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  1. #1
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    Man with many vises
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    Portable woodworking vise

    Members of Triangle Woodworkers have dubbed me the “man with many vises” and here I go again. Earlier this year, another member had built a Benchcrafted HiVise (https://www.benchcrafted.com/hivise) and I was intrigued by the criss-cross but not the screw mechanism which felt “heavy” to me.

    I contacted BenchCrafted and asked if the 9” criss-cross was for sale separately. Their response was not now but ask again next week. Later, I was able to purchase the cross-cross for $64 + $9 shipping.

    Using that criss-cross, I built this 17” tall portable vise which opens 6-1/4”:


    Here is the portable vise being held in my end vise:


    And bolted to the bench top through dog holes:


    The Acme screw mechanism has been used in other vises of my design. Components include a 3/4-6 Acme screw, a self-aligning ball bearing, an ordinary radial ball bearing, a flat thrust washer, and a brass Acme square nut.

    The tee is a common reducing iron pipe tee which is roll-pinned to the Acme screw. The tee pushes on the self-aligning bearing which is a press fit into a shaped recess in the chop. The SA bearing hub is set screwed to the Acme screw and this provides the garter function to open the chop. The radial ball bearing in the leg sits in a 1/16” cushion of silicone caulk to stabilize the screw and prevent rattling (I hate vises that rattle).

    I just finished this vise yesterday and will now put it into service to find any bugs.
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    Last edited by pop-pop; 04-12-2018 at 09:13 PM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Very cool, well done sir!

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  4. #3
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    That is mighty fine, would love see and feel that in person!
    Nothing beats a try but a failure, failure is an opportunity to learn.
    http://graywolfwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Very cool project.
    Measure twice... cut once... SCREAM LOUDLY... get another board

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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Intriguing. Since it is portable, perhaps you could bring it to the picnic for others to see if you're coming.
    WHAT BOX?

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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Is the 6 1/4 opening limitation due to the acme screw length or the 9 criss-cross?

    If its the acme screw, how wide would the criss-cross open?

  9. #7
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    That's a really nice looking, well executed vise. Did you source the bearings and other metal parts (except for the criss-cross?) from the same source or did you have to order from several?
    Last edited by nn4jw; 04-12-2018 at 11:30 PM.

  10. #8
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Quote Originally Posted by Graywolf View Post
    That is mighty fine, would love see and feel that in person!
    I'll try to make the picnic and bring the vise. It works well on picnic tables.

    BTW, "Reply with quote" didn't work on my new iPad with current IOS. I had to use my old iPad Mini which has a much older IOS.
    Last edited by pop-pop; 04-13-2018 at 06:17 AM.

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  12. #9
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    Man with many vises
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Quote Originally Posted by TENdriver View Post
    Is the 6 1/4” opening limitation due to the acme screw length or the 9” criss-cross?

    If it’s the acme screw, how wide would the criss-cross open?
    Basically both. The arms hit the mounting pins at 7-1/2" opening so that is the absolute maximum.

    The real limit is more subtle. The lower ends of the arms ride on bearing plates in the mortises. When I first assembled the vise, the arms ran off the upper end of the plates before the screw left the nut. I made longer plates but then the center of the arms hit the plates preventing full closing. Shortened the plates a bit and now when the screw is flush with the nut, the arms are still on the plates and the vise will close.
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    Last edited by pop-pop; 04-13-2018 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Clarify and add photos.

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  14. #10
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Quote Originally Posted by nn4jw View Post
    That's a really nice looking, well executed vise. Did you source the bearings and other metal parts (except for the criss-cross?) from the same source or did you have to order from several?
    Bearings come from The Big Bearing Store which is a stage name for Carnell Sales in TN. Generally Korean bearings but they have been fine.

    Most of the rest of the hardware comes for McMaster-Carr. The Acme screw and nut are 3/4-6 single lead (i.e. 6 turns to the inch).

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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    Nowthat'sasooperkoolniftyvise!
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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  18. #12
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    The jaw liners used on this vise are " crubber" which is ordinary automotive cork-rubber gasket material. You can get this at your local auto parts supplier (ask for it as it may be in the back and not on display). It's available in 1/16 (about $7) and 1/8 thickness (about $13) in a roll. My favorite adhesive for crubber is spray contact cement.
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  19. #13
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    Re: Portable woodworking vise

    I made another change to the portable vise by replacing the wooden tommy bar with a 5" cast-iron spoked wheel:



    So far, I like the "feel" better with the increased inertia.
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