Sjobergs Smart Workstation Pro Vise Review

The perfect workkbench for the small shop or for doing detail work.

Sjobergs Smart Workstation Pro Vise

Sjobergs Smart Workstation Pro Benchtop Vise



Not everyone needs a full size workbench – particularly if you work in a very small space, or if you work on small projects. Many of us who do use large workbenches often jerry-rig bits and pieces of plywood to lift our stock higher, to a more comfortable working height. I've been using a small shop-made plywood box for this purpose. It makes the process of cutting dovetails, routing inlay, installing hinges – in fact any kind of detail work – much easier on my back and my eyes.

Over the past month I've substituted my plywood box with a mini workbench, the Sjobergs Smart Workstation Pro

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The Sjobergs 'Bench in a Box'

The Smart Workstation Pro comes neatly packaged in a durable cardboard box containing the 6 components that form the body of the workbench, along with a wooden handle, steel vise, four bench dogs, all the hardware needed to assemble the bench, a set of easy-to-follow instructions – and even a small container of glue. 

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Precisely milled parts make assembly a breeze

All the parts are well machined, and match up perfectly, which makes assembly very quick and easy. It took me just under 20 minutes to put the bench together, which included countersinking the dog holes. Once assembled I countersunk the dog holes – which makes it a tad easier to insert the bench dogs – gently rounded over all the edges, and applied a couple of coats of finish. 

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Keyways and guide rods

Two guide rods (A), which support the movable front jaw, run along keyways or channels (B) cut in the sub-base (which is screwed onto the bottom of the benchtop. The sub-base also has a channel (C) for the lead screw that advances and retracts the front jaw. The lead screw guide (D) is factory-installed in the fixed jaw. Everything fit together like peas in a pod.

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Large, sturdy feet

These large feet make the Smart Workstation very sturdy and provide ample clamping surface so you can securely attach it to a benchtop, router table top, or table saw – any stable flat surface will do. There are holes pre-drilled through the feet that you could use for permanently mounting the workstation to a base. 

The Workstation Pro adds 5-1/2" to the top of the surface it's resting on. So, for my 36" workbench it elevates the work surface to 41-1/2", which I find much more comfortable for a myriad of cutting, carving, and inlaying jobs. 

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Attaching the lead screw

The lead screw is inserted through a hole in the front jaw, and screwed into the lead screw guide. Movement of the front jaw is very smooth. It takes just under 30 turns of the handle to fully open the jaw to it's maximum 4-5/16" width. There isn't a retainer on the end of the guide rod, so if you turn it too much, it simply comes out (right photo, above) – a bit inconvenient, but the guide rods do keep the jaw from falling unto the shop floor.

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Level and flat

The front jaw is perfectly aligned with the top of the bench, and the benchtop itself is as flat as a billiard table.

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Customize to suit your needs

The standard 3/4" bench dog holes mean that you can use the wide array of commercially available benchtop accessories with the Workstation Pro, or make your own. I plan on adding a tool caddy to the back of the bench. 

Sjobergs has its own range of accessories for the Workstation Pro: cork jaw cushions, a hold fast, a wooden clamping vise, and a small anvil.

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Come to Daddy

At only 22 pounds, and roughly 15" by 18", the Workstation Pro is easy to move about the shop and stores nicely under a main workbench or on a shelf. It's also light enough to hang off a peg or bolt attached to the wall.

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Not just small stock

It's obvious that the Workstation Pro is ideal for small dimension stock. However, you can also use it with wide and long stock. The board in the photo above is 39" long. For stock longer than about 4 feet you'd likely want to use a roller stand for increased stability.

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Versatility and convenience

You can clamp stock up to 4-1/4" wide, and any comfortable working height, in the Workstation Pro. I found that it's as stable as the surface onto which it's mounted. I only use two clamps, placed diagonally, to secure it to my main workbench. The jaw holds stock firmly in place without any noticeably racking. Dog holes are 3-3/4" apart, which I've found quite adequate so far.

The Smart Workstation Pro is a super mini workbench that's ideal for the small shop – especially for those who work on small scale projects – and for anyone who wants to lift their work up off a conventional workbench.


KEY FEATURES:

  • Top: 1-9/16" H by 14-1/4" W by 18" L, solid beech 
  • Handle: 7/8" x 9-5/8", beech
  • Dog holes: Ten, 3-3/4" spacing
  • Vise capacity: 4-5/16"
  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Includes: 4 plastic bench dogs

COMPANY:Sjobergs
MODEL:SJO-33309
PRICE:$229.50 US
MADE IN:Sweden
SOURCE:Bora Tool

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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