After finishing the mockup of the face vise, I was now ready to do it for real. I started by gluing up a couple piece of oak for the main chop. You saw me use my new planer sled to mill the two large faces flat. I used the mockup to locate and cut the 2 main holes for the screws.
I used a regular hole saw on my drill press to cut the holes. It was slow going through the hard oak, but I made it through.
Next I wanted to dress up and round over the ends of the chop. I layout a small reveal and a round over on the front edges.
To cut the shoulder of the reveal, I used my table saw set to about 1/8” deep.
To cut the round over, I used my band saw. It worked pretty well.
With one of my new Gramercy rasps and some sandpaper, the round over cleaned up really nice. The Gramercy rasps work really well, they cut fast and clean. My previous experience with rasps had been with old or cheap brands. They produced surfaces that were rough and had a lot of tearing. It was a pleasure working these rasps and seeing how a rasp should work.
I also wanted to dress up, what I have been calling the washers.
I used a similar layout as I did with the chop, but I used a two shoulders. I used the table saw and band saw to rough these out too. They were also cleaned up with a rasp and sandpaper.
The nuts were then attached to backs of the washers. Then attached to the bench.
I did end up using through bolts on the nuts and washers. They are definitely more stable with this set up.
When the screws pass through the nuts, they are about 1” from bottom surface of the bench top. The screws do need some kind of support. You can simply put a flat shim between the bench top and the screws. I decided to add a small grove to my shims. To do this I took a board and cut a bunch of partial circles with a hole saw that matched the diameter of my screws.
Then I cut them into pieces and glued them together to make a piece about 12” long.
After the glue set up, I cut the shims down to size.
I thought the shims should have some kind of lubricant on them. I melted some paraffin wax and brushed it on the shims, to act as my lubricant.
Here’s how they look after they were installed
On a suggestion from Dorje, I decided to recess the garters for the screws. I just cut a template in a scrap piece of MDF. I then ran my router inside the template, with collar attached to it. I used a 3/8” spiral cut bit, that had a flat bottom on it. It produced a nice clean recess.
After that I was pretty much done.
I have just a little bit of tweaking I have to do. The screws aren’t quite as smooth as I’d like them to be. The mockup operated a little smoother. I just need to tweak the alignment just a little. I was also a little tighter when I set up this final version of the vise. The chop can’t be racked as much the mockup did. I don’t see this as an issue, I really don’t have a need for that feature. If I ever feel I need that option, I can take the chop off and open up the holes a little bit.
The last steps for the bench will be, one last light surfacing of the top. Drill a couple holes in the top and maybe the legs, for my holdfasts. Then apply a light finish on the bench. All the exciting stuff is done now ☺.