Summer and motorcycles seem to have interrupted my bench build for far longer than I thought. Six!!! months. Wow.
I did get the dog block fitted and installed before getting distracted. All that’s left to do on the top is cut the mortises for the legs, drill the dog holes, (yes, round pooches for me), rout the mortise for the sliding deadman, and cut the tops to final length. ALL of those depend on the location of the legs, which depends on the final length of the base, which won’t be determined until after the vise is fitted out.
So that’s where I’ve spent a modest chunk of the last two weekends, working on the build/installation of the Benchcrafted Glide Crisscross leg vise. The first step was to glue up a blank for the chop, a task which was more involved and time consuming that anticipated. Why? Because I had to spend a good chunk of time reducing my jointer’s snipe. Doing so involved a little side track into jointing a bunch of pallet wood I had, since that’s what I used for testing the snipe chase, and I figured I might as well get it all done so I can use the wood for it’s intended purpose. After that was done, I glued up the chop, using a 36” x 9” piece of 8/4 soft maple and two 6” x 36” pieces of 4/4 purpleheart. In order to get vertical grain in the purpleheart, I ended up skewing those pieces. This, naturally, complicated trimming the blank square, a task that ended up involving my bandsaw, handplanes, and then the tablesaw. Nonetheless, the blank was finally ready for machining.
Machining the leg and vise for mounting the vise was an interesting experience. From drilling a hole accurately through 9” of soft maple, to cutting machine screw threads in wood, there were successes and setbacks. The 9” hole, which I purchased a longer bit to drill, worked out perfectly, even though I ended up not using the 12” bit. The thread tapping also went well.
On the setback front, well, there were 4.
- Numbered list Exploded drawings are your friend. Without them, it’s easy to miss placing a washer. DAMHIKT.
- Numbered list It doesn’t matter how many times you measure (thrice), if you READ the Vernier caliper wrong. I should’ve simply taken a direct measurement instead of numeric.
- Numbered list When switching back and forth between 1 1/2” and 1 3/4” Forstner bits, insure that the one you’re using is the one you’re supposed to be using. Even better, put the one you’re done with AWAY.
- Numbered list When excavating mortises, insure that you’re excavating in the correct component.
None of the errors was critical, all were time wasters. The washer was potentially the worst, but actually the simplest to recover from. Knock out pin, disassemble, insert washer, reassemble, knock pin back in. Pretty sure that if I had not been able to knock out the pin, I would have called it a day…
All the machining for the vise is done, as well as all the machining of the “vise leg”. Now I have to finish the machining of the other front leg, then cut the front and rear stretchers to length, cut the tenons on them as well as the side stretchers, clean up the mortises in the other legs, and see if the base will come together. I’m hoping to get much of this list done by the end of this weekend, but doubt that I will because I won’t be in the shop much Saturday.
-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.