Fitting the Veritas Twin Screw

As mentioned in the previous post, I found the Veritas instruction booklet pointlessly confusing.  There is some useful information in there that will help with the assembly, but you have to ferret them out from the detritus of words.  To jump to the end of the post, despite ignoring the warning on the front page that this manual “needs to be read, even if you normally don’t”, I have a successful installation of the Veritas Twin Screw. It isn’t hard to install!

I replaced the original table skirt on the edge that the vice was going to be fitted (wanted it wider and deeper), and this was domino’ed and screwed, with a couple of extra brackets behind for additional support.  Given the location of the metal legs of this workbench (and their location being pre-defined), the threaded rods of the vice needed to pass through them.  This isn’t as big a deal as it might sound – the two vices that originally came with the bench do the same thing.  The Carbatec bench, as designed, has some degree of wobble so I will already be adding some additional bracing to correct that, and any weakening caused by the additional holes.

The distance between centres of the legs is 430mm.  The amount of chain provided with the standard sized Twin Screw is meant to allow a maximum of 427.5mm, but if you include the optional half-link, the chain becomes the perfect length (whew).

In this view, you can see the replacement bench skirt and the supporting brackets, both vice jaws, the female thread for the vice and the hole through the leg for the vice drive.

To get the holes, I used a holesaw which did a very neat job.  Heat became an issue because I did run the drill press too fast, and used a normal light oil rather than cutting fluid.  Don’t think the holesaw bit likes me any more 😦  Hopefully I can resurrect it to some functional level.

Once both holes were drilled, and the individual screws in place, they get bolted to the front jaw.  The chain added so that turning either handle rotates both evenly, so the jaws open and close while remaining parallel.  You can skew the jaws by disengaging the gear on one side, but I’m not expecting to do that often, if ever.

The handles are added to each side, and the end caps secured with supplied screws.  Chain supports are added beneath the lower edge of the chain – these carry the slack of the chain only when the jaws are not under load.

The installation is finished with the addition of the vice cover.  This was originally plastic, but looks much better being made in metal (with cast ends).  The label stuck on at the end may look upside down in error, but then so is the bench at the moment!  Now this vice is attached, I can finish the rest of the assembly and get this bench working!  I still need to add a couple of rub-blocks under the threads to deal with any front jaw drop when the jaws are extended out towards their maximum range.  And once the bench is in place, I will add some dog-holes, once I’ve decided on what dogs to use.

I have been reminding myself that the wooden jaws are a consumable – I imagine they will last a long time, but at some stage replacing them is an option.  This is a functional tool, not some heirloom to be admired and not used.

With this kick-ass vice on the end of the bench, I’m feeling inspired!  But don’t expect me to suddenly handcutting a bunch of dovetails – I may feel inspired, but probably not THAT inspired!

Workbench Build

Got the workbench home and began the unpack.  Heavy thing – around 75kg in 2 boxes.  Placed the top onto the tablesaw (convenient flat surface) to begin the assembly.

Underneath the top, some recessed areas for the legs to be fitted, and interestingly, three partial depth saw kerfs running most of the length of the table.  Not sure why they are there – must have something to do with stabilising the top / preventing warping, but I haven’t heard of the technique before, or whether it is successful.

Holes are predrilled, including those for the wood vices.  Because of the location of the vices to the legs, even those have holes drilled through them so the vice thread can pass through the leg.

The metal legs are in two parts, allowing the adjustment.  They also have large feet that screw into the bottom of the legs, allowing the unit to be stabilised, even on an uneven floor.  There is a heavy gauge shelf that screws partway down the legs, that locks the legs together.

It is at this point that it is easiest to fit the vices to the bench, and in particular to work out how to fit the Veritas Twin Screw vice.  The distance between centres for the Veritas is 430mm.  The distance between centres of the legs of the workbench is, completely coincidentally, 430mm.  Almost like the vice was designed for this workbench.  I’ll have to drill a couple of holes through the legs for the screws to pass, but that will work, and the screw of the Veritas will pass below that of the vice that comes with the bench, so both can cohabit in close proximity.

I will have to add an additional face to the side of the bench – prefer something more substantial to be the rear face for the Veritas, and of course a front face as well.

I haven’t decided what to do with the second vice that came with the bench.  It is meant to go on the opposite end to where I am fitting the Veritas, but as this end is going to be against the wall, it doesn’t make as much sense.  Instead I will probably fit it n the same side as the other bench vice, so long items can be clamped up in both vices at the same time.

Keeping it Real

Lee Valley / Veritas is a company that produces some pretty innovative products – well thought out, designed, manufactured.

And every year for the past 8 years, on a certain day of the year, they have poured all that creativity into producing a product that looks as good as all the others, and as desirable, and yet is a joke.  An April Fools Day one.

And yet, even knowing some of these are meant as a joke, you can still find yourself wanting one! One was so popular as an idea, it has actually become a real (limited run) product!  A blank tape measure may have been meant as a joke, but the idea is fundamentally a good one.


Variable Gang (Dovetail) Saw

Full Round Spokeshave

Honing Guide Mk XXXXII

Pouchless (Magnetic) Toolbelt


Low Angle (Superblade) Jack Plane


Dovetail Anywhere

The latest tool from Veritas looks well thought out, and quite a bit of fun, especially if you don’t get to see the inside of your shed often.

Veritas Pocket Dovetailer

“That’s where the Veritas® Pocket Dovetailer comes in. With one tool, you can make airtight dovetails while at work, on the road, or even on vacation. This carefully crafted 6-in-1 multi-tool lets you do it all, wherever you want, whenever you want. Practice makes perfect, and this is the perfect tool to practice with.”

As is the norm with Veritas, this tool looks like it has had a lot of thought put into it, and would be very functional.  Even for an April Fools joke. And as with their others, you can still see yourself wanting one!

Working on a Different Walko Bench

As useful as the tops that come with the Walko are- laminated bamboo making them water resistant (for about 24 hours), I also want to have a more traditional working surface, complete with a decent wood vice.

I have gotten a second set of table supports, and will be making up a jointed top for one side of the Walko, and plan on mounting a Veritas Twin Screw vice

Veritas Twin Screw Wood Vice

I could make the top large enough to cover both sides of the Walko (tempting), but I also want to make a bit of a metalworking (or general working) side, complete with my 5″ Record vice my Dad gave me years ago.

Record Vice

Pocket Screwdriver

I’m sure many of us have been there- needing to turn a screw when no where near your toolbox (or shed), or wanting the width of the screwdriver blade to more closely match the width of the slot.

Wasn’t that long ago that I tried the thumbnail trick -can’t even remember what on, and found a large piece of nail almost surgically sliced, and the screw having not moved at all.

So do you try a coin, work your ways through your keys? Or use the “Pocket Screwdriver” from Veritas.

Looking very much like a washer, the thickness of the “washer” increases all the way around the circumference, so you can easily get the driver to accurately fit the slot.

Being washer shaped (and as durable), it makes sense mounting it on a set of keys- means you always have it on hand.

It doesn’t get as thin as I’d like, but I could always grind on down I suppose.
The thickness ramps from 0.8mm to 2.3mm

At around $1.20/ unit (they come in a pack of 10) they are cheap enough to hand around to anyone you like!

Or seed them around your workshop on a bunch of nails, so you always have one close by.

Just happen to be brilliant for cap iron screws on handplanes…..

Available from Carbatec

Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Catalog(ue)

Have you checked out Lee Valley’s latest (online) catalog(ue)? Some serious temptations in there to empty one’s wallet a fair number of times over!

Click on the picture below to be taken to their online catalog page.

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