I wanted to do this for a long time and had the parts ordered and delivered a while ago, but one thing led to another and this was kept on the back burner and never saw the light of day. Ironically, it is now finished but still with no light of day as it is almost 11pm… All it gets is the light of the moon (which some may say is better).
I really liked benchcrafted wagon vise (even a free plug for them) But for what it is I think it’s a bit overpriced (for a vise). Don’t get me wrong, for their investments, materials, work done and considering this is not a mass produced and sold item, I don’t think they are overcharging for it. But as a vise, I feel it is an overpriced item (confused yet? don’t be!). If you have the $$$ and this expense won’t affect you – go for it, I think it’s of great quality and and you’ll get a good product. I personally can’t spend ~3 times what I spend on the entire workbench for just 1 vise and so I decided to build something of similar functionality (not on the same mechanical engineering quality – but something that will give me the same function at a doable cost).
The wagon vise was using a simple LV tail vise screw and a block of wood that travels across it and was completed a while ago (see previous post in this series) but what I really wanted to add was a wheel, as I find the long handles on vises to be less then user-friendly especially when you have to open and close them a considerable amount.
I ordered a 6” cast-iron wheel from Grizzly a while ago when I order a couple of other parts from them for ~$7 and using a pin punch I took off the LV vise T assembly:
As you can see, small hole in wheel not exactly matching the large hole on the vise head and will need to be enlarged:
I mounted the wheel on the lathe and enlarged the hole using a 3/8 drill bit to make enough clearance for a boring tool:
I should really get a 1/2” or larger drill bit to make a larger clearance hole, but since 3/8” is my largest metal drill bit, I had to use a smaller boring tool to start with which is also shorter. that means that with the wheel mounted as is, I wasn’t able to reach with the shorter boring tool throughout the hole, and had to mount the wheel the other way. After enlarging the hole enough, I moved onto a larger and stiffer boring tool to complete the hole:
And validated the hole sizing by comparing to the original part:
Not it was time to drill the pin hole. I mounted the wheel in the mill, and since the hole is drilled in a round surface and the drill will have a tendency to slip sideways, I used a block of wood for the initial pilot hole to keep it straight:
I then stepped up the hole in size with different drill bits until I got the 1/4” at which point I slid the wheel out of the way and using a hand drill and a long (somewhat flexible) 1/4” drill bit followed the top hole and transferred it to the lower part of the wheel since the wheel itself made it impossible for me to drill this through with regular drill bits:
Once I had the holes aligned I continued and brought the hole to it’s final size of 5/16” (I stopped at 1/4” since this is the only long drill I have from my days as an electrical contractor) and finished it off with a reamer to make the hole round and even to accept the pin:
A quick check on the vise looks good:
Drove the pin through, and ran it through a little test drive:
works great! no more long handle to have to deal with, this truly makes a big difference and with the tail/wagon vise there is so little pressure required that is just makes so much sense to have it there.
Now just to turn a handle for the wheel… no hurry there as even without one it still works wonderfully.
Thanks for reading,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.