Hello again friends. Ok I know this bench build has been a little anticlimactic because you have seen the bench put together a million times. But this should be my final post on this bench build… maybe…
I got the finish applied, added leather to the vices, and put a hand wheel on the wagon vise.
After testing out the finish on scraps I decided to go with 1-1-1 (MS, Poly, BLO) on most of the bench. I sanded it into the top with 220 grit sandpaper to fill the pores some.
Just one coat on the bench.
I found 3-2-1 to be a little slicker and a little lighter in color so I used that on the walnut leg vise chop only. I put two coats on the leg vise just because I felt it needed it to look good. Slickness isn’t an issue here.
I didn’t find glossiness to be an issue using this clear poly, especially since the finish was sanded into the top.
I’ll spare you pictures of the wipe on wipe off routine and just show you many pictures of the seexy new bench!
Here you can see the quarter sawn rays of the red oak.
The QSWO stretchers also have a lot of nice rays showing!
The #4 placed on the bench to give you an idea of scale.
I’m really happy with how the vise chop came out.
The grain is centered on the board and kind of flows around the screw hub.
The kids have been having fun playing on the bench which is why they are in many of the pictures. I clamp a board in the wagon vise and they use it as a track for the “trains” (planes) to ride on. I retracted the blades of course. This is a dream come true for me because they have never wanted to hang out in the shop with me before. Now they ask me every day if we can go play in the garage!
Oh, and I actually Shellacked the Jatoba deadman and vice garter. I heard that oil finishes can sometimes darken oily woods so I went with just a light seal coat of shellac and wax.
Double stick tape was used to add leather to the vise faces.
I’m undecided about whether this was a good call. It certainly holds the leather securely but it seems like it might be a little gummy and allows the work piece to wiggle a little bit when clamped. This is not really an issue with the leg vise but it is an issue when clamping a board vertically for sawing in the wagon vise. But then again that may be due to me using the pretty thick leather (~1/8”). I’ll try it for a while and see how it goes. I can always pull it off and use contact cement or just use thinner sued leather.
Finally, I’m very excited about the hand wheel PurpLev hooked me up with. You got to love the generosity shown by so many Lumberjocks on this site. Thanks again PurpLev! He even turned me a nice mahogany handle for it!
Besides looking cool I really think it was needed. I’ve found that there are some situations where the T handle sticks out in front of the bench and hits your leg when you are planing. Also there is a lot of moving in and out on a wagon vise (more so than on a leg vise) so the small hand wheel is faster to spin in and out. The hand wheel works great and provides plenty enough clamping leverage accept one part of the wagon travel that is a little tight. I’ll need to work out those kinks.
I’ll work on doing a video so you guys can see how everything works.
Also, I’m thinking of putting a wheel on the leg vise that will ride on the floor to make the movement in and out a little smoother. Not absolutely necessary but I think it would be a nice touch. Thanks to Boatman Jim for hooking me up with some plastic wheels that are going to work perfectly for this.
Thanks for following along on this long journey folks. I really appreciate everyone’s encouragement and support along the way. It’s been challenging, fun, and very educational.
Look for my bench in the future in action shots as I put it to work!
In conclusion I’d like to share an excerpt of a poem from my LJ Buddy Andy (aka Brit). Clearly a man that was brought up on Shakespeare. LOL.
“I’m sendin’ this out to my homeboy Mauricio,
He ain’t no rapper, but his bench is bellissimo!
This ain’t no fiction, it’s built with conviction,
Them splayed legs help the coefficient of friction.”…
-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch