Wedge Powered Leg Vice That Works!


This is the leg vice that I designed to go with my outside the box bench. It is a very simple mechanism. In fact you could call it plane if you were so inclined. (sorry).

The jaws of the vice are fairly traditional except for the ability of the outer one to travel vertically. It is very different when it comes to power source however. As I said in the other post we boat builder types do very much like our wedges so this vice is powered by an 8 degree vertical wedge that offers about 1/2" of travel. In concert with two shims and a series of holes 1" apart that is enough to cover the vice's travel of about ten inches face to face. The bottom spacer strut is conventional.

I think the photos will explain better than I can:

1) The vice as it fits on the bench in level clamping mode. There are no shims in place and the outer jaw is exactly level with the bench surface.

2) The same setup from the business side showing the stop pins and adjusting holes. These are very easy and quick to set up.

3) Shows the outer jaw in elevated mode. There is a 1/4" shim slid under the wheel at its base so that the jaw is now 1/4" above the top of the bench and can work against a dog. Also a really easy setup.

4) Same setup, other view showing a 3/4" shim in use. You knew I'd slip a little marquetry in somewhere didn't you.

5) The lower strut, marked off in inches to facilitate setup.

6) One of the best things about this vice is that when not in use you can, by simply pulling the pin on the wedge rail, remove the whole thing…. leg bruiser and all and put it aside while you do other work on the bench.

That about sums it up. It is, like it's designer, a simple soul but a good worker.

I haven't played with it much yet but I can say that I can lift the end of the bench by a board clamped in this vice and the bench weighs 300 to 350 lbs.

Hope this intrigues some of you and more important raises a few smiles.

Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome. Thanks for looking in

Edit: I’ve been using this bench and vice for about ten years now and would not change it. It still surprises me how well it works.

Update: here is a little fix that makes the vice work much better.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Seems to be leg vice week. 😁

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

thats a cool vise paul,and a good way for those that cant afford the more expensive options.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

A nifty option using the wedge, and it looks great at the same time.

Main Street to the Mountains

This is great!  I'll show it to my so who has a few leg vices that he uses in his blacksmithing.

“Fake quotes will ruin the internet” — Benjamin Franklin

That’s a clever solution, Paul. And a looker, too.

May you have the day you deserve!

I usually miss leg day Paul but I'm glad I saw this one.  "like its designer, a simple soul but a good worker."  Simple but so elegant!


Nice effective vise, Paul. Nice work on it!


Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Nice design and explanation. I'm going to have to consider this when I (finally) get around to my bench build.
Very nice vise, and I like the wedge alternative to a screw, simpler and necessary components are on hand in the wood shop.