After the holes were bored and the jaws were shaped, it was time for installation. Every vise hardware set is probably a little different, so I won’t get too technical here. The bottom line is that the mount assembly is positioned on the underside of the benchtop and screwed or lag-bolted into place. Then, the jaw is threaded onto the guide rods and screw, which are then run through their respective holes in the mount and secured. The screw is then tightened to snug the jaw up against the bench face in proper alignment and screws then secure the two together. Simple enough.
I added a slight complication on my front vise. As you know, my benchtop is whitewood, and rather soft for a clamping surface. I really wanted a maple-to-maple face for better wear. Since the jaw block extends below the bottom edge of the bench I also liked the idea of extending this face downwards to give a larger clamping area. This was the purpose of the 4/4 stock I purchased in the last installment (in case you were wondering).
My description of this may be (probably is) unclear, so below is a photo of the final product showing the added maple face:
The problem was that I didn't want the maple to sit proud to the edge of the bench. I reasoned that this would cause problems when clamping long boards for edge work. This required recessing the maple face to sit flush with the edge of the bench. I finally decided on my router for the job.
After setting the top on edge, I clamped a pair of 30" 2x4's flush with either side for a bearing surface, and then a stop block to limit the travel to 18" (the length of the insert). Why specifically 30" studs? So they could later be sawhorse legs--waste not, want not.
I then took my router with a 1/2" straight bit and its router table insert still attached, and made a series of shallow passes. The result after the first pass is shown below:
I kept this up, taking 1/4" per pass till close, and then slowly sneaking up on the required depth. A final ultra-light pass cleaned things up, and the results are below:
It was then just a matter of taking the facepiece (with appropriate holes drilled), and gluing and screwing it into the recess:
Yes, I know I didn't plug the screw holes, but my back hurt.
You may be wondering why I only mentioned the front vise and not the end vise. The biggest reason is that I didn't want to repeat this operation six feet in the air balanced on a ladder. Aside from my phobia about controlling a 20,000 rpm router while trying to keep my footing, there are practical excuses. The end vise will primarily provide clamping force for the bench dogs, and occasionally used to hold small pieces. Also, the end-grain will be much more resistant to wear than the face-grain. I guess time will tell whether I made the right decision or not.
With the vises mounted, it was time to work on the surface.
More on that next time.
-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com