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.