Monday, March 3, 2014

A Case For The Sliding Leg Vise

We've written before about our general disdain for the sliding leg vise. In short, they offer very little added functionality, besides just plain getting in the way.

But last week customer Julio Alonso sent us pics of his short bench equipped with a sliding leg vise, and we're changing our tune.

Juilo's shop is tiny, and his bench is necessarily short. So it often has to serve double duty. In this case we think a sliding, and more specifically, a removable leg vise makes lots of sense. Need to mount a Moxon vise for dovetailing? No problem. Lift the leg vise off and swap it out with a Moxon.

Here's a short video of Julio's vise.


  1. I see far too much of a dogmatic approach in woodworking the last decade or so. It's good to see some flexibility from the in group. Not everyone can have a 10' long Roubo, or expensive designer tools, etc. Most of us have to make do with what we have and/or can afford to buy. I'm so glad I got started long before I knew I had to do things a certain way to do woodworking. I'd never have started otherwise. I'm hoping the gurus start to realize what they're doing to "the craft." PS, I built a Roubo based on the picture in Landis' book back in the early 90s. Even managed to find an old leg vise at a farm auction. It isn't exactly right. It's more like your split top you guys came out with many years later. It's also too tall, so I'm told, but it works great for me. That's all I care about.

  2. Jameel, have you ever had one of your planes go crashing to the floor? The peg storage system makes me nervous.

  3. Wow !!!!!!!!!!! Jameel I am speechless I am really happy and amazed by your kindness, humility and generosity. I truly thank you from my soul you post my work to such a important blog as it is yours.
    What makes me feel more pleased is that somebody always doesn´t like or to agree my way and other people get surprised and inspired by this. But nobody gets apathetic, that makes me be capable of saying: NO everything is still not invented and here I am.

    Thank you again and forever Jameel and Benchcrafted crew.
    My best,


  4. Julio,

    Great work.


    Just so I'm clear: does this mean Julio only needed to buy the Crisscross Retro for $139? I've been wanting to do something like this (minus the sliding feature) but thought I needed to buy additional Leg Vise hardware putting the total above $400.

    I built the 21st Century Workbench from Bob Lang and would like to put a leg vise on. Can I do buy just purchasing the $139 Crisscross Retro?

    Thanks for the advice,

    1. Yep, all you need is the Retro and any bench screw.

    2. Awesome! That's what I thought when I saw your initial posts on the product. At WIA two years ago I was talking with Raney Nelson and he said I needed more than just the Criss Crossed. It's not a real knock on Raney - maybe our signals were crossed or something.

      This just sky rocketed to the top of my wishlist. Wahoo!

  5. In my experience, the ability to remove the sliding leg vise is one of its greatest assets. No I don't use it very often, but when I do it is a godsend. For instance when I resaw wider lumber with a frame saw, the low pitch of this very aggressive saw will test the holding power of any vise. Bringing the slider to bear locks the board in place and makes this process a lot easier. Again this is a very specific situation so when I'm done, I pop the leg vise out and set it aside. Usually I move it to the other side of the bench where it lives and holds things like my miter box or shooting boards. So I think the slider is VERY low on the list of needed work holding, but when I do use it, it is usually a situation where nothing else would work.


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