Hard to believe, I know. It’s been over a year since I announced the workbench complete, although there was always that missing part, that loose end that had to be tied off in order to officially declare it a complete project.
Not only was it a loose end (literally, the vise screw was hanging loose in it’s slot), but it was a missing integral part of the bench that I kept on wishing I had setup and functional. The Wagon Vise to hold down boards for planing flat and similar work. I know I can use a planing stop – which I have for most, but I personally find it lacking, sometimes I want to address the board across the grain, or diagonal, and with a planing stop – it was a pain. I am so happy to have this vise functional, and with a 1/8 – 1/4 of a turn I can lock down a board so well, that I can lift the bench by pulling on it (if I had the strength to actually lift the bench that is). I can now plane cross grain, diagonals, and with the grain with ease as the board is not going anywhere.
I was really taken by Jameel’s benchcraft wagon vise. I still think that it’s a masterpiece, and one of the best vises on the market. however, as much as I like it – it’s way beyond my budget. so my plan was to build a wagon vise from scratch trying to take from the benchcraft vise what I liked – mainly? the fact that the vise screw stays stationary while the dog block rides forward/backwards on it as opposed to other vises that use a press screw that moves forward/backwards with the dog block.
At first I tried to stay true to the benchcraft vise, and the vise it was modeled from (in the Workbench book) by designing the dog block to ride on metal rails that will keep it parallel to it’s slot, and aligned with the screw. while researching it, I quickly lost interest of the metal work involved, and decided to do all wood vise. so next was a design that used wood rails on the sides of the screw that the dog block will ride between using V grooves. for lack of time, and for just wanting to get something that will work – I dropped that idea as well, and just ended up with an enlarged block of wood that will ride on the vise screw. What holds the screw parallel to the vise slot is the hole in the end cap that the screw slides in through, and another elongated hole in the bench leg assembly – these 2 holes keep the screw parallel to the top, and to the bench dog line.
The block of wood is constructed from the top’s material (bowling alley) glued together to give me enough support to attach to the screw nut. the top is a cut off from the doghole strip so it matches perfectly into the slot in the top, and the bottom creates 2 wings to the left and right to help keep it from twisting while the screw turns – although I see very little to no need for that as of now:
The block has been hollowed out with a chisel and some determination (don’t have anything to bore that large holes) to house the screw nut to give me the most travel distance, and for better support:
I applied 2 coats of BLO on the block to seal it from humidity, and rubbed some paste wax on the surfaces that will come in contact with the bench top to reduce the wood-wood friction, and screwed in the screw nut (so much screwing…):
First time around, there was a great deal of friction and moving the vise was very hard. I took it out, and lightly planed down all the surfaces that came in contact with the bench as I do not need full contact, I just need it to be a close perfect fit to negate twisting. This time around, the fit was perfect, flush with the top, and movement is super smooth. once the benchdogs come in contact with the board, it only takes a 1/8 to 1/4 turn (light pressure) to secure the board to the top that it cannot be moved under any circumstances:
heres a close up shot of the screw leading the dog block: the “gap” between the dog block and benchtop is actually a chamfer on the top of the dog block and not a real gap all the way through:
And bottom line, this is what it’s all about:
I’m psyched! (2nd time this week) Another project off the list. Finally am able to secure boards for work, Finally have the bench fully functional.
P.S. the workbench has been posted here as a project:
Well, and I guess this means the end of this blog as well. 1 down, more to go.
Thanks for reading this,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.