Wagon Vice


When I built my Roubo bench, I installed a traditional leg vice as shown.  I was never happy with the grip of this vice, and so when I installed my old Record vice at the tail end of the bench, I found myself using this all the time.

I suppose I could have stuck leather onto the leg vice, or bought a better quality threaded screw.  I’m not sure if that would have made a difference? The fact that the leg vice didn’t have a quick release also played a large part.

So seeing I liked the Record vice so much, I decided to move it to the front, and to make a wagon vice where the Record vice once stood, using a shoulder vice screw from Lee Valley.  Here are the BEFORE SHOTS:  on the left the Record vice positioned as a tail vice;  and on the right the original wooden leg vice.

I faced the following problems:
  1. I needed to chop out a large hole for the wagon vice as well as drill more holes through the bench for the Record vice.  This would not in any way weaken the 4″ (100mm) thick Ash top, I just don’t like doing it.
  2. Flipping the bench over to Rout the bottom hole (to prevent blowout) was, well, flipping difficult.  The Roubo bench is designed to be massive.
  3. Holding the Record vice upwards against the top while threading the bolts was very difficult if doing it alone.
  4. There was no ideal place to put the Record vice as the bench leg is very thick, and the bench itself is very short (1400mm).  I decided to put it in front of the leg, which meant that the vice is near the front edge.

The rear end of the bench with the Record Vice removed.

You will notice the wagon vice hardware on top of the bench, and the coach screws that secure the end piece are not evenly spaced because I had to make allowance for the Record vice which was previously there.

After marking out the “through mortice” for the wagon vice, I drilled a series of large holes and then used a hand held router to remove the waste-part of which is sitting on top of the bench.

Then I cut a square mortice in the end of the bench to accept the wagon vice screw.  This was done both with a hand chisel and a palm router.  The little hole is a pilot for the threaded rod and is exactly in line with the row of dog holes.

 Next I drilled a 30mm hole with a Forstener bit, held straight with the DJ-1 drilling jig.
This picture looks difficult to fathom, but I used a traditional method for the underside part of the wagon vice runner.  I picked Rhodesian Teak (a distant family to African Rosewood) as it is self-lubricating to a degree.


You will notice that I have two rows of dog holes and my outer row is closer to the edge than most I’ve seen on the net.

This plus the wagon vice screw is actually a shoulder vice screw and therefore shorter, restricted me in some ways.

It works well, in that it is very fast and doesn’t need much force to hold a board still.