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any advice/experience on using a record 52 as a tail vice?

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martin.h

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Hi all,
I'm (still) designing my new workbench, and having done everything for about 30 years on first, a stool, and then a workmate I actually have little experience of using a proper bench. I'd like to start using more hand tools and become more accurate and less covered in dust. I need some help with the tail vice. Apart from not having one it seems the cheapest (and possibly most sensible) would be for me to use a vintage record 52 (7") QR (off ebay). I'm assuming the 7" would allow me to get closer to the front edge with dog holes (than 52 1/2), and use a a chunky timber jaw for dog hole(s). The other ideas are the veritas inset tail vice, the twin screw veritass or wonderdogs.
Has anyone any wisdom to share on this?
cheers,
Martin
 

custard

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Personal preference, but I favour the "inset" style of tail vice like the Veritas or the Maguire Wagon Vice

http://www.maguireworkbenches.com/html/wagon_vice.html

This style seems to give at least two main benefits,

1. You're not planing across unsupported wood, the gap when using a traditional Record style vice as a tail vice can allow the workpiece to bow.

2. There's no sag or droop, even a brand new Record style vice will droop when at full extension. This can force the workpiece out of alignment.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Hi Martin!

I used a Record vice as the tail vice on my bench, and from experience, the idea is OK-ish, but not perfect. You're quite right to try and get the line of clamp-dogs as near the front edge of the bench as you can; I put mine in line with the vice centre-line, and that makes the line of dog-holes about 4" to 5" in from the front edge, which is just a bit too far - I can feel my spine kinking a bit when planing narrower pieces. If I were doing the job again, I'd make a thick wooden cheek for the moving jaw of the vice, with two mortice-type slots cut for the moving dog, about 2" from each end of the vice jaw, and put two rows of dog holes lining up with these down the bench.

One thing I have found is that dogs don't need to be large. Mine are 3/4" diameter, made of scraps of beech, and I have yet to break one. With a tail vice, you just need a light nip, any real force just makes thinner workpieces bow (pop up in the middle of their length). As the forces applied when you're working something are along the bench (generally) the dog in the bench takes all the thrust.

The disadvantages that custard outlined above are there - the system isn't perfect, by any means. However, it is (fairly) cheap and easy to make. The wagon vice that custard linked to would be much better, if you're prepared to shell out that many beer tokens.

On the wider question of workbench design generally, about the only thing anybody agrees on is that the underframe needs to be solid and heavy. Legs of 4"x4" and stretchers of 4"x2" at least - that sort of heavy, and heavier is no disadvantage. Arrangements for tops seem to generate more disagreement. From experience, I'd go for very solid and very simple, with a face vice of your choice, a tail vice of your choice, and lots of opportunity to use holdfasts and clamps to get hold of things. Personally, I wouldn't put any cupboards or drawers on a bench; whatever you clamp to it would get in the way of drawer opening, and said cupboards and drawers will very quickly fill up with shavings and dust. The only other thing I can think of is to make it easy to plane the top flat.
 

marcros

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Where in west yorks are you? I have a Veritas wonder dog that you could try if you are local to Leeds. I was in a similar situation to you, except that the wagon vice wasnt an easy option for me to fit. I spent 30 odd quid on the wonder dog to try it out instead of a tail vice, with the thought that if it didnt work I would get a Record QR.
 

Paul Chapman

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I used to use a Record #52D as a tail vice



It was very good. However, I now have the Veritas quick-release tail vice which, IMHO, is probably the best tail vice currently available



Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Steve Maskery

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Ooh, Nice, Paul! Green with envy.
Martin:
As has been pointed out, a 52 will put the centre of the force a bit too far away from you.
Do you have access to someone who can do some simple metalwork? If so, I recommend you take a look at the Nelson-Fortune tail vice in the Landis book. I have that on my bench and it is very good. Not as good as Veritas perhaps, but good and not too expensive to make. IIRC the only bit you couldn't easily do by hand is the milling of a couple of grooves. The rest is drilling and tapping, I think.
 

martin.h

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thanks a lot, this is all very useful stuff. It seems if I am prepared to spend a lot of beer tokens I may be best with either a veritas QR tail vice, a maguire wagon or a veritas twin screw. The thing I'm not sue about with a wagon (or inset) is that the vice cannot be used for anything else eg dovetailing wide boards. I'd not thought about the issue of sag/planing over the overhang of the vice. Marcros I'm in Bramhope but do you like the wonderdogs? Steve I'll check out the Landis book as I have it but no I have no metal work contact. Custard, thanks for the help with workbench design, I've gone a bit Schwarz so it is unlikely I'll fit any drawers etc but I won't be using a 5 inch slab of cherry, I'm thinking of 2 beech laminated kitchen worktops (about 2m long). The legs I was thinking of 2 x (6x2) PSE redwood. Paul the veritas QR looks nice.
 

Paul Chapman

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martin.h":36lhilj7 said:
It seems if I am prepared to spend a lot of beer tokens I may be best with either a veritas QR tail vice, a maguire wagon or a veritas twin screw.
I have the Veritas quick release as a tail vice and the Veritas twin-screw as a front vice. They both work very well and are manufactured to a high standard. However, they are very different vices in terms of what they are like to use. The QR tail vice is very fast to adjust, whether using the quick release or manually screwing it in and out and is an absolute joy to use. By comparison, the twin-screw, which has no quick release function, is quite slow to operate. In my view, it works well as a front vice, where it is excellent for gripping long stuff between the screws and being able to grip work anywhere along the jaws without it racking, but I think I would find it frustrating to use as a tail vice.

Here's another photo showing the twin-screw



If you are considering either of the vices as your tail vice, it might be best to keep these points in mind.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Doug B

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Hi Martin,

You can over come sag & racking by adding a couple of bars.
This is how I utilized a No52 as a tail vice.



Dog holes have now been added.


Cheers.
 

marcros

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martin.h":2siu7y1b said:
thanks a lot, this is all very useful stuff. It seems if I am prepared to spend a lot of beer tokens I may be best with either a veritas QR tail vice, a maguire wagon or a veritas twin screw. The thing I'm not sue about with a wagon (or inset) is that the vice cannot be used for anything else eg dovetailing wide boards. I'd not thought about the issue of sag/planing over the overhang of the vice. Marcros I'm in Bramhope but do you like the wonderdogs? Steve I'll check out the Landis book as I have it but no I have no metal work contact. Custard, thanks for the help with workbench design, I've gone a bit Schwarz so it is unlikely I'll fit any drawers etc but I won't be using a 5 inch slab of cherry, I'm thinking of 2 beech laminated kitchen worktops (about 2m long). The legs I was thinking of 2 x (6x2) PSE redwood. Paul the veritas QR looks nice.
I do like the wonder dog. My bench isn't quite finished, and so I don't have the dog holes in the top yet. I have used it a few times in dog holes in the front apron (bench is based on the Schwarz english bench).

I am in Kirkstall, on the Horsforth side. You are welcome to borrow it, or come and try it out when I get some dog holes drilled. It shouldn't be a huge job to finish the job if I get a bit of time!

If you are yet to build your bench, consider a fire door for the top- stiff, dense and cheap. I got bench envy and have put a hardwood top to the door, but mdf would have done equally as well.
 

martin.h

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Paul, does the tail vice need an apron all the way along the bench? Doug, are the bars easy to find and fit?
 

Doug B

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martin.h":2u051ml7 said:
Doug, are the bars easy to find and fit?
The bars were just scrape stainless bars that had threaded holes in the ends, so ideal for what i wanted.
Behind the apron where the bars pass through are 2 blocks of PTFE, drilled to fit the bars, these blocks give added rigidity.
Nothing difficult about fitting particularly if you have a pillar drill.


Cheers.
 

Paul Chapman

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martin.h":1yaywjnb said:
Paul, does the tail vice need an apron all the way along the bench?
Yes, it does. How you fit the vice depends on whether you are building a new bench, in which case you can design it specifically to take the vice or, as in my case, modifying an existing bench. I posted a write-up of how I fitted mine veritas-vices-retrofit-t48498.html

You might also find it helpful to read the installation instructions on the Veritas website http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.a ... at=1,41659 Scroll down and click on instr.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Doug B

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martin.h":2e3qqj6j said:
Doug, thanks, I like it;, excuse my ignorance but how do the bars attach to the vice jaw?
There are bolts countersunk into the Beech jaw that screw into the end of the bars, you can just make them out in the photo.

Cheers.
 

Benchwayze

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Doug B":trllbpk1 said:
Hi Martin,

You can over come sag & racking by adding a couple of bars.
This is how I utilized a No52 as a tail vice.



Dog holes have now been added.


Cheers.
Yep.
Like it.

MARTIN,

Have a look at this YT vid. About 1 minute 20 secs in, you can see David Marks's tail vice. Seems solid enough, but I still like the additional bars.

HTH
:D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch8SFQJsR2E

:)
 
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