|Project by tyvekboy||posted 12-04-2015 09:58 PM||1784 views||5 times favorited||19 comments|
Dec. 4, 2015
Preventing vise racking is a common problem we all face. This small device can prevent damage to your vise.
Recently Woodpeckers announced that they were offering a ONE-TIME tool called a vise shim and it only cost $89.99. Order one now while it’s available.
It looks simple enough and very handy and compact so I decided that it was a good challenge to see if I could make one. Aside from waiting for the glue to set up, this project will not take long.
The difference in my version was the use of used gift cards for the thin shims.
I collect and use these gift cards extensively in my shop as shims. They measure about 1/32 inch thick. I used about 38 gift cards in my compact shim.
The other shims — (2) 3/4 inch and (1) 1/2 inch thick plastic cut to the same size of the gift cards. The plastic was the same thing I use in my previous and larger vise shim posting.
The main challenge was how I was going to cut the 3/8 inch recess in the sides of the cards and the other pieces of plastic.
I thought of using a router but decided instead to use the table saw with a 3/8 inch dado blade (actually a Freud box joint blade set). The depth of cut was 3/8 inch deep.
This is a guide to the cuts made in the gift cards and plastic pieces.
To keep the stack of plastic firmly held in place while cutting I used some pieces of plywood that were shorter than the stack on either side of the stack of plastic and clamped it firmly in my crosscut sled. Watch as you make this cut to make sure the gift cards don’t move as the cut is made. I eventually used a piece of plywood secured on top of the stack of plastic to keep them from moving up while cutting.
A right angle reference was also clamped against the back fence of the crosscut sled. This helped to register the stack of plastic.
The first cut was set 3/8 inch from the end of the cards. Without changing the position of the right angle reference, all four cuts were made by repositioning the stack. The right angle reference was then move over so that the next cut would overlap the second cut. This was repeated until the recess was completed. I had to take my time and make sure the stack was firmly clamped in place.
Here are the gift cards and plastic pieces after the cutting operation was completed.
This operation was the hardest part of making this compact vise shim.
The next part was to make the frame that held the stack of shims. I decided to make my frame from a piece of scrap cherry.
You can make it any way you want. I tried several times and finally got it right.
The key is to make the frame so that the bottom has a recess for the 3/8 inch tabs of the shims into which they can retract. The 3/8 inch rabbet only has to be on the long sides of the frame. I would recommend the amount of wood above this rabbet to be a minimum of 1/4 – 3/8 inch. The thinner you can make the frame the more plastic will project beneath the frame and into the vise jaws.
This is what the bottom of the first experimental frame looked like. Keep in mind that one of the long sides has to be removable so that the shims can be placed into the frame.
This is what the top side looks like.
This is the bottom side of the second frame that I made with the shims install.
This is the what the compact shim looks like right side up.
(1) Keep the opening in the frame loose enough so that the shims can easily free fall through the frame.
(2) The long back and front pieces of the frame can be attached using screws. I glued one of the long pieces to the two short pieces of the frame and just screwed one side. If you use screws, 2 screws would be used in each corner.
(3) The capacity of my version is a little over 3 inches. If you would like one of greater capacity, use more 3/4 inch thick shims. Adjust the frame accordingly.
The frame was sanded smooth and finished with Watco Danish oil.
It works great.
Comments, favorites and questions are appreciated.
Thanks for looking.
-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized