With these kits, you can construct a traditional leg vise, a versatile design that combines a large wooden jaw (called a “chop”), a single screw and a broad clamping surface free of guide rods to hold stock in various orientations. The kits come with a Benchcrafted Crisscross, which has scissor-like arms to keep the chop parallel to the leg throughout its travel, eliminating skewing and ensuring full contact with the work. The cast-iron Crisscross supports the heavy chop, taking weight off the screw. This reduces friction and risk of binding, allowing the 1 1/2 lb tommy bar to impart enough momentum that the vise glides closed with just a freehand spin.
The Solo kit is for new bench construction. It uses a version of the Crisscross that has arms mounted on two steel pins, which seat in 3/8" holes bored into the leg and chop with a drill press prior to assembly. The Retro kit, for new or existing benches, includes a Crisscross with two cast-iron brackets that seat in a pair of 1 3/4" × 1 1/2" × 7/8" deep mortises. Minimum leg width is 3" for the Solo and 4" for the Retro. Each requires a leg and chop at least 2 1/2" thick and a minimum of 22 5/8" from the center of the vise screw to the floor.
The hardware is also available without a Crisscross for installation in benches too low to accommodate a Crisscross, or for making an angled leg vise (for a Nicholson-style bench), a face vise or a cantilevered tail vise. All use an Acme-threaded double lead screw that moves the jaw quickly at 1/2" per turn. Travel is 15 1/2" minus the combined thickness of the leg and chop.
Each kit includes the screw, a threaded nut, a 3/8" thick steel flange, suede jaw liners, mounting hardware and installation instructions.
The hardware is also available as part of the Benchcrafted Roubo bench plans and vise hardware.
Made in USA.