Workbench Build #8: The Right Tongue

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 06-19-2014 06:19 AM 2738 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: The Left Tongue Part 8 of Workbench Build series Part 9: Vise End Cap »

The layout for the vise end tongue is a bit more involved because you need to factor in your vise screw, traveller and dog block. Unless you can fabricate them yourself after you make the cuts to your benchtop, you pretty much need to have all those pieces in hand at this point.

I assembled my vise screw, flange and traveller. And the dog block.

That’s actually two dog blocks in one piece. I’ll cut that apart when I eventually assemble the vise. Keeping it as a larger piece for now gives me a bit of room to make adjustments for fit later.

Setting the vise for maximum extension, lay it out on the bench where the traveller would touch the dog strip.

I marked out a couple points where the traveller would sit, but that’s probably not necessary. What is necessary is to mark out a point about 1/4” beyond where the maximum travel would be. That mark will be used later when adding the hardware to hold the traveller in place. (You can always make that mark later, too.)

And mark the other end. The flange gets bolted to the outside of the end cap, so mark where the inside of the flange will sit.

You did plan out where your dog strip should end, right? Going back to the benchtop slab construction, you have to plan for the length of your vise screw. You can always build the slab too long and cut it down, but why waste a bunch of lumber?

The next bit of the layout is critical. I marked off another 1/4” from the inside of the flange just to ensure I had a bit of breathing room. This mark represents the outer edge of my end cap. Then I marked off the final width of my end cap – 2 15/16” in this case. That mark represents where the end cap meets the inside edge of the tongue’s shoulder.

And then I add another mark – the length of the tongue.

To recap – Line 1 is the inside edge of the flange from the direct layout. Line 2 gives me 1/4” margin for error. Line 3 is the end cap width and line 4 is the tongue depth.

Next, mark off the saw cut offset from lines 3 and 4:

Square them across with a big square:

I learned something about my benchtop at this point. As the square isn’t quite long enough to reach across the top, I tried to use the square from both sides. It didn’t line up. And I know my square is square. This means that over the course of glueing up the top – likely when I used my hand planes to joint some of the boards – one or more of the boards got somewhat wedge shaped. It isn’t off by much – not enough so you’d notice when looking at it – but enough to make a difference when laying out lines. So I decided to use the front face as my reference and leave it at that. All the pieces will get individually fitted, so being off by something less than 1/16” over 7’ doesn’t pose an issue.

Then clamp the collar on and cut half the end:

Flip and repeat:

Note the burning! I’m not so impressed with this brand new blade. The only thing it has ever done is make the cross cuts for ends of this benchtop, and it is seriously struggling. I won’t buy this brand again.

Reset the collar:

Cut, kerf and clean. Followed by a flip. Cut, kerf and clean again. There is now a second tongue on the benchtop:

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

5 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18791 posts in 2624 days

#1 posted 06-19-2014 10:18 AM

The problem with most circular saw blades is they are made to cut 2×4s.

Good call on the 1/16” over 7’. I am pretty confident it’ll be perfect.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View terryR's profile


7205 posts in 2365 days

#2 posted 06-19-2014 01:57 PM

Thanks for sharing, Mark!
You do excellent work, and I learned a ton from this post alone.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 2744 days

#3 posted 11-24-2014 05:31 AM

Im interested in that tail vice… Is it a purchased one or did you make that?

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2588 days

#4 posted 11-24-2014 05:39 AM

Luke, I purchased it – Benchcrafted.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 2744 days

#5 posted 11-26-2014 07:07 PM

I didn’t recognize it without the tracks on the sides. Thanks!

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