Workbench Challenge #8: Lipstick and Vices

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-05-2013 01:39 AM 7661 reads 8 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Gluing up all those dry fits. Part 8 of Workbench Challenge series Part 9: Final Accounting and a Few Details »

OK, time to put some lipstick on the pig. She may not be much but we can still tart her up a little. But before we get into applying some color and finish however there is one thing that I said I would clear up later. It involves cleaning up the jig saw lines where the wagon vice hole was cut on the top. Because it was cut from the bottom we can’t be sure the top will be pretty. I suggested cutting a little inside the line and we’d clean it up later. This is the same jig we used for the skilsaw but made for a straight bit in a trim router. Your full size router can be used if you don’t have a trim router but this one is excellent and only costs around $25. There’s a blog on the jig here.

Here’s the first of the lipstick. Just a little Minwax Jacobean stain to break up all that bland plywood. It is followed by several coats of exterior water based Varathane. I like it as a shop fixture finish as it resists most goo and can be sanded and re-coated as needed.

So much for the war paint, on to the “jewellery”. This is some of the beautiful Osage Orange that Gene Howe gave me a few years ago. It will become the leg vice chop.

This stuff is hard as nails so I’m drilling lots of holes before I go at it with the jig saw. The ShopSmith makes a great drill press with a nice big table / fence.

In the next couple of photos the bench starts helping me build her parts. Here I’m cutting out the holes in the chop and cleaning up with a chisel.

I made my log (variation from the plans) from three pieces of 1” Osage Orange. Here I have first cut a wedge and I am using it to mark the same angle on the center piece.

Now, with the wedge in place and the second layer clamped up. I’m drilling and screwing the layers. The wedge is in the down position and is perfectly fitted in the slot. Notice that the center-lines of the holes are marked so I won’t put any screws in their way.

After gluing up the log the holes are drilled. I carefully marked and cut the 3/4” holes from both sides with a forstner bit.

A little more jewellery. You can (and probably should) use steel pins here but since I had the lathe set up to make the wheel anyway, I made a 1/2”pin for the bottom and a 3/4’one for the top.

I got a little carried away
and missed taking a few photos here. The wheel is also Osage Orange and is just a disc so that’s not too hard. You could even use a caster in a pinch. I also missed photos of the wagon vice parts being cut. It’s not hard but will require a table saw and a band saw. To get the angles to match at the back of the wagon vice I used the off-cuts from the block with a little padding to make the glued in side parts.
Pictured are the wagon, a couple of shims, the wedge and the block.
Note: you may notice that the hole in the top has been changed. The second step shown in the last blog segment was a mistake. The front part should be about 2 1/4” wide and the rest is all 3” with the angle pieces added at the back. .... Sorry.

Here’s the wagon vice in use clamping the trial log I built with left over plywood. Ultimately, I didn’t trust the plywood glue joints to hold up so I changed it out.

And here she is, all done !

I would love to see more of these. It is a very strong useful bench.

As for the challenge, I will do an accounting to see how well I did on the costs but the materials are still just two sheets of plywood and a board. I’ll post the final tally soon.

Thanks for looking in and please ask questions if there’s some clarification I can make.


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

23 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 12-05-2013 03:14 AM

You certainly did a wonderful job on this and it was entertaining to follow along as you built this! Thanks for doing this.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View hoss12992's profile


4040 posts in 1889 days

#2 posted 12-05-2013 03:27 AM


-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

505 posts in 3513 days

#3 posted 12-05-2013 03:35 AM

Great job Paul. I can see one of these in my little 10×16. Great details too.

-- jstegall

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10097 posts in 4048 days

#4 posted 12-05-2013 03:52 AM

What Bearpie said.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 12-05-2013 05:15 AM

i knew it, ive been waiting for the bling…and it HAS ARRIVED….very good build paul, now if you will model in a red dress with red lip stick, ill be happy…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2794 days

#6 posted 12-05-2013 05:29 AM

You hold on to that thought Bob, but just don’t be holding your breath.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Druid's profile


1754 posts in 2792 days

#7 posted 12-05-2013 05:54 AM

Well done blog Paul. The only question I have at the moment is where you purchased the trim router for $25, and what brand/model is it?
As usual, very nice work.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4073 days

#8 posted 12-05-2013 06:11 AM

Nice shopsmith! BETTER BENCH! love it…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2794 days

#9 posted 12-05-2013 08:52 AM

Sorry John, Harbor Freight I’m afraid. Not in Canada but there’s one just across the line in Bellingham. Depending on the sale price of the day and whether or not you have a coupon they range from ~$23 to~$30.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#10 posted 12-05-2013 09:33 AM

A wonderful bench Paul. One added great feature beside all the more obvious ones is that you don’t have a vise handle hanging out on the the end. That can be an advantage in a small shop. I know this from actual experience.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HuckD's profile


311 posts in 1710 days

#11 posted 12-05-2013 03:49 PM

Great build Paul. The detailed blog was an interesting read. Great photo work too.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2535 days

#12 posted 12-05-2013 10:06 PM

Turned out amazing Paul. Great tutorial!

-- I never finish anyth

View tinnman65's profile


1357 posts in 3410 days

#13 posted 12-06-2013 12:58 AM

Bravo Paul!!!! I love that osage orange but after all that cutting your next project will probably be a sharpening station.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3148 days

#14 posted 12-07-2013 06:02 AM

Wow, this is really cool and it was great seeing it come together so quickly! You do amazing work Paul.

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

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3458 days

#15 posted 12-07-2013 11:28 AM

This is really good, useful, basic woodworking, executed with great skill. Nice job on the blog and the bench.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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