Veritas Surface Vise - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Not a replacement for a conventional workbench vise, but a useful accessory that expands your clamping options


Veritas Surface Vise

Woodworkers are always looking for ways to hold stock, whether to a workbench, assembly table or saw horse. Over the past few years Veritas has come out with a number of innovative accessories for holding stock, including the very popular Wonder Dogs. The new Veritas Surface Vise is a somewhat similar product, with the advantage of a speed-clamping feature that affords fast, easy adjustments. As with the Wonder Dogs, you can securely hold stock on virtually any surface into which you can drill two 3/4" holes.
The Surface Vise consists of a 1/2" steel bar some 20" long; 9-3/4" of the bar is threaded. On the end of the threaded section is a 2 1/2" long stainless-steel swivel handle. On the opposite end of the bar is a rubber grommet, and a rare earth magnet. A 5/8" x 2" jaw attaches to the rod via this magnet.

Swivel handle
Removable jaw
Two removable posts slide onto the bar; both of these posts are inserted into 3/4" diameter holes. The holes can be from 6" to 10" apart. You can use through holes as shallow as 5/8", or blind holes at least 2 1/8" deep. The front post slides onto the un-threaded portion of the bar and has a split nut that wedges the post into the 3/4" hole (by means of an Allen screw on top of the post). The rear post is essentially a speed nut mounted on a post with a rubber O-ring that uses friction to hold it in place. If you are familiar with the Veritas Bench Anchor or the 4-Way Speed Clamp then you'll have a pretty good idea of how the two posts on the Surface Vise work.

Front post
Rear post
This is a pretty clever design that is quite versatile, as you can mount the Surface Vice just about anywhere. While the 5/8" thick jaw is designed to accommodate flat 3/4" or thicker stock, it has two pre-drilled holes to enable you to attach auxiliary shop-made wood jaws for holding thinner or irregularly shaped stock.
The rod passes smoothly through both posts. The speed nut feature incorporated into the rear post is what makes the Surface Vise so quick and easy to use. By rotating the head of the rear post you disengage the rod from the post, allowing you to effortlessly slide the rod back and forth as you do on a quick-release vise. You'll need a shop-made or commercial bench dog to use with the Surface Vise. While a short length of 3/4" dowel will do in a pinch, you won't regret picking up a couple of Veritas Bench Dogs.

Speed nut locked (threads engaged)
Speed nut unlocked (threads disengaged)
I found that the Surface Vise did a very good job of holding thinner, shorter stock, but was less efficient when clamping larger panels or drawers. For situations like these, having two Surface Vices mounted on your workbench might be more beneficial. The only minor complaint I have is that there is no on-board storage for the Allen key, which I never seem to find when I need it. I've a mind to epoxy it to the Allen screw. Nonetheless, while the Surface Vise isn't a replacement for a conventional workbench vise, it is a very useful accessory that expands your clamping options. And, as with all Veritas products, it's exceptionally well made, and should last a lifetime.


  • 19" overall length
  • Two posts mount in 3/4" holes
  • Removable front jaw
  • Quick release mechanism for rapid adjustment

MANUFACTURER:Veritas Tools Inc
MODEL #:05G10.50
MADE IN:Canada
Carl Duguay, January 2011
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