Solo Shafts

by | Dec 3, 2012 | 12 comments

We’ve had many enquiries recently about whether or not we will be selling the Shaft System for our Pin Less Leg Vice entirely on its own. At the moment the shaft is used in my workbenches and sold for your own installations as a kit together with one of our wooden screws. We’re currently working at testing it with a variety of other steel screws that are commonly available and when we’re confident it can be teamed up just as well then it will indeed be available on its own.

Update: At the present time we’re not building any workbenches or vices for sale, however we have many resources on this website that will help guide you with your own workbench build.

Our English Workbench Video Series takes you step by step through a traditional bench build, starting out with a discussion on choosing the ideal dimensions, demonstrations of how to cut the joinery, right through to flattening your workbench top and building the face vice from scratch.

If you’d like us to guide you through your build with detailed videos and PDF plans, then you can find full details for this Workbench Series here.

When used as a Pin Less leg vice the shaft needs to be set up at just the right angle to create both smooth opening and closing together with the necessary locking motion when it clamps. The angle is determined by how much play you have in the screw and nut and screw and garter that you are using. It’s adjustable on installation and we’re simply pairing it up with a variety of threads to check that enough adjustment is available. As shown in the photo below we’ve found that it works a treat with these steel threads and we‘re close to the end of our testing (these hand wheel vices are our own creation and are offered only within one of our workbenches). Once we’re satisfied that all options have been covered the Solo Shaft Kits will be added to our shop.

Look out also for our own vintage steel screw option that will be coming out later down the line. This will provide an alternative our wooden screws whilst keeping a ‘Maguire’  feel complete with two piece garter. (This is one we’re really looking forward to!)

Click here for more photos of this Oak Nautilus Workbench.

The Pin Less Shaft System has been covered in more detail in earlier posts – The Pin Less Leg Vice , Does It Hold

And if you haven’t seen them already the following two videos show the shaft in action, firstly as a Leg Vice and secondly mounted horizontally as a face vice that’s smooth, simple and rack free. Despite it’s precise angle requirements the shaft is exceptionally simple to install and very discreet, as a leg vice the shaft can be positioned either above or below your front rail – we’ve tested both.

Related Posts

About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Chris

    Great idea, I love it! One question, though, is can you clamp to the left of the shaft on the face vise?


  2. Richard

    Hi Chris,
    The vice clamps the full length of the jaw and for day to day use you would certainly choose to clamp next to the screw for maximum strength. Should you ever need to clamp to the left of the shaft then it will hold but no way near as well as it can around the screw. If you regularly need to clamp in that location then I think you’d be better off looking at a twin screw.
    This horizontal vice is very fast and efficient for everyday work and clamps extremely well over the full length of the jaw at top, between the shaft and screw and to the right of the screw.
    Thanks, Richard

    • Chris A

      Thanks for the reply, Richard. I wouldn’t think I’d need to clamp on the right too often with a horizontal vise. I was just rolling ideas around in my head of an inverted leg vise, of sorts. Was curious if something like this in the middle, with a screw at the bottom (foot operated wheel) would work. Nothing too serious, I guess. Just “I wonder…”


  3. Terrie Noll

    I’d like to be notified about the solo shaft availability. I already have on old and giant Ulmia? screw . . .

  4. JWC

    I, too, would like to be notified when the solo shaft is available. I have a steel vise screw for a bench I am building.

    • Richard

      Hi Terrie and JWC, Thanks for your interest. We’ll certainly send you an email once the solo shaft is available and we’ll also write a post to let everyone know. It’s looking like it’ll be fairly early in the New Year.

      • JWC

        Thanks Richard. Any chance you could send me information about the installation? I am proceeding on bench construction (by far the biggest project I have undertaken) and would be helped by advance information for leg vise planning/design purposes. -JWC

  5. Terrie Noll

    I’m wondering how early is ‘fairly early in the new year.’ I notice the Benchcrafted crisscross is out but am trying to avoid it in favor of your mechanism. I can delay building my bench a month or two but I really hate working on the floor!

    • Richard

      Hi Terrie, there’s every chance that it should be ready within the next couple of months. If you’d like to send us an email we may be able to arrange something a bit sooner.

  6. Joel

    That’s so cool.

  7. SEL

    I was excited to learn this week about the pinless leg vise. The components of my roubo style bench have been built. A Lake Erie wood screw for the leg vise is standing by at the ready. Please add me to the list of those interested in a solo shaft. Having instructions for use with your own wood screw would be a good starting point for those of us with other versions. I would probably build a mock-up in order to determine the best angle to use with my wood screw before drilling any holes in my sturdy maple legs.

  8. stenerson

    I want one of those…You take IOU’s?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Updates:

Related Posts:

Maguire Closes His Doors

We've recently taken on our last order for 'Maguire Workbenches'. This has been a difficult decision to make, and so this has been a post which has been sat in my notebook for quite some time. But after much agonising and trying to tip toe around things, Helen and I...

Workbenches In Stock

After some long weeks building an extended batch of Little John benches we were able to complete an extra two. I've now managed to get the finish applied to these so they're in stock and ready to be despatched from this week. Both workbenches are 5' long and include...

They Really Are Good!

We often receive a nice little email following up from the delivery of a workbench or a vice and I look forward to reading through them. Yesterday's was for one of our wooden screws and unusually it kept me laughing all day: "Simply beautiful. Seeing it gave me an...