Happy Independence Day! I’m looking forward to the three day weekend to put the finishing touches on my workbench: adding the twin-screw face vise and a shelf underneath.
Since the last time, I flattened the top and applied some Danish oil to the bench. I also installed the end vise and have really enjoyed using it. Here’s a look at the bench while planing the chop for the end vise.
You can also see the slotted tool rack in the upper right from a design in woodworking magazine. This is really a sweet way of holding a bunch of tools. I also plan on adding a chisel shelf and a couple of display shelves for the planes (replacing the bookshelf).
Back to smoothing the end vise chop. I used an old, rusty #3 that I bought from ebay and restored to good working condition. With the new hock iron and chipbreaker, I love using this plane. I also have the veritas bevel-up smoother, but I can see myself reaching for the #3 quite a bit. It just feels good to me.
With the chop smoothed, I clamped it in position with the end vise and laid out the dog hole. I had positioned my dog holes a little closer to the face of the workbench so that they were not in line with the middle of the vise. So I had to position the dog hole in the chop in line with my dog holes.
You can also see in this picture that I made the chop extend out to the right quite a bit. I really like this detail because it allows me to stick up to a 6” wide board on end for dovetailing. With the quick release vise, it is very quick and easy getting a board in that position.
Boring a hole in this hard maple was not easy. After a couple of turns, I decided to try using a cordless drill.
The bit did not budge at all! It was back to the brace and just powering through the chop. I had to use the ratcheting mechanism of the brace, because it was too hard to make a full revolution through the stock.
That was some hard work boring that hole. After this experience, I wasn’t sure how I was going to bore the 1.5” holes that I needed for the twin-screw. So I ended up finally ordering a drill press. I can’t wait to see how it does with the twin-screw holes.
Here’s a pic of the end vise chop in use.
I’m hand jointing one of the boards for the face vise chop since I only have a 6” jointer. The quick release end vise is really a fantastic way to go. I can’t imagine a faster way of getting a board in position to plane (ok, maybe a planing stop). It is also very versatile with the extended chop. Hmmm … maybe I don’t really need that twin-screw face vise?
The finish line is in sight now! Just the face vise and a shelf to go. I feel a little sorry that this project is coming to an end. It has been a challenge and a lot of fun to build. What’ll be my next big project?