Parallel devices for leg vises (iv): The adapted runner

“An adaptation of the runner to the screw, extending the whole length of the bench-leg or nearly so, is shown in figs. 246 and 247, of which the former shows the end elevation of the screw, check, runner, and bench, and the latter the front elevation of the bench-vice.”


“The position of the screw in this arrangement is a good one, because more space is given between the upper part of the screw and the top of the bench for holding short boards. The reader must now be so familiar with the component parts of the bench as to render unnecessary any reference in detail to these parts as shown in the figures.

The runner A is a piece of board let into the lower end of the check and passed through a hole cut in the leg for its reception. A series of holes are bored in the runner, and when the vice is screwed up a pin of wood or iron is inserted in the hole that happens to be nearest the leg, to prevent further progress of the runner inwards. It may be of use to say that all runners should work tightly, but with ease, in the cases made, or holes cut, for their reception, and this effect is best produced by keeping the runners greased. The runner should be made of hard, close-grained wood.”

Notes: The adapted runner (aka. parallel guide)  is commonly used in making contemporary benches (popularized by Christopher Schwarz). The main difference in contemporary leg vises is that the parallel guide is often mated to the leg-vise using a wedged through tenon, and the leg-vise itself extends nearly to the height of the bench. Other newer modifications, include the use of three rows of holes in the guide, and the inclusion a chain assembly  to help the parallel guide move.


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