Ratcheting Parallel Guide

I have had many requests to re-post some of the articles that used to be at the former WK Fine Tools website. As time permits, I will continue to add those articles here.

This one, on the ratcheting parallel guide has been the most requested. I apparently did not back up the photos for this article and thought I lost them. Finally, after digging thru sent email from four years ago I was able to recover them.

The ratchet bench currently resides at the Wood & Shop School. If you are taking a class there be sure to try it out.

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This article also includes a section on how to alter the Moravian workbench bench design to accept an angled leg vise.

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The 2014 Article: Ratcheting Parallel Guide PDF

There is also a video of the vise in operation Here.

-Will Myers

9 thoughts on “Ratcheting Parallel Guide

  1. Hi Will!

    Would you be kind enough to show us a bit more the tail vise you put on the Moravian bench ?



    1. The ratchet works really well and saves bending over but of course more there is involved in making it. The regular pin works pretty well too, so kind of a toss up.


  2. Will,

    Thanks for the update.I’m on my third Moravian style bench build. I was looking for a portable bench to carry in the motorhome when I found your video. The first build worked very well as a portable bench but my sharpening bench needed replaced so I build another for the motorhome. I set the second bench up in the shop to work out any “bugs” before the annual long trip to the PNW and as a secondary bench to the main English/French bench. I found myself working more on the Moravian bench than the main bench. The more I use the Moravian bench the more I appreciate the engineering and knowledge that went into the design.

    Anyway, the slab is finished and I’ve started the joinery on a third Moravian style bench. This time it will be a full sized shop bench with no consideration of portability. I thought about the ratchening parallel guide for this build but for now I think I will stay with the classic guide.

    For those who object to the pin I think this is a much simpler and I expect better solution than the crisscross.



    1. Thank you very much for your insights . I am at the point to decide for the pin or not. I would like to build the tail vise though . What are your comments ?


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