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. 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.


  1. 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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