I needed a bench.
I needed a bench for miniature work. There were none available at the time (this was 25 years ago).
There are a few on the market now but none I've seen are this capable, even after all this time.
I wanted a real set of bench dogs and a vise to hold work. I also wanted a "chops" or woodcarver's vise. I needed the whole thing to clamp into a regular bench vise and raise it up close to my face. While I was at it. I decided it might be nice to be able to use it seated in an ordinary chair and wanted a way to securing it.
It started with some scraps of koa wood I had left over. Small scraps but then it's a very small bench. I used the biggest piece for the wings that would become the base I'd later sit on when using it in a chair. Next biggest went to laminate the column. The last became the benchtop itself. Instead of any other form of end vise I decided the simplest would be a threaded post and a secondary adjustment screw, since it's only purpose would be moving the dog. The vise jaw is attached to the small adjust screw with a garter. The hole in the jaw is oversized on the big screw side so it can move some.
I can't complain about this bench much. 25 years and seen it's share of hard work and rough treatment.
Yeah it's held up.
This is the second mini vise I have made. The first was lighter in weight and I wore it out! So last year I made this heavier duty replacement. It consists of a piece or steel angle iron and some heavy brass plates I sweat soldered one plate to the angle and the other two together. I used drill rod for the slides and a #5 semi-hardened bolt (5/16") for the screw. I clamped them both together and drilled all the holes in one setup. This assured they would line up and slide smoothly and even.
I turned the head of the bolt round and cross drilled it for the small handle. I left this one long and bent it 90 degrees, peining it over a small brass slip collar. This makes it a crank handle to run it in and out considerably faster.
For the top I made up some removable brass faced patternmakers dogs for grabbing tapered or other odd shaped stuff.
The vise attaches to the bench by grace of a screw with a used shock absorber washer (from my car, never toss these great washers when you change out your shocks. They're thick flanged washers you can't get anywhere else. Never toss the rubber grommets either unless they are really toast)
Anyway, there is a big thumbnut underneath the bench. This let the vise swivel around to any angle. Take my advise and make yours the same, it an imperative!