|Project by LittleBlackDuck||posted 06-27-2016 09:28 AM||2085 views||3 times favorited||15 comments|
When is a jig not a jig.. When it’s spelt gij (DOH!), and danced by a Scotsman.
On returning to my workshop after my gummy ankle, I couldn’t understand why I was creaking in my back, bruising my midriff by pushing on the workbench, had sore shoulders, sagging eyes and blurred vision…, then I sobered up.
Just gagging… I realised I was working on my full sized workbench and forgot I hid my mini-workbench before I undertook my previous project.
Having realised my dilemma and resurrected the mini-wb, I thought I might share this experience with our ever aging population (sorry you under 67s and the over 67s, I hope your as fit as I was when I was fit).
As we age and grow old(er) our bones start to creak and protest in proportion to how much abuse we inflicted when we couldn’t and wouldn’t give a toss. My mongrel bones are rebelling and refuse to heel.
One day I did one of those things I was warned not to do as a child and read an article in one of our local Churchill primary school’s magazines about a mini-workbench. Now being one of solid mind, I quickly realised that not everyone has the Churchill primary school’s magazine home delivered, so I will try to expand on my experience here.
I read about this mini-workbench and I believe there was a free plan attached to some Yankee magazine that sometime later became a subscribed appendix. Quick as Barry Allen, I imported the plans into SketchUp and decided to build the big jig (the title may now make cents… VISA deposit number is given on application). The SKP is available, however, you must surrender your private email address so I can DropBox U (don’t be too anxious otherwise I’ll have to try and find the model amongst my other models that the missus frowns upon). Unfortunately the photo build is sadly missing, however, the end result (and me walking upright – result.. no pictures) is attached in the gallery.
The mini-workbench is designed to sit on top of your normal workbench with clamping spots to ensure it’s as secure as your workbench. The advantage is that you can get at your workpiece from all directions and apply those slippery little sucker of clamps from either side (or end if appropriate). It has a generous perforation of dog holes that can be interspersed between your standard ¾” and that zany Festool offering of the magical American metric reject of 20mm (that past decision to stay Imperial, reeks of those bloody modern Poms latest decision... mark this date of End-of-June 2016... my conservative self funded pension plunged to Whoa! that timber is more expensive than it used to be).
The end clamp is a standard 17” (or maybe 15”, depends on your male bragging rights) quick release clamp with an ingenious pivot block to permit holding of non-parallel work pieces. Not my design, but forever one to plagiarise and I did supply the dowel which is the centre piece of the entire operation.
You can place the mini-workbench anywhere you can anchor on your workbench for ease of access, or if you are adventurous attach underneath for a challenging reach. When not in use it can be a handy second shelf on the workbench. When in the way, you can place it on the ground and use it as a foot rest under the workbench or something to keeps the hairs on your concrete from rising when frightened by bad woodworking practices.
The beauty of this piece is that you can now works at near eye level which save on the back and push it out of the way when you want to get serious. I find it ideal to anchor multiple clamping jigs and that warm cup of vino with minimal elbow bending to get it to my mouth.
If you can’t use one of these then you are not old enough to read this article…
-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD