Correa Wood Works
Craftsman furniture featuring full integral mortise and tenon joinery. 100% solar powered!

Leg Vise

The past few weeks have been jam packed with teaching classes, building bed components and finishing a second side table to match the one I build for the Woodcraft class. Last night I worked on a project I have been putting off for months. I have wanted to build a Roubo style work bench for quite some time. My small work space and extant work surfaces are still in good shape and serve their purpose well enough for now. In place of a full on Roubo bench I have decided to add a leg vise to my assembly table.

My assembly table is seven feet long and four feet wide. It is built of plywood and weighs several hundred pounds. In order to add a leg vise I applied several layers of plywood to the leg in order to provide ample support for the vise screw and jaw. I am using a huge 1 1/4″ diameter acme screw and a 2″ thick oak jaw. after carefully drilling the oak jaw to accept the vise screw I clamped the board to the leg and drilled a 1 1/4″ hole through the bench leg.

After some slight fine tuning the vise screw turns freely through the hole and makes the jaw fit squarely to the bench leg.

The jaw leg vise will ride on a large fixed nut which is mortised and bolted into a hardwood block on the back of the work bench leg.

After a little bit of work the nut will sit square to the block at which point I will bolt it down before marking out the edges of the mortise. Once the fixed nut has been mortised into the hardwood block I will move on to installing the mortised support rail at the bottom of the oak jaw. The support rail not only keeps the jaw from twisting left and right, it is a critical component which allows the vise to remain parallel to the bench leg… More on that to come. I have a bit of finishing  to do on a walnut side table before I can get back to work of the  leg vise.

Thanks for reading.



One Response to “Leg Vise”

  1. I’m glad to see you’re working on a leg vise. I made one years ago, on my first workbench. I’ve never been happy with it because it doesn’t stay parallel to the leg (and the bench is not heavy enough for large board planing). I now have a good solid heavy bench and have thought about building a leg vise on it but am worried I still don’t understand it’s function/value. I look forward to future entries on the subject.

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