I have hesitated to post this blog because the variables involved are hard to describe and I didn’t take very good pics. Regardless, here goes.
Moral of the story – If all else fails, follow the instructions.
To install the rails for the plate &nut assembly you route out a 1/4” rabbet so that they are 3 3/4” from the upper surface. My top thickness is 4 1/16” – so close enough. The routing went fine but the plate would not clear at the far end.
Well crap! I thought that I had routed to deep. I scratched my head and figured that I needed spacers to raise the raise (actually lower because the bench is upside down) the rails so the plate will clear.
The spacers. I had to take these in and out several times because the screw action was binding. But they looked good!
The plate barely clears!
But the screw kept binding when the assembly approached the end cap. I wish I had a video. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t right.
Every time I disassembled everything and sanded the spacers thinner and thinner the binding improved. EPIPHANY! Maybe the spacers are not needed. I took everything out and checked the routing depth from the surface. That is the combo ruler sticking up. It was exactly 3 3/4”. It was the extra 1/16” in thickness of the top that made the difference because the top was the reference for laying out everything else in the tail vise. Duh! Now I know how Al feels every day. It was terrifying.
I reinstalled the vise and had smooooth action but I was back to the plate clearance problem.
So, I removed about 1/8” from this area using a chisel and router plane (which did not perform well in this application).
Done with the top but still need to make my dogs. Thanks for checking out the progress.
-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali