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Twin screw vise #1: The front chop

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 11-23-2017 05:20 PM 1154 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Twin screw vise series Part 2: Rear chop and thinking »

This winter I want to start cutting dovetails, doing a dovetail a day for a month to build my skills. In preparation for that, I’m adding a twin-screw vise to my bench, using the Veritas mechanism. I’m planning to make the jaws three feet wide, with a full 24 inches (minus a little) between the screws, so I can also use this vise to hold wood I’m resawing with my frame saw.

Since the front chop is going to be the most visible bit (even though a lot of it will be covered by the mechanism), I spent a lot of time on it. I started with a six foot (and a couple inches) piece of 7/4 white oak that was about 5½” wide.

After cutting it in half, I saw I needed to square it up. With that done, I want a chamfer at the top of the jaw so I can angle my saw to saw dovetails. So I got out the saw and cut something like 80 cuts into the top of the wood.

After cleaning out the waste, I cut lark tongues at the ends of the chamfer. I used a coping saw followed by a rasp, and they went pretty quickly.

I wanted rounded ends on the chop too, so I cut those, cleaned them up with a spokeshave, and then cleaned things up more with a card scraper.

Then it was time for the oil. I’m planning three coats of linseed oil on the outside of the chop, followed by paste wax. The inside will get lined with crubber. I think it came out looking very pretty.

Next up, the rear jaw, and figuring out exactly how the mechanism will mount to my bench.

-- Dave - Minneapolis



9 comments so far

View BigAl98's profile

BigAl98

164 posts in 2871 days


#1 posted 11-23-2017 05:31 PM

I think you did an excellent job!

-- Al,New Jersey -To thine own self be true

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1487 posts in 1964 days


#2 posted 11-23-2017 06:00 PM

Fantastic! I installed that same vise as a face vise v.s. end vise a-la Robert Lang’s 21st Century workbench. Very pleased with it and location is very favorable.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@outlook.com

View duckmilk's profile (online now)

duckmilk

2538 posts in 1157 days


#3 posted 11-23-2017 07:38 PM

Great start and a nice looking chop Dave. You could also make it a moxon style bench top vise.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1171 posts in 415 days


#4 posted 11-23-2017 07:42 PM

Thought about that, Duck. Making it a face vise on my existing bench will work better for resawing, and if it’s a little low for sawing dovetails, it’ll be just about right if I plop my butt on a stool and saw sitting down.

I suspect it’ll get used more for resawing than dovetails, but we’ll see. Maybe after a month of practicing, I’ll be singing a different tune.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1734 posts in 480 days


#5 posted 11-23-2017 11:23 PM

Looks good, Dave. Good luck with the dovetailing!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1171 posts in 415 days


#6 posted 11-24-2017 01:11 AM

Thanks, Al.

Russell, mine will be a face vise, but it’s going to be 3 feet long on an 8 foot long bench, so I have to decide whether I want it more on the end or in the middle. I’m leaning towards a little left of middle, as that’ll give me room to work around it and resawing using it.

Thanks, Ron. I expect the first few will be pretty rough, but hopefully it won’t take me too long to get aceeptable at cutting them. It’ll be after New Years before I start, though. Got three weeks of no lifting beginning in the middle of December. Guess I’ll work on my carving during those weeks instead.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

6821 posts in 1876 days


#7 posted 11-24-2017 03:19 AM

You sure look determined to master those dovetails. The vise looks great and will help you along the way. I think you are going to end up doing more than one a day.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1171 posts in 415 days


#8 posted 11-24-2017 08:41 AM

Dave, one a day is the minimum, but given the demands of work, life, and other projects (I also decided to start building a petite infill smoother – there’ll be a blog coming on that once I make a little more progress there), I don’t know how much extra I’ll get done. Plus there’s going to be the next swap, which I’m running. I’m hoping to have the month of dovetails wrapped up before that starts, but it’ll be close.

Then again, if I don’t set goals, it’s easy to slack, so I’m setting a goal.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View daiku_padawan's profile

daiku_padawan

15 posts in 62 days


#9 posted 11-24-2017 06:48 PM

I recently got that same vise to make a workbench like The Samurai Carpenter videos on YouTube.

I haven’t seen a cutaway like that before but I like how it turned out. I’ll need to work on making dovetails too.

-- ~Daniel

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