How come the vice is so much lower than the top of the bench?

“I have one question with the location of the vice, how come it is so much lower than the top of the bench”

That one question from a member of the Australian Woodwork Forums had me scratching my head and trying to figure out what I’d done wrong.

I’d taken the vice out of Dad’s workbench earlier in the year and mounted it onto my portable workbench almost exactly the same way and it looked fine there, so why did it look wrong here?

It took going back to the source and taking a look at dad’s bench to figure it out. His bench has a much shorter apron than mine does, and he’d also done one important thing I hadn’t thought about – he’d recessed the back jaw into the top of his workbench top, and drilled holes to let the bars though the apron as well, instead of having it slung under the bench like I had. This was also a lot stronger and meant he only needed short jaws to get them to match the top of the bench.

I’ve got plans to fit this the way he did when I rebuild the bench shortly, and I’m also thinking that maybe, just maybe, I should invite him over to help. He’ll enjoy it, I’ll enjoy it, and I might not be sitting here in a months time writing about how I didn’t install the vice properly.

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