Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 7

Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 7

- Letters -

from our readers

'Pile' Block Improves Any Leg Vise



he parallel guide bar in a leg vise is, in my humble opinion, a cruel joke perpetrated by some historical prankster. I have been using an angled leg vise for a couple years now, and removing the parallel guide bar was the first modification.

Instead, grab a piece of maple, cut it down to 1"" x 2" x 3", and let it dangle on the bench leg with a foot of butcher's twine. When you open the jaws of the leg vise, just turn the block so the appropriate side acts as a standoff.

Wider stuff? Find a wider piece of scrap. Skinny stuff? Swing the block out of the way altogether.

It's infinitely variable, simple and bulletproof - and I can reach down and adjust my block of wood, left-handed, without even looking at it.

Please, I'm begging, don't let the Swiss-cheese-looking parallel guide insanity continue any further!

—Jon Pile, Foster City, California

I tried the "Pile" block (patent applied for) in my leg vise. I made it exactly as Jon described and tied it through a holdfast hole in the leg that I use when dovetailing.

The block works as advertised, which is no surprise. Levers and physics work as advertised. But I'm going to need to develop some muscle memory with the block before I rip out my parallel guide. The nice thing about the parallel guide is that I usually work in stock that is 3A" and %" thick, so for the most part, I never move the pin in my parallel guide. It stays in the first hole and can clamp the usual stuff. (By the way, that sweet-spot hole in my guide is lfl" from the inside of the vise jaw.)

A few other details: I wondered if the block would be handy with an angled leg vise (which is what is on my new English workbench). With that bench, the parallel guide prevents the jaw from spinning when you crank the vise's handle. Jon responded to that by saying that his leg vise was angled, and that he merely had the foot of the jaw resting on the floor, which kept it from spinning.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor



12 ■ Popular Woodworking August 2007


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