A long time since I have posted anything, and quite a while since I've had time to post. But after receiving a number of requests to expand upon the bench build, I thought I'd sit down and bring everyone some closure.
The face vises that I prefer are of the twin screw variety, without any chains or garters to muddy up the works. Two simple screws mounted to a sturdy jaw allow the vise to flatten boards for joinery, skew for odd shaped work pieces, won't rack and allow you to rapidly work one end of the vise for common tasks.
To begin, I located and drilled the aprons on the drill press. The hole size is just a bit larger than the screw. The apron was then glued to the field of the bench after all of the joinery was completed.
A laminated face vise may not be as sexy as a singe piece, but will remain flat and stable through the seasons.
Once glued the jaw is sized, drilled to mate with the apron and a piece of cork glued to the working face of the jaw. The common recommendation for padding is leather, but I've found that 1/8" cork is durable, easy to apply and inexpensive. The cork is trimmed flush around the vise with a razor knife. A few words of caution: white glue works well to glue the cork to the jaw, but do not use too much as the glue will bleed through the cork and do what glue does best!
The vise is finally fitted and leveled to the apron before being fixed into place with screws. It is wise to fit the top of the jaw proud of the bench top to be planed flush later. Care taken here to install the screws parallel to one another is time well spent. Poorly fitted screws will bind on one another making the vise difficult to use. Once fixed in place, shimming and waxing may be required to make the vise function perfectly.
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