The Vice - measure twice cut once - doh!!!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by grimt posted 09-22-2008 06:58 AM 860 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I got started on my vice at the weekend…

Saturday Morning:
Mistake number #1: I could not devote the whole weekend to this project, I was running in an 80km relay race to a beautiful place called Akaroa on Saturday morning then cycling back on Sunday morning so I had 1 hour on Saturday morning before I was picked up for the relay then Sunday afternoon to finish the project. What this should have meant is save it for another day but I was getting impatient (The hardware had been delivered 3 weeks ago).

So I reckoned that Saturday morning could be used to drill out the holes in the wood then Sunday could be used for fitting.

Saturday morning: I accurately measured the wood then found the midpoint. The vice has a screw and two guide rods however the screw is not central, it is closer to one guide rod than the other so I then accurately measured the offset. I then preceded to drill the hole with my forstner bit. Unfortunately, despite measuring the offset, I drilled the hole on the line I had measured for the centre – doh (mistake #2).

I should have quit for the day at that point but I decided to “endeavour to persevere” so I then drilled out the guide rod holes. I measured the hole diameter by using the vice face as a template and drilled away. Unfortunately, the guide rods are thicker than the holes on the face plate so I had drilled the holes too small – doh (mistake #3).

At that point my ride turned up for the relay so I had most of Saturday and all of Sunday to reflect on my mistakes.

Sunday Afternoon:
Cat was sick so took him to the emergency vet…

Later Sunday Afternoon:
I had read up (on LJ’s of course) on different techniques for widening a hole. I knew (from previous experience) that if I tried to use my forstner bits freehand they would slip all over the place so I first thought I could use my router to ensure a straight cut (I don’t have a drill press – I’m new to this game remember?). This turned out to be “no go” as my forstner bits are 1/2” shank but my router is 1/4. I then decided to drill a pilot hole in a piece of 18mm MDF, clamp this over the small hole and use it as a guide. This worked a treat, mainly because the forstner bit’s blade is thick so it allowed itself to be guided. I love my forstner bits. I’ve only had them for a month and use them heaps (heaps is a Kiwi term for lots).

Next job was to screw the vice hardware on to the wooden face then fit the vice to the bench. Actually.. it’s an old desk. I’d love to make my own workbench but right now I have to make do with a desk. The vice is sooooo heavy so I had a bit of a work out holding it in place while I screwed it on but it’s now in place.

Photo’s to follow, I’m not proud of what I’ve done but it’s a start. I’m now looking forward to hours of practise on planing wood…

2 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3908 days

#1 posted 09-22-2008 01:23 PM

Measure twice, cut once and try not to be too distracted by that 80km running races, bike ride and sick cats!

Actually you’re lucky that the forstner bit didn’t fit in the router as that would have been a really bad idea. Routers spin bits at 12-24,000 rpm and anything other than a router bit is not designed to operate at these speeds. Either the bit would have blown apart, the bit would have overheated, destroying the temper (and the bit) or the bite of the bit might have been more than you could handle. Forstners are designed for slow speeds – probably between 400 and 1400 rpm.

Using a guide when drilling a larger hole over top of the smaller one is really a good idea if you don’t have a drill press.

With a drill press, what I do is to put the bit in the drill press which I used to drill the existing hole, line up the hole in the piece to the bit, then clamp the piece to the drill press table. Now change the bit to the correct size and then drill out the larger ( correct) size. This will drill a hole with the same center as your first attempt. You’re not the only one to have done this!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View grimt's profile


24 posts in 3554 days

#2 posted 09-23-2008 01:26 AM

Pat and Steve: Thanks for your advice on using the router outside of it’s specification. I only have one eye so don’t want to lose it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics