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Roughcut

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Hi everyone im new here.
I've been lurking in the background for a few months reading the posts and admiring the work you do.
I live in Norfolk and would describe myself as a "hobbyist" woodworker. Im a local member of a national voluntary charity (in my spare time) who make or adapt devices for disabled people, and quite often I get asked to knock a few pieces of mdf or plywood together to make something useful for somebody.
I usually just use a pair of trestles out in the garden to work on but lately i've been getting a verbal kicking from the mrs about the state of the garage. That is where I keep my power tools and I have let it get very cluttered.
So i've decided to make a decent workbench with storage cupboards to keep the power and hand tools all nice and tidy.
I've just been reading martin.h post about the Tail Vice but I didn't want to post on his thread and take attention away from the good advice he is getting, so I thought I would start another thread.

As I said earlier I am in the middle of making a work bench. I recently received the quick release Front Vice I ordered from Axminster power tools (my god it's heavy!).
My original plan was to have a front vice and some dog holes in the bench for work holding.
But from reading the forum i've noticed a lot of people also use a Tail Vice.
Is it essential I fit a Tail Vice aswell? Or is a Tail Vice a "luxury" rather than a necessity?
All replies and advice appreciated.
Cheers Andy.
 

marcros

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it is definately not a necessary- you could make a perfectly functioning bench without. Depending on what you are making and how you work, it will vary in its usefulness.
 

johnwc812

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Hi Andy,
I have rarely used a tail vice in 50 years, not that it would have been useful occasionally but the extra expense and the room required in a small workshop, it was not worth considering.
The vice you have bought, plus a good bench stop should suffice. I occasionally position wood for planing up against the bench stop, and g cramp a piece of wood to the bench to "jam" and steady the other end.
Cheers John
 

AndyT

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So much about bench design takes you straight back to what you make and how you make it. If you will be using hand tools and doing a lot of planing, the main consideration will be to have something solid to resist racking. A tail vice can be one solution to planing long stock on the surface of the bench.
But if you mostly want to run a router round a bit of MDF, your workholding could be as simple as a sheet of non-slip matting supplemented by a few G-cramps.

Another big consideration is how much you want to spend. A 4" thick hardwood job would cost several hundred just for the timber, but you can make a perfectly good bench from softwood and door blanks or even from scrap materials.

If you do make a beautiful hardwood bench you will probably be reluctant to nail temporary stops to it for specific jobs - though that can be the quickest, easiest solution sometimes.

There are dozens of good bench build threads on here, well worth studying. You could also buy the Scott Landis and Chris Schwarz books and distract yourself for months!
 

Blister

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Hello Andy and welcome

They do come in handy for securing longer lengths of stock along the length of the bench between the dog and the tail vice
 

Roughcut

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Thanks for your replies lads.
I can see a few advantages to having a Tail Vice now thanks to your explanations.
I mainly use power tools (Router, Biscuit Jointer etc.) and the occassional bit of hand planing so im not really one for doing hand cut dovetails and all that. Although once i've got a "proper" bench I might spend more time practicing.
I think for how im working at the moment the Front Vice and dog holes should be sufficient.
It's still going to be a hell of a lot easier to hold the workpiece in place (without clamps getting in the way) than the trestle and G-Clamps method i've been using.
Because im making the bench if I decide later on to try fitting a Tail Vice I know how I have built it so it shouldn't be too hard to modify.
I couldn't justify the cost of hardwood to make the bench so it's all being made from softwood.
I've still got to finish the top and fix the vice in place, plus fit doors to the 2 bottom cupboards where the tools will be stored.
Im pleased with how it's looking so far and it's heavy so does not move which is always a good thing. Also when I fit the vice it will be another 18kgs heavier than it was before. :shock:
 

Grahamshed

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When I first started looking at this site there was much talk about the 'slippery slope'. I took it with a pinch of salt but it is true and I have spent a fortune in the last few months.
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You are getting perilously close to the edge my friend. :)
 

Roughcut

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Grahamshed":210x8u73 said:
When I first started looking at this site there was much talk about the 'slippery slope'. I took it with a pinch of salt but it is true and I have spent a fortune in the last few months.
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You are getting perilously close to the edge my friend. :)
I think I probably have started treading on the "slippery slope" you mention.
I've spent a few hundred quid the last couple of months on some new tools plus a new vice and timber.
However the "Mrs" remains none the wiser! :lol:
 

andersonec

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If you are going to have holes for dogs (full length of the bench) then you can hold longer pieces with a couple of dogs and a couple of folding wedges,

Andy
 

custard

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Roughcut":2l1e5miw said:
My original plan was to have a front vice and some dog holes in the bench for work holding.
But from reading the forum i've noticed a lot of people also use a Tail Vice.
Is it essential I fit a Tail Vice aswell? Or is a Tail Vice a "luxury" rather than a necessity?
All replies and advice appreciated.
Cheers Andy.
Hello Andy,

My father and grandfather were commercial cabinetmakers, neither they nor any of their fellow cabinet makers had a tail vice on their benches. There are alternative ways of work holding, so even though they're sometimes handy the absence of a tail vice will never ever prevent you from completing a project.
 

Roughcut

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Many thanks to all the advice you have given.
It all seems clearer to me now, and I will finish the bench with my original idea of just a front vice and holes for workholding.
Cheers Andy.
 

Giff

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Hi Andy
Veritas wonder dogs and pups ( Axminster & Rutlands do them ) can be a good substitute
for a tail vice. They fit in your standard 19mm dog holes and work pretty well.

Geoff
 
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