|Project by FJPetruso||posted 05-29-2011 04:36 AM||4812 views||3 times favorited||5 comments|
I was going the include the following project as part of my soon-to-be woodworking bench project. But I quickly found out that this would be a project in itself.
I purchased a couple of Sjobergs woodworking benches over the past years but I have always wanted to make my own bench. That woodworking bench project finally started moving forward when I found what was labeled an “Old Wooden Clamp” in an antique store. I could see right away that it was a leg vise with a wooden vise screw. The owner had it marked at $45 but I managed to get it for $38. It was barely readable but the vise screw & nut are made by Ohio Tool Company. The chop & parallel guide were home-made & were still attached to the old leg of the work bench. Chop is made of oak & the parallel guide is made from an old tongue & groove board. The only parts that I’m using is the screw & nut which is 27-1/2” long & has a thread diameter of 2-1/2”. The other parts will be wall hangers for my shop.
I had some trouble getting the nut off of the screw (!?) because the previous user had put spray lithium grease on the threads & let it soak in & swell the threads a bit. There was also a build-up of gunk on the threads. When I finally got it apart I could see that the groove for the garter was all wallowed out. Probably from being used on a rough cut garter. There was also a small chunk of wood missing from the threads. Chucking it up in the lathe was a bit of a challenge because I found the screw to be a bit warped. So no matter how true I got it into the drive spur or chuck, it would wobble somewhere along it’s length. I marked the center of the hub end & drilled a 3/4” hole & glued a dowel in the end. With this dowel sticking out I was able to use my four jaw adjustable chuck to true up the rotating surface wherever I wanted to work along the length of the vise screw. This allowed me to just sand the surface with out shaving down the whole thing. Then each time I wanted to clean up one of the decorative grooves on the screw I re-trued the screw right where I was working & managed to keep from getting grooves with uneven depths. I then trued the screw to the area of the garter groove. I used a gouge to clean out all oily wood & got to the fresh wood. I mixed up some epoxy & spread a thin coat on the raw wood & quickly added some sawdust to the epoxy & filled the groove with the putty like mixture. I did the same with the chipped thread. After it cured overnight, I smoothed out the surface & cut a new 3/8” garter groove. I cut into the fresh wood on the handle side & the epoxy on the threaded side. this way I wouldn’t have any epoxy showing after I put the vise together later. Then I shaped the threaded area with a file & sandpaper. I drilled a couple of 3/8” pieces of oak with a 1-5/8” forstner bit & tested the fit for the garter I would make later. The results were more than satisfactory.
Now it’s time to make the handle for the vise screw.
-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"