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  Ratcheting Parallel Guide and Angled Leg Vises by Will Myers 1 of 6  

Ratcheting Parallel Guide


In Scott Landis’s "The Work Bench Book" there is a drawing of a ratchet mechanism
for a parallel guide.



It was one of those little tidbits I tend to file away in my head thinking I might try sometime.

In the book the guide is a solid piece of iron with teeth cut in the lower side that engage a plate mounted to the leg of the bench. A simple foot lever arrangement raises the guide above the plate when you need to close up the chop of the vise.

The two benches here are made to the same dimensions and lay out as the one I wrote about here some time back, with the noted changes of course.

I did mine a bit differently. In this case I made the parallel guide the same dimension as I normally do for my Moravian work benches of 2in wide by 18in long. Using a plow plane set up with a ¼ in iron I plowed a groove 3/8in deep down the top edge of the guide.

I the cut two small shoulders on the end that will attach to the vise chop and chopped the mortise to fit the guide.

I used a piece of ¼in thick x 3/4in wide by 18in long mild steel bar stock for the toothed section.

To retain the bar to the parallel guide I welded a 1in by 3/4in tab to the tooth bar about 2in or so from the chop end.

A second tab is welded to the far end at a right angle to the tooth bar and a single screw hole drilled for a mounting screw.

The teeth are a 1/4in tall spaced at 1/2in apart down most of the length. To shape the teeth I sawed down these marks creating the face of the teeth at 90 degrees.

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