I know some readers are loath to drill a new hole in their workbench (or file the mouth of a handplane, or reshape a saw handle) without a court order. Today I’m putting on my robes and firing up the wooden gavel. Judge Crissy is in session.
The advantage of the carver’s vise (on sale at Grizzly until August – not sponsored) is that it can go anywhere there’s a hole. But where should the hole go?
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Here’s my thought. Put it at the far end of your bench, where a tail vise would go. Drill the hole about 3-1/2” from the front edge of the bench and 3-1/2” from the end of the bench. That allows the vise’s sheet-metal base to contact the benchtop fully. And it allows you to stand anywhere in a 270° arc around the vise to use it.
But here’s the best reason: It will speed up your work with a tenon cutter. By rotating the vise diagonally, as shown above, you can tenon both ends of a stick without reclamping it or re-leveling it. It’s just level the stick, clamp the stick, tenon one end and then tenon the other.
The second advantage is that I usually have a garbage can under the bench there, so about half my waste from tenoning ends up in the bin automatically. And the rest is easily brushed from the benchtop and into the garbage can.
— Christopher Schwarz