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Curly maple leg vice for English "Nicholson" bench.

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Blog entry by Matt Stauffer posted 1239 days ago 3324 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been working on this bench for I guess 2 months now on my days off. It’s southern yellow pine. I dug around the shelf for at least an hour picking out boards at Home Depot, but could not find any without knots. Not one. Must be an Alabama thing. I decided that a wood screw was in order for my phantom vintage bench, and found one at Lake Erie Toolworks. I didn’t want to invest so much into a vice screw, but I could not find a vintage screwbox on ebay. It is a very nicely finished screw and nut though. I was looking for an 8/4 piece of white ash and happened to see a nice piece of curly maply that was the same price as the ash. Ash is a pretty boring wood so…. the rest is history. I’m guessing this is soft maple, because it really didn’t have any difficulty planing this wood. The parallel guide is some oak that I had laying around. Does anyone else smell pickles when they cut oak? So, here’some photos of my progress on the leg vice.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5



15 comments so far

View Marc5's profile

Marc5

304 posts in 1842 days


#1 posted 1239 days ago

That is one sweet vise and it looks like you will have one heck of a bench shortly. I do not ever recall smelling pickles but I will pay more attention next time an see if I do.

-- Marc

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2121 posts in 1281 days


#2 posted 1239 days ago

Pickles ? Hold the ice cream..
That’s a realy nice piece of work on the vice n’ bench. Love the traditional wood screw part..
Now If I can only figure out how to mount the old metal screw one from the wife’s great uncle to my bench….

;-)

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Brit's profile

Brit

4915 posts in 1343 days


#3 posted 1239 days ago

Hey Matt, that brick column behind the vice will make one hell of a planing stop. :-)

Seriously though, the bench looks great, can’t wait to see the end product.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1381 days


#4 posted 1239 days ago

Beautiful bench!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

61 posts in 1265 days


#5 posted 1239 days ago

Planing stop. Lol. One thing concerning me is how much wood I had to remove in order to use the wooden screw. The legs on the bench are 4” X 4” and the screw diameter is 2.5”. Hindsight being 20/20, I would make this leg just a little bigger than the rest and also extend the wide part of the chop a few inches lower to get more meat around that big hole in the wood. I am not excited about having to remove more wood from the chop for the garter. I don’t like the big brass external one though. Thanks for the comments.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

61 posts in 1265 days


#6 posted 1238 days ago

Got my aprons clipped and drilled the holes for the holdfasts in the front one. The holes in the front apron don’t look as good with the knots peppering the front.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

61 posts in 1265 days


#7 posted 1230 days ago

Went over the glue up areas of the rear side of the apron with my jack and jointer plane. Made sure to get them flat as I could so I can make the most of the gluing surface. Layed the legs on some cardboard and checked one last time that the apron would fit. Smeared lots of glue on the legs and plopped the apron on. These big clamps can really put the pressure on. I put the clamps on loosely until I was sure that the legs were on straight then increased the clamping. Took a wet paper towel and cleaned up the squeeze out. Cranked down hard on all the clamps and double checked that the legs didn’t slip out of position. Then it was time to let the critters inspect my work.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2121 posts in 1281 days


#8 posted 1230 days ago

Critters ? They look like severe crittics, not just critters, but it apears they aprove..
At least they aren’t afraid of falling ! I still aprove.. very nice work Matt , and that apears to a beaut set of auger bits
you used. Maybe what we call “sweat equity ” ?

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2121 posts in 1281 days


#9 posted 1230 days ago

Nice Kitty Barry.. Like Hello Kitty ! I’m not sure about the eyes though..Cruella Deville ???

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

61 posts in 1265 days


#10 posted 1229 days ago

I got the aprons both glued on and stood the bench up on it own legs. I couldn’t resist laying some boards on top and putting the vice in place to get an idea of what is to come. I’ve decided to go for the Benchcrafted wagon vice. It costs quite a bit, but I have been putting in some extra hours at work. The bulk of my work now is going to be jointing the edges of the top boards and making the “dog board”. I am looking forward to the day that I can put some finish on this bench. I’m going to use Deft satin brushing laquer all over the base and aprons. I’m not sure if I should put that on the working surfaces of the top or not. The maple vice chop is going to be dyed to pop the grain and then I’m not sure what to use for a topcoat to bring out the best in the character of the wood. I included a bonus picture of my critters.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5

View swirt's profile

swirt

1913 posts in 1472 days


#11 posted 1229 days ago

WOW! That is a bench to be proud of. It is coming along great.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

61 posts in 1265 days


#12 posted 1122 days ago


Well, I finally started to get back onto working on this bench. The planks that I originally intended to use for the top turned out to have too many knots to make it worthwhile. So, I bought all new planks of a narrower width. I am jointing them at the moment and plan to use dowels along the length of the joints to help keep them aligned. The leg vice holds the 10 foot long boards nicely (planks will be shortened to 8 feet). I haven’t quite fiqured out what to do with all the shavings. I could fill up my whole trash can after jointing three edges square. Maybe I could start working on a wood shaving powered motorcycle engine or something. Getting these long boards square and straight required buying a jointer fence from Veritas. I tried jointing one of these boards, before I bought the fence, and simply could not get a square edge along the whole length. I’d venture to say that nobody could either. So if you have long boards to joint, don’t think twice about ordering a fence for your jointer. The biggest obstacle standing in my way of finishing this bench is the “dog board”. I’ve got to rip one of these boards down the length and am not sure if I should try to hand saw it or not. My table saw likes to bind up on this thick southern yellow pine, so I may be forced to rip it by hand.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

61 posts in 1265 days


#13 posted 802 days ago

Started working on this bench again after about a year of not doing any woodwork. I changed shifts at work, plus I got a new hobby … astronomy. I am determined to get this thing done with and start making some projects. I cut all the dog holes last night and today.

-- Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. --- Psalm 39:5

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9114 posts in 1119 days


#14 posted 802 days ago

Oh my, you’ve got to finish this Nicholson! Great work so far, you’re almost there, looks great.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109272 posts in 2077 days


#15 posted 802 days ago

That’s one cool bench and vice ,really nice work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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