Legvise with a twist (Chapter three)

In the final chapter of this series of posts we will look at how I finished this unique legvise. It could be a useful idea to other woodworkers who does not have a proper dedicated workbench.

In these first pictures you can see how I made the rollers for the parallel guide. Unfortunately I only saw the idea to use skateboard wheels after I built these, but I would recommend using them if you still have to build yours. I used an inexpensive plastic wheel used to guide automatic steel gates, which is very common in this part of the world where we all hide behind electric fences. It works fine but does not have a smooth low friction ball-bearing system like the skateboard wheels.


Next I used my newly purchased Festool router to cut a dado that would accept the Kershout strips meant to clamp the edges of the leather that would ultimately grace the faces of the jaws.


I then assembled the legvise temporarily in order to drill the hole for the large single screw vise.


Due to the length of the “nut” (pictured below) that accepts the screw, I had to add some wood to the inside jaws, as seen in the pictures above.


Below you can see how I used handtools to custom fit the “nut” into the inside jaw for a lifetime of abuse.


I then fitted the screw to the chop.


Below you can see how I glued leather from a Red Dear I shot while living in New Zealand to the inside of both jaws.


The leather was then clamped into place tidily using custom sized (by using handplanes) Kershout strips screwed into a shallow dado on the sides of the jaws.


Next I had to shape a scrap piece of steel that could slide into the T-channel on the side of my assembly table in order to fix the inside jaw to the table in a manner that would make it easy to move the legvise from one location to the next if needed. You can see how I welded nuts to the steel as at this point in time I still did not have thread cutting tools. You will also notice that the piece of steel was deliberately bent slightly so that once the bolts are tightened it would apply even pressure across the length of it.


From this point on you should be able to see what I was aiming for. In the first picture you can see how the rollers and adjustable feet were attached. The next pictures show how the two jaws were assembled by means of the vise screw for the first time.


The first time I attached the legvise to the assembly table to test out a few things. I realised that I had to do a few adjustments to the feet.


Here I am shaping a piece of Witpeer in order to turn the ends of the handle.


Here you can see how I modified the feet. I inserted two pins that was epoxied into place that would ultimately sit inside a small rubber disc. The area between the disc and the nut received a coat of grease to allow the adjustable feet to rotate easily while being firmly pressed against the floor.


I am not sure what the correct term is for this instrument, but it is the one that gets jammed into the wholes in the parallel guide and you can see that I made mine from scratch.


Finally the legvise was fitted to the table in the position I thought would be best for now. In the second picture you can see what I was on about regarding the modification of the adjustable feet. You will also note the nuts that was added to lock the threaded rod feet into place once it is adjusted to the correct height. The third picture show the nameless instrument in position in the parallel guide.


The final product was well worth the effort displaying the beautiful orange and grayish-yellow colours of the Assegaai and Witpeer. I have to say that it works even better than anticipated and I would not change too much at all if I build another one.



You can start looking out for some posts on the sliding deadman that I built to toil in tandem with this baby.

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