Ten Dollar Wagon Vices That Work

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Originally posted Aug, 2012

 I designed these vices for my new bench. They are now installed and work perfectly and yes, they cost less than $10 each at a $4 per fbm price for the clear arbutus of which they are made.

When I was building boats we often used wedges when screw clamps were not powerful enough so it wasn't much of a leap for me to choose the wedge as the go-to device for my "outside the box" workbench. The concept is simple. The vices are made as "inserts" and as such could be dropped into any existing bench. In the case of mine they were built in as the top was assembled.

The wedge itself is an 8 degree inclined plane that will advance the wagon a little over 1/2". There are 1/2" and 1" shims that drop easily into place to bring the travel up to just over two inches. The wagon has three dog holes that are 2" apart so by choosing the appropriate dog hole on the wagon, I have over 6" of travel. The dog holes up my bench are at 6" intervals so I have all the travel I need and don't be worrying about the power, it is massive.

The main point of interest that makes this all work is the modified deck beam joint, an old boat builders standard for load bearing. The back end could be glued in place but by employing this wedge style joint the base half of the wedge system can easily be removed. Once it is out, the wagon will slide back and come out for cleaning etc. The video will make this a little clearer.

With two of these wagon vices and two rows of dog holes I will be able to stabilize a large flat piece quickly and efficiently.

The photos:
1) The two wagon vice inserts ready to install.
2) An exploded view of one vice.
3) Preliminary assembly of the main components.
4) A close up look at the modified deck beam joint.
5) Comparison between assembled and exploded. In the foreground are the pieces for my wedge powered leg vice. Stay tuned.
6) The assembly into the back end piece of the bench showing how the end of the vice is trapped.

The following video was made before I had installed the vices and before I was actually sure that my preliminary guess of 8 degrees would do the job. It does do the job.

My apologies for the audio…. so I mumble, OK. It gets better if you listen twice.




Here they are in the finished bench, going through their paces.





EDIT: Here's a sketchup I did. I'm no pro but I think it works OK.

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=985b3d9d548dcc9252d9fc61873164a1

Edit, Updated SU: https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=ffebc753-5c5a-465e-82e2-a0c09a562175

Thanks for looking
I hope that this gets some of you thinking about alternatives to the expensive bench jewelry down at the toy store.

Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome.

Paul

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

14 Comments

That looks like it has great holding power and the cost is just right. Really like the accessory well at the end of the bench. Nice build Paul.

Main Street to the Mountains

well for those that cant afford or dont want to spend a lot of money that sure solves the problem,and looks to work very well.

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

I had bookmarked these on the other site for a future addition to my shop, but then we know what happened there. Thanks for reminding me about them, Paul! Still hope to knock together a pair of them for a future bench project.

May you have the day you deserve!

👍,🦆...

I have my vises covered in the workshop, however, your concept has piqued my attention toward potential use in jigs.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD


Really like the accessory well at the end of the bench.
I call them my dog houses. 😁😉

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


 shipwright
 commented less than a minute ago
new

Eric - the "Loft"

commented about 5 hours ago

Really like the accessory well at the end of the bench.
I call them my dog houses. 😁😉

Kennel!

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

This has me second guessing if I really need the fancy Benchcrafted hardware for my future bench build. Nice write up!
I love it SW.  I remember reading through your V8 bench and being struck by the simplicity, elegance and raw holding power of this wedged vise.  Like LBD, I don't imagine I'll be adding it to my bench but I'll definitely be keeping it in mind for jigs and such!
Hmmm very impressive Paul - as is the bench.  Sure pleased I dont do furniture anymore or I might have been tempted to put one in my bench! 
Just ran across this pic from my 18C cabinet build. I’m planing the back panel using both wagon vices. It was a real treat to have the panel so solidly clamped.

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

Those are pretty nice Paul.
Makes me wish I had a proper bench so that I could incorporate them.


Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

smart man and nice and cheap GR8 JOB 😍😎👍

*TONY ** Reinholds* ALWAYS REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN

"Vices that work..."

Yes, that would be important, far as vices go.

No Bees. No Honey. Bees Lives Matter

In a word: Slick! Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. I was surprised to read that screw clamps are less powerful, never would have thought that. Thanks for the details, information that will come in handy.