Workbench Build #10: More on the vise end cap

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 11-25-2014 06:00 AM 2381 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Vise End Cap Part 10 of Workbench Build series Part 11: Wagon Vise Install »

Trimming the tenon cheeks and shoulders was fairly straightforward. The hardest part was flipping the 200 lb slab every 5 minutes…

There were two issues. First, the tenon shoulders weren’t coplanar. In fact, they formed a kind of X. I doubt my collar jig was that bad, so I’m inclined to think there was a lot of flex in the circ saw, and probably exacerbated by the blade burning issue.

The second issue is that the tenon depth was uneven. That’s a layout problem.

It was probably too much to ask to get a perfectly cut tenon from a circular saw, anyways, so I’d recommend planning on trimming/squaring it up from the start.

Here’s the non-coplanar issue:

I have a track that clamps across a board and has a slide I can attach to my router. So I figured out the relevant offsets and carefully laid out a square line across the slab at the desired location. Because I need to do this operation on both sides, I extended the layout lines down the sides of the slab, too. Then I clamped the track on the line:

Set the plunge depth to a hair less than the shoulder depth. The tenon is already trimmed to width so I don’t want to touch that. I’ll use a chisel to trim off the little sliver I miss with the router.

The first trim:

A little bit of tearout in the middle where I attempted a climb cut. D’oh! And that’s the top :-(

I was very careful when I extended my layout lines across down the sides. I need to flip the slab and reset the track on the other side. I then had this idea that I could clamp squares in place to register the track against after the flip:

Surprisingly, that worked perfectly. I removed the track, carefully flipped the slab and gently reset the track. Looked like it lined up, so I went for it. Dead on. No pics, you’ll see the fit later.

The next step was to trim the tenons to depth. I have an adjustable edge guide jig I use with my router, and I started with that. I removed the adjustable part and attached a fixed-depth fence. Nothing special about that, just a piece of scrap plywood cut to the right width. It was set to just touch the router bit.

And here’s how it looks poised for action:

Set the plunge depth to half way, and take a pass:

Flip the slab, do the other side. The end cap fits perfectly, no need to undercut anything.

I got a start on fitting the vise hardware. That’ll be the next blog post.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

3 comments so far

View CL810's profile


3405 posts in 2410 days

#1 posted 11-25-2014 01:31 PM

That turned out nice! You’re making me want to build another bench, lol!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View RoadHogg's profile


124 posts in 1350 days

#2 posted 11-25-2014 03:02 PM

Nice work. Kinda hard to have a “test piece” on such a large scale project so every cut is a live cut. Kinda working without a net. I still admire your work.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1057 posts in 1953 days

#3 posted 11-25-2014 06:23 PM

I think of the workbench as one massive test piece. Test run for the next one. Probably need to build 5 or 6 to get good at it…

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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