Friday, November 22, 2013

Late to the Party.....

....Not the sharpest crayon, rides the short bus of life, you get the drift., sometimes I think my forehead should be flat from hand meets head.

Anyway, cut to the chase, I've been using a leg vise for about a year, it works great for most things but isn't perfect for rip cuts on wide boards such as when sawing tails and pins on case sides. I can only get about 100-150mm under the chop. Not optimal, so I've been thinking of adding a Moxon type appliance either the one from BenchCrafter or Lie Nielsen. Either would work but.....there is always a but....I don't need more "stuff" in my shop and knowing the way I work I would find digging it out, attaching it to the bench top, and then putting it back under the bench when finished a major PITA.

Here is where the hand meets the head, I've had a sliding deadman with a Veritas Hold Down on the bench almost from the get go. All I needed to do was to slide the deadman next to the board in the leg vise apply the hold down and screw it tight.

In other words; the deadman isn't just for holding long boards. While it may not work as well as a Moxon it has to be damn close. And the best part it does not take up more room (already on the bench) and I will use it because it is not a PITA to use.

I'm only a year late to the party but at least I did get there.


  1. elegant solutions are often the simplest and thats what you have here. Several years ago I debated adding a sliding deadman to my bench to solve the same issue and opted for a row of dog holes attached below the benchtop instead.

    I understand the desire to have less accessories and clutter in the shop. That feeling has kept me from adding several things myself.

    I would suggest you reconsider the "Moxon" vise in the future. I have found it to be indispensable and not for it's holding power or it's ability to hold wide boards. but because it lifts the work up an additional 8" off my benchtop and I'm able to stand up straighter and have better body mechanics while I work.

    I don't break it out for every little dovetail I cut. If I'm doing a skirt around a chest that's narrow with one or two tails I use my leg vise. But if I'm doing a repetitive run of drawers or a larger case side with several tails, raising the work helps my back and my stamina. I think, for me, this results in better work.

    Of course, I find the best thing about woodworking, and sharing your woodworking online, is the myriad of answers that come to answer the same problems.


  2. Derek,

    I've been chopping lapped dovetail sockets all day and the back is talking to me about listening to that Oldwolf guy :-).