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V8 Degree wedge powered workbench

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Blog series by shipwright updated 10-06-2014 12:00 AM 11 parts 64080 reads 155 comments total

Part 1: Some Features and Operational Videos.

08-31-2012 08:56 PM by shipwright | 24 comments »

While this is the beginning of my construction blog for the V8 Degree bench, I’m not actually going to get into the build just yet. There are a few more features that I didn’t want to clutter the project post with and I’ve added a couple of demo videos on the vices. I thought it would be best to start with a full view of the bench and its operational features first and get into the construction process in the next segment. This photo shows the dog hole inserts that hide a...

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Part 2: Building the Wagon Vices.

09-02-2012 01:37 AM by shipwright | 10 comments »

OK, lets get started. I will go through the build process in the same order that I built the bench and as a non-working concept of wedge power would have been a deal breaker, the first job was to build a wagon vice or two to make sure they would work. I was fortunate enough to find a small local mill that would sell me some really nice local arbutus (madrone in USA). This is about 50 fbm and I have about ten left over. After milling up some nice 1 7/8” stock and a bit of 3”...

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Part 3: Building the Plywood Bench Top

09-03-2012 11:22 PM by shipwright | 16 comments »

NOTE: Most of this page can be avoided if you want to just drill your dog holes in the layered plywood. The inserts are the “Cadillac version”. Part of the plan for this bench from the start was that is was to use interlaid layers of plywood to make a solid monolithic structure that was absolutely rigid without using any fancy or difficult joinery. Another part was to hide and protect the edge plywood wherever possible for looks, strength and utility. The resulting strategy was...

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Part 4: Fitting the top edges and ends

09-05-2012 11:18 PM by shipwright | 10 comments »

I know that I have said that there is no “fancy joinery” in this bench and there certainly doesn’t have to be. There is however, in my own bench, a simple dovetail joint in the top frame corners. It is purely decorative and a box joint or even a butt joint would in fact do the job. If the wagon vices were not epoxied in, then the dovetails would have a real function but I personally would rather rely on the epoxy… it’s a boat builder thing. This is the joint I...

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Part 5: Assembling the inter-laid legs.

09-07-2012 03:31 AM by shipwright | 13 comments »

Ok, lets get into the leg assemblies. This is one of the really interesting parts of my bench. The leg assemblies end up as perfectly fitted finger joints with the very best possible glue joint but can be cut and assembled with butt joints and simple fasteners. I used a pneumatic stapler. Here I have fitted the inner leg vice piece. It is 1 3/4” X 6” arbutus and is half lapped inside the face board up to one layer into the bench top. It is fitted here to act as a spacer while ...

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Part 6: Mounting the Wagons and Cosmetic Top.

09-08-2012 11:43 PM by shipwright | 7 comments »

As a boat builder I worked with epoxy A LOT… so for me it was a no brainer that the vices would be loose fitted and fixed in place with epoxy. This gives both the best possible fit and the strongest grip you’re going to find. That doesn’t mean that it’s the only way. Epoxy has a learning curve and I wouldn’t want to recommend it to someone who wasn’t comfortable and confident with it. The option would be using your normal glue and carefully fitting the pl...

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Part 7: Installing the Leg Vice and Finishing up.

09-09-2012 11:30 PM by shipwright | 17 comments »

The leg vice is so simple as to be self explanatory and its installation likewise, to the point that you can install it and uninstall it in less than a minute. This is nice on those occasions when you don’t want a vice in the way of your work table. For the above reasons I will keep the descriptions short and just show you some detail photos. This one is the fully operational vice. This one shows the assembly removed from the bench. You can see the mortise for the wedge has be...

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Part 8: The Sketchup ....Worth Waiting For

09-13-2012 06:33 PM by shipwright | 22 comments »

When I started thinking about this bench I did a sketchup to organize my ideas before I started building. This is a real switch for me but I have to admit it was kind of fun and clearly made building easier. That sketchup however was not really good enough to give someone unfamiliar with all the thought processes a simple plan to follow. Realizing that several people may actually want to build it I decided that a better SU was in order so I asked LJ resident Sketchup Master, Rance, if he c...

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Part 9: Logo Offer

10-13-2012 05:06 PM by shipwright | 8 comments »

When I made the logo for this bench, I cut the marquetry in Boulle style which means that there is a reverse copy left over. (Mine is maple on purpleheart, this one is purpleheart on maple) I don’t want to just throw it away and I don’t need it so I’ve decided to give it to the first person who asks for it ….. to apply to the bench or wedge leg vice that he has already made (photo proof required) I realize I may be waiting a while but I will have it around. If/when ...

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Part 10: Offer Extended

06-03-2013 02:24 AM by shipwright | 12 comments »

Tomorrow morning the extra V8 degree marquetry logo that I had left over when I made my bench will head across the continent from British Columbia, Canada to Maine, USA. In the last entry to this blog I offered it to the first person who actually built a leg vice like mine. Well here it is. It gave me a great feeling to see another vice like this built and I felt proud that Joe was actually looking forward to adding the logo. In fact it felt so good that I’m going to extend the offer...

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Part 11: Wedge Vice Upgrade

10-06-2014 12:00 AM by shipwright | 16 comments »

I’ve been doing a bit of repetitive hand cutting (dovetails) in my leg vice (or vise if you prefer) lately and while I am very happy with it in general, I guess the one drawback has always been that you almost need another hand for the wedge sometimes. It became enough of a frustration this week that I gave it a little thought and came up with this solution. It’s very simple. I just inlayed a rare earth magnet into the sloped face of the wedge hole and a strip of steel (straigh...

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