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, jaw liners, mounting hardware and installation instructions.
Depending on supply, the jaw liners are made from either suede leather or Crubber (a composite material made of natural cork and rubber).
The hardware is also available as part of the Benchcrafted Roubo bench plans and vise hardware.
Made in USA.