OK, so the last blog post was long on ideas and short on pictures, so here are some iterations of the wagon vise.
The first concept was to replicate in steel the approach I took in my first Roubo-style workbench in 1991, which had a dado in each side of the wagon that ran along a walnut track screwed in the sides of the wagon slot in the bench. Here’s what it looked like using angle iron instead of walnut:
As you can see, on each side I used three pieces of 3/4” angle iron: one short piece screwed to the wagon block, and two long pieces set in a dado in the wagon slot, forming a track. Call it a poor man’s version of the nicely machined aluminum extrusion that comes with the Benchcrafted kit, but costing $5 instead of $369. The downside: once I glued the bench together there’d be no way to remove the wagon to make adjustments.
So the next iteration involved moving the track to the bottom of the bench, and using a piece of flat bar stock to form the bottom of the track (the yellow parts are the sides of the wagon slot in the bench):
Then I got to looking at the width of the slot – 3”, which is a pretty big hole in the bench. So I decided to cut a rabbet in the wagon and route in a piece of wood to narrow the gap:
But that meant I had to shift the nut down about 5/8” inch, so I added some hardwood spacers below the bench:
That’s essentially what I went with – and with a little tinkering and fitting, it works great! (Pardon the messy shop!)
And from the bottom:
I did make a slight mistake: the endcap is about 1/4” too shallow to cover the end of the hardware. Oh well—I’ll mostly be looking at the bench from the top, not from the bottom.
Now, on to the base and the leg vise!