Crisscross

Leg Vise Mechanism

BACKGROUND

A popular mechanism for maintaining parallelism in vise jaws began to surface in the American patent record in the mid 19th century. There are also examples of this mechanism published in the La Forge Royale catalog, Paris, late 19th to early 20th c.

This mechanism features two castings, equal in length and joined in the middle to create a pivot. The upper ends of the arms are fastened to the bench's leg and the chop and are free to rotate on their mounts.The resulting mechanism completely eliminates the need for a traditional parallel-guide and pin arrangement.

Although the mechanism was never given a specific name, in modern times it has become known as the "St. Peter's Cross", a name taken from an early 20th c. publication describing it as such. During the development stages, we found several extant examples of the St. Peter's Cross, and used them to prototype our version, the Benchcrafted Crisscross.

DEFY GRAVITY

The Crisscross completely transforms any leg vise into an effortless experience. Fully supporting the weight of the chop, the vise hardware, and its own weight, the Crisscross floats in and out on steel pins and bearing plates, giving a virtually weightless, friction-free action to the vise. The mechanism automatically adjusts through the range of your vise's capacity to any workpiece thickness.

Compatibility

Both our Glide and Classic Leg Vise come equipped with a Crisscross, but you can purchase a Crisscross separately to pair with any leg vise hardware you wish, including inexpensive imported bench screws, to finely crafted all-wood leg vise hardware. Both work perfectly with the Crisscross. Wood screws have the distinct advantage of speed with their fast pitch, and when matched with the action of a Crisscross the result is fantastic. Quick, easy adjustments and the classic look of wood.

Versatility

The Crisscross can be installed into new benches, or retro-fit to benches with existing, parallel-guide equipped leg vises. It can also be used to build accessory vises with any vise hardware, such as a full-size high leg vise for detail work.

two models

Cast iron and machined steel components - Designed and made in the USA
We offer the Crisscross two ways. Both function identically. The arms in both the Solo and Retro are identical. The difference is only in how you install each version into your bench. If the information below doesn't suffice, please read through the Crisscross installation instructions below which clearly show how each version installs.

Solo

The Crisscross Solo attaches to the bench's leg and chop with two 3/8" steel mounting pins drilled through the sides of the leg and chop. These potentially deep holes (depending on how wide your leg and chop are) are most accurately drilled using a drill press, so choose this model if you're building a new bench, and can work on the bench leg at the drill press.

You can of course install a Solo into an assembled bench, you'll just have to figure out how to drill the long hole into the side of the bench leg.

Retro

The Crisscross Retro doesn't use the 3/8" steel mounting pins. Instead, it features two cast iron brackets which hold short, steel pivot pins. The Retro bracket fastens to the bottom of the Crisscross mortise, so you don't need to drill any holes for pivot pins with the Retro, which makes it a better choice if you're retrofitting a bench with a Crisscross.

You can also use the Retro in a new bench, even if you have access to a drill press, if you'd prefer the installation method of the Retro.
Before deciding which Crisscross is right for you please read through the installation instructions available below

Purchase

Solo

Retro

Matte black powder coated finish
$114
Add to cart
$154
Add to cart
Includes all hardware needed for assembly

Get it in a Benchmaker's Package

Comes with everything needed to build a bench besides the wood
Packages

Choose your leg vise

Glide

Features our Glide handwheel for quick and precise adjustments

Classic

Features our fully machined traditional style leg vise hardware
Select
Select

Included in this Benchmaker's Package:

Glide
Crisscross
Tail Vise
STR Plans
1 set of Barrel Nuts
1 set of End Cap Barrel Nuts
4 Spax Lag Screws

Glide M Package

Fully machined Glide and Tail Vise hand wheels with Dymondwood knobs

Glide C Package

Cast iron Glide and Tail Vise hand wheels with infused beechwood knobs
Select
Select

Choose your Crisscross

Solo

Attaches to the bench leg and chop with two 3/8" steel mounting pins. These holes are most accurately drilled using a drill press, so choose this model if you're building a new bench, and can work on the bench leg at the drill press.

Retro

Features two cast iron brackets which house short pivot pins that attach to the arms. You don't need to drill any holes for pivot pins with the Retro, which makes it a better choice if you're retrofitting a bench with a Crisscross.
$849
Add to cart
$889
Add to cart

Choose your Crisscross

Solo

Attaches to the bench leg and chop with two 3/8" steel mounting pins. These holes are most accurately drilled using a drill press, so choose this model if you're building a new bench, and can work on the bench leg at the drill press.

Retro

Features two cast iron brackets which house short pivot pins that attach to the arms. You don't need to drill any holes for pivot pins with the Retro, which makes it a better choice if you're retrofitting a bench with a Crisscross.
$699
Add to cart
$738
Add to cart

Included in this Benchmaker's Package:

Classic
Crisscross
Tail Vise C
STR Plans
1 set of Barrel Nuts
1 set of End Cap Barrel Nuts
4 Spax Lag Screws

Choose your Crisscross

Classic Solo Package

Attaches to the bench leg and chop with two 3/8" steel mounting pins. These holes are most accurately drilled using a drill press, so choose this model if you're building a new bench, and can work on the bench leg at the drill press.

Classic Retro Package

Features two cast iron brackets which house short pivot pins that attach to the arms. You don't need to drill any holes for pivot pins with the Retro, which makes it a better choice if you're retrofitting a bench with a Crisscross.
$630
Add to cart
$670
Add to cart

F.A.Q.

Get the installation instructions
Download