Usefulness of a Shoulder Vise
Years ago, I made a simpler version of the Frank Klausz Euro-style cabinetmaker's bench (I ditched the tool trough) as per the plans from the book, and it had a shoulder vice. When I eventually upgraded away from that old bench in favor of a new one that did not have the shoulder vice, I actually missed it.
It's great if you're using a lot of hand tools. If you're using a hand plane, the shoulder on that shoulder vice gives you a very positive stop for the stock and the screw vice holds the wood quite securely. If you don't do a lot of hand planing or scraping, then you should be able to get away with a traditional woodworker's vice positioned towards the end of the bench.
Interestingly, it also was a great place to drill down into the board. The shoulder design with the screw overhang gave me a very good support on the back/sides of a piece with a generous open space that allowed me to drill through-holes without jeopardizing the benchtop.
From contributor D:
I love my tool tray and my shoulder vise. I apprenticed with a fellow who had no formal workbench and when I finished with him, I built my bench essentially straight from "The Workbench Book." I don't know how my mentor ever made any money making furniture without a real bench, but I won't give up mine. I did modify the bench somewhat. I added 1 foot to the overall length of the bench and substituted a veritas twin screw end vise for a tail vise. I also went with round dog holes instead of square. I placed a row of holes 6 inches in from each edge, but I would place them closer now, after several years of use. The shoulder vise is very useful. I clamp all sorts of things in it and I don't think I would trade it out for a face vise. Just keep the thing screwed in when not in use.
From contributor A:
I built a Klausz style bench with tool tray, tail vise, and a standard face vise. Love/hate relationship with the tool tray. I do a lot of hand tool work and really like the tail vise and soon made modifications to install a shoulder vise. It only takes me a couple of minutes to switch between face and shoulder. Use the shoulder vise 99% of the time.
Shoulder vise advantages:
It's not so good at holding narrow boards horizontally. (Use the tail vise for this).
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