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Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench #17: Leg Vise Part 2

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Blog entry by Mauricio posted 01-18-2013 04:30 PM 2085 reads 0 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Leg Vise Part 1 Part 17 of Workbench Build - Splayed leg French Bench series Part 18: The Shelf »

Welcome back folks. Progress has been slow but steady. I’m in the home stretch now.

I need to finish up this leg vise, then the lower shelf and I’ll be ready for final assembly.

A while back BrandonW gave me a Jatoba board. Its the same stuff I’m using on my deadman. Its beautiful dense wood and I’ve been milking every last scrap of it. I used the below scrap as my garter even though it is the checked end of the board. I ended up having to use a lot of superglue in the cracks to hold it together. But I think it’s going to be worth it. It really looks nice.

Here is the final result after laying out and cutting it to shape.

This wood is a lot redder than it appears in the pics. I’ll be sure to take some better pics for the final reveal.

Then I needed a handle for the vise. I had a piece of hickory firewood that worked perfectly for this. I am introducing yet another wood species here but I think it blends well with the oak.

I tried to match the style of my lee valley screw handle that I will be using for the wagon vise. Close enough…

Next, I needed a nut for the screw I’m using as my parallel guide. I made the nut 1.5” thick so that it would engage at least 3 threads on the screw. This is one of the disadvantages to the screw I’m using (2tpi). The nut on the Shaker bench in Scott Landis’ book is only 3/4” but its on a screw that is smaller with a higher TPI. Also a nut that is 3/4” does not affect the vise closing down to zero. Mine does.

Here is my solution to overcoming part of that problem. You’ll notice that the picture above has a lot of guide lines for the bevel cuts I decided to make.

I pulled out my home made tenon jig which is just an LVL block with a cleat screwed to it, works great:

And cut some bevels on it.

The advantage to this is that it keeps my threads intact while thinning the outside. This allows the leg vise to wrack a little more without the nut getting so much in the way.

You’ll see in a minute that the vise still does not close up all the way but I can very effectively clamp a 1/4 board (more like 3/16”) without it budging.

Here is a pic with a 1/4” piece of plywood clamped in the vise with the leather I’m planning on using. The leather is about an 1/8” thick so that helps. I can move the bench before the piece will move. So I’m thinking I will leave the vise as is even though it doesn’t close up all the way. It bugs me a little but I can live with it.

Oops, that pic is a little out of order and gives away part of the ending. Oh well… :-)

The other option was to cut a recess in the vise chop to make room for the nut but I think I will hold off on that.

Now to shape the chop. I had planned to make it similar to the Shaker vise chop but I decided to keep it as beefy as possible. The walnut was so beautiful that I wanted to keep as much of it as I could. So I decided to just do a round over at the top and leave the rest along.

I did the layout with a French curve and a white wax pencil. I tried a couple of variations but finally went with the outside line for a more robust round over.

Sawed out most of the waste.

Gave the new #62 a spin. I’m still getting used to this tool so I’ll reserve judgment. I just didn’t feel comfortable maneuvering it during this application.

The #4 worked out better. I just felt right.

This is what it looks like with Mineral Spirits on it! I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

And here is the finished product.

This is an older picture but you can see that the capacity is pretty nice!

14.5”!

So the leg vise is pretty much done. I have some UHMW tape I want to put in the hole of the parallel guide to make it run smoother and keep it from getting bumped around so much it passes through the leg.

The clamping power of this vise is amazing. I put Christef’s Mallet in the vise with the leather and I’m not exaggerating when I say I can move the entire bench by moving the handle and the mallet doesn’t budge at all!

You’ll see in the next blog I am using the leg vise a lot for edge jointing shelf boards.

Thanks for following along!

Mauricio

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch



31 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5173 posts in 1039 days


#1 posted 01-18-2013 04:39 PM

Awesome. Looking good Mauricio. You’re so close!

What’s left after this?

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1898 days


#2 posted 01-18-2013 04:45 PM

Thanks Mos! The lower shelf, and I’m half way through milling up those boards. I got a nice workout last night with the old wooden fore plane. And its true that having the lower bench lets you use your abs, I’m feeling them today! ;-)

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View terryR's profile

terryR

3487 posts in 1055 days


#3 posted 01-18-2013 04:49 PM

Just amazing! I love the leg vice as much as ScottyB’s! Maybe even more considering all the effort I saw go into it.

Oh no, you didn’t use a wood screw to install your vice handle, did ya? :) I just did the same on a handle I turned, and was scolded by the LJ’s that know better. :) But, after looking at several online, it seems the easiest way…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#4 posted 01-18-2013 06:19 PM

I literally laughed out loud at that 14.5” ruler shot. I can’t wait to see you planing a 14” x 14” x 6’ post :-)

Seriously I love the leg vise. I can’t believe the work you have into it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1898 days


#5 posted 01-18-2013 06:46 PM

Terry, Thanks!. And yes I did! I’m not sure how else I would do it? The first screw pulled out then I put a much longer and much courser drywall screw in and it has held up pretty nicely so far. I saw a LN bench at woodcraft that had a threaded insert set in, if this one pulls out I may have to do something like that. The LV handle was just screwed into the end so I figured I would give it a try.

Don, thanks, I know it’s a little exaggerated/comical. It’s the same length as a Lake Eerie screw but with that screw you lose so much length to the leg and the nut. since my leg and nut are one and the same I get a lot more reach. Ok, that may not have sounded right (easy fellas).

Maybe not a beam but it will come in handy for putting a full drawer or box in there for planing the edge. ;-)

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1898 days


#6 posted 01-18-2013 06:46 PM

Mos, question for you on doing a shiplap. Not sure if you’ve done it yet with your 45 but you have thought it through already. Or anyone else who may have some insight.

If I want to do a ship lap with a bead should I do the bead first and then the rabbet so the fence has more bearing surface?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11457 posts in 1753 days


#7 posted 01-18-2013 06:54 PM

Man that is one heck of a bench Maur. 14 1/2” of clamping goodness. Stef likey. Thanks for the mallet shout out and the photo op. Brightened my day.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1898 days


#8 posted 01-18-2013 06:57 PM

Hell yeah Stef! Oh and I can confirm that the handle in that mallet is well secured. ;-)

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11457 posts in 1753 days


#9 posted 01-18-2013 07:04 PM

Go figure, something i built works as intended ;) First time for everything boys!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1222 days


#10 posted 01-18-2013 07:04 PM

So you turn the bottom screw with your foot? That is a pretty clever solution for this kind of vise, much better than having to put a rod every time you move the vise.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1898 days


#11 posted 01-18-2013 07:07 PM

Thats correct Jorge! Thanks for the comment. It works well now but I haven’t even waxed that screw yet. It should turn like a top.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5173 posts in 1039 days


#12 posted 01-18-2013 07:07 PM

If it were me, I would do the bead first and then cut the rabbet. I can look up in some of my books about the #45, and see what their suggestions are for something like that.

I’m going to ask, though… When you say shiplap with a bead, you’re talking about bead behind rabbet, not next to, right?

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#13 posted 01-18-2013 07:14 PM

I’m not sure it matters which you cut first, but I think I’d cut the rabbit first. I’d be afraid of messing the bead up cutting the rabbit, and that’s the part that shows.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11457 posts in 1753 days


#14 posted 01-18-2013 07:26 PM

since my leg and nut are one and the same I get a lot more reach.

I cant let this go Maur, i just cant. Giving new meaning to “they see me rollin”. You would roll in circles just pivoting around, gettin no where fast.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1698 days


#15 posted 01-18-2013 08:04 PM

Nice, Mauricio. You have been an excellent steward of that jatoba. Your leg vise is now everyone’s envy!

Stef—-lol.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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