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Freestanding or Bench Mounted: What is your vise bolted to?

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Freestanding or Bench Mounted: What is your vise bolted to?

Old 12-08-20, 01:43 AM
  #1  
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Freestanding or Bench Mounted: What is your vise bolted to?

Woodworkers, car/motorcycle technicians, welders, machinists, bicycle mechanics. Each of these trades requires a vise but all of our crafts are different enough that placement of where it is mounted sometimes makes more sense for one group than another. With a new workbench freshly tucked into my workspace, I stepped back to consider what is the best need for my bicycle workshop: A vise mounted on a freestanding base or one bolted down to the corner of the work bench. I'd love to hear your thoughts and logic as to why you went the direction you did.

What size is your vise?
Where is it mounted?
How is it mounted?
Is the height accurate for the jobs it is performing?
Overall, does it work for your needs?
Care to share images?
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Old 12-08-20, 02:10 AM
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Its big, oldschool, heavy, a bit the worse for wear after serving duty in heavy equipment repair for the first half of its life and is mounted to a big heavy wood bench.

Big vices do big heavy work and better be mounted to a suitable bench if you want to be able to lean on them and utilize its capability.

No pic as its buried in the pile, it doesn't get used often but when it does, its up to the task.
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Old 12-08-20, 06:00 AM
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I rebuilt my Starrett this summer. In my humble opinion, having a heavy-duty vise married to a heavy-duty bench is the cornerstone of a good workshop. You may not need it every day, but when you do need it, there is no substitute. Got a stuck seatpost? Clamp it up and give it a twist using the frame as leverage. Shortening a steerer tube? Also I think that having it bolted to a bench is the only way to go because if its free-standing, well, you've got to walk around it. It also would have to be bolted to the floor for usability and safety.
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Old 12-08-20, 06:10 AM
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Old 6" Craftsman bolted to the end of two 6 foot steel work benches bolted end to end. I have a roll around work table I made from an old gas grill frame with a 4" Craftsman bolted to the end of it. I also have a little 2" clamp on vice, it's old, like 1940's or 50's old.

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Old 12-08-20, 06:21 AM
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Looks like 4.5 inch.
Corner of the bench
Three Carriage bolts on a 3x8' bench (too big)
Bench is about 36" high so the vice is about another 4-5 inches. Good height for me at nearly 6"
Indispensable!

I took a copper pipe and cut it down the middle and formed it to the jaws to protect the good stuff.
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Old 12-08-20, 06:35 AM
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Old 12-08-20, 07:53 AM
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I’ve got 2- one mounted to a big built in workbench, another smaller one mounted to a small portable Craftsman workbench.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:06 AM
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I have a small one I clamp to the bench as needed, and a large one permanently bolted to a corner of the bench.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:11 AM
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I don't have one but about twice a week I wish I did.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:50 AM
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I bolted mine to the corner of my workbench. The bench is fairly heavy, and I put an extremely heavy cinder block on the bottom shelf of the bench to make it heavier.
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Old 12-08-20, 09:53 AM
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Great stuff everyone. Clearly, the majority prefer (or out of convenience) have the vise mounted on a bench. I figured that to be the case.

Thanks for the useful suggestion on the copper pipe hack, SJX426
nomadmax, nice soft jaws for the really delicate stuff. Where'd you pick those up at?
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Old 12-08-20, 10:00 AM
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I've got my grandpas small Wilton bolted to a heavy bench. But I want a large Wilton on a stand bolted to the floor.
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Old 12-08-20, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MrK. View Post
I don't have one but about twice a week I wish I did.
I've got a cheap Harbor Freight 4" on the corner of my workbench. It's pretty wimpy, but as the saying (kind of goes) - a vice is kind of like pizza, even when it's bad it's still pretty good

Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post
Great stuff everyone. Clearly, the majority prefer (or out of convenience) have the vise mounted on a bench. I figured that to be the case.
If I had my way I'd have a smaller one bolted to a workbench and a larger free-standing one bolted to the floor. Big commitment to take up floor space with a permanent installation, so it makes a lot of sense in a lot of cases to put it on the bench.
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Old 12-08-20, 10:29 AM
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...when I had a working blacksmith shop, I had one of those post vises mounted to wooden post near the forge and anvil. the wooden post went through the floor, and down into the subsoil in the crawl space. That was kind of cool. I don't know how old that post vise was, but some prior owner had repaired one of the jaws by forge welding a strap of steel around it.
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Old 12-08-20, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post
Woodworkers, car/motorcycle technicians, welders, machinists, bicycle mechanics. Each of these trades requires a vise but all of our crafts are different enough that placement of where it is mounted sometimes makes more sense for one group than another. With a new workbench freshly tucked into my workspace, I stepped back to consider what is the best need for my bicycle workshop: A vise mounted on a freestanding base or one bolted down to the corner of the work bench. I'd love to hear your thoughts and logic as to why you went the direction you did.

What size is your vise?
Where is it mounted?
How is it mounted?
Is the height accurate for the jobs it is performing?
Overall, does it work for your needs?
Care to share images?
This subject is very topical to me since just last week I closed on my first single family house, which has a 2 car garage (or like I tell my wife, a 1 car 10 bike garage) and with a ~8' extended front which will be the workspace, so I'm currently in planning mode for the bike/workbench area. A bench vise was planned, but now I'm on the fence.

In the past I've only ever worked on a bench mount, so could someone list the Pro's of a pedestal/floor mount over a bench mount, with regards to bike repair specifically. What kind of repairs are easier done on a pedestal mount over a bench mount, or vice versa? And are there other typical home projects where a pedestal mount is advantageous?
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Old 12-08-20, 11:11 AM
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The pedestal/floor mount option is great for having loads of space around it and so you can move around to any side. Plus, it can be portable (mounted on a semi-truck wheel base, etc.).
But, as abshipp pointed out, the space commitment is significant even if you can move it around. And through my research, I found a person who had a freestanding/pedestal mount and eventually sold it and went back to the bench mount. His reasons, which counter my points above, were as follows:

My setup was as follows. The base had an approximately 24" diameter tank end filled with concrete, three pad contact for stability, with two wheels that contacted the floor when tilted.
  1. I couldn't apply any real pressure to bend things and some other work overcame the weighted base.
  2. The wheels didn't work very well, on rocking the column back to cause the wheels to contact the floor, just a little more and the center of the base dragged (that was something I could have fixed, so, my fault) so it wasn't easy to move but most of all;
  3. I grew very weary of pressing my toes against the base then bending forward to work, or unnaturally spreading my legs to move in closer, which sorta' pins you to one spot, harder to dance around to optimize various positions on a fixed work piece.
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Old 12-08-20, 11:17 AM
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5" Wilton "bullet" vise bolted to the corner of a 24" x 40" steel bench that rolls on casters. The ability to roll the bench into a more open area of my garage / workshop has been very useful. I've done a heap of repair and metal fabrication work with this set-up over the past 30 years.

These days, the jaws support my bike repair stand most of the time. The steel tractor seat was my Dad's and is a personal treasure.

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Old 12-08-20, 12:02 PM
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If you’re going to be doing woodworking on that bench, don’t permanently mount the vice to the corner. There are a lot of woodworking tasks that involve having an uninterrupted top surface. Planing boards, cleaning doors, gluing up bookshelves, etc. I have mine clamped to the corner so I can take it off when I need to.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mogens View Post
If you’re going to be doing woodworking on that bench, don’t permanently mount the vice to the corner. There are a lot of woodworking tasks that involve having an uninterrupted top surface. Planing boards, cleaning doors, gluing up bookshelves, etc. I have mine clamped to the corner so I can take it off when I need to.
Great points! I researched a removable option but didn't include this wild card just to keep things simple. The setup does have its benefits!


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Old 12-08-20, 12:15 PM
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@3alarmer, I recently performed that task on my 1971 Raleigh Super Course. Afterwards, I couldn't screw one of the BB cups in. I was lucky that my LBS had the tools and know-how to chase the threads for me. I guess next time I'll screw cups in before I clamp it in the vise that way.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:30 PM
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If anyone wants a vice, this one is made in usa. it's not very much to my liking but it will do the job in a pinch. I can fit it in a USPS flat rate box and it's yours for $20 PP net to me or send me an Andrew Jackson in the mail.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:32 PM
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Classy hijack!

Shouldn't this go in the sales area, cb400bill?
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Old 12-08-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post

This is a way more elegant solution than my current one... I may have to copy it.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post
Classy hijack!

Shouldn't this go in the sales area, cb400bill?
Not a hijack einstein essentially free for shipping. Have you looked at postal rates lately or are you just a "thread cop". Jeez. Thought someone like one of the earlier posters would appreciate a deal. Holiday spirit etc.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:51 PM
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Mine is bolted to the workbench, but if I had room for a pedestal, I'd do that.
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