. The vice mounting part of the vice is only 65mm depth unlike Paul’s which is 89mm. I note presumably in order to give more depth for the screws and because Paul’s vice is deeper he packed it underneath an idea I like because it gives a flat surface instead of the irregular glue lamination and longer screws get a better bite.

    In the same way that Paul increased the width of the vice by adding 1″ either side I was wondering if anyone has done something similar by mounting a vice lower and making the liners stand up by an inch (or even half) above the jaws? I know it may make gripping right at the top an issue but I think good liner would overcome this and in the workbench gallery I have seen 2 I think who have.

    Has any one done this or have any opinions on liners higher than the vice jaws?

    Any and all opinions welcome.

    Benoît Van Noten

    On my bench, there is about 1 cm.
    In his 2012 built, Paul used thick “buffalo plywood” .
    It will probably not split even if you have 1″ above the jaw.
    Solid wood might split under the pressure?

    Colin Scowen

    I also have about a cm between the top of the vise and the main bench. Most vises will not have exactly parallel faces, there will be a little toe in, so that the top will pinch first. If your liners can flex a little, this gets you a bit extra grip. I have softwood faces and I also put some old cork tiles on the inside of mine, about 5mm down. This gives me a softer face for gripping (I use mostly softwood), and also a nice lip that I can use if I am wanting to grip thin pieces laterally. Saves having to balance the piece while fiddling with the vise.
    An added benefit of the extra material on the face above the metal jaw, should you feel the need, is that when sawing down to a specific depth, you can set the depth at the top of the face, and not worry about damaging your saw on the metal jaw. Challenge yourself not to hit the liners though, it will help you in the long term.
    The liners on mine extend about 5 or 6 cm out to either side, so that I have a face wide enough to capture taller boards. I try to use both sides evenly to avoid too much damage from racking.

    Colin, Czech Rep.

    neil grayson

    Thank you for your input I now have some idea of what I may be able to achieve. Fingers crossed.

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