|Forum topic by luthierwnc||posted 01-15-2016 11:38 PM||588 views||0 times favorited||2 replies|
01-15-2016 11:38 PM
I’m redoing my benches to include better storage. The main bench will be a more typical roubo/shaker unit for furniture-type woodworking. I’ll shorten my existing roubo-style bench for just guitar work and I wanted to include a parrot vise. Garrett Wade has a nice Chinese model that includes the horizontal attachment but it still seemed I’d be limited to wherever the base was anchored.
There is a lot of information on making adaptable bases for these—including some very clever ones using a trailer hitch ball for more advanced carving. My metalworking skills are primitive but staring at the versions a lot of the gunmakers use gave me an idea for something I could do pretty easily. It depended on finding the right metal.
I think I did. In the picture is a piece of 1-1/2” OD drawn-over-mantle steel tube with a 1/2” hole in the center. I paid the offer price for a foot-long section on the condition they lop-off two 2 3/4” pieces. Even I can ream it out a little and tap an inch or so for a 5/8” bolt. At that point I can bolt it to; a piece of hardwood that can go in another vise, a hole in the top of any bench in the shop or clamp it just about anywhere else. Use it vertically or horizontally. The one that is permanently bolted to the hardwood will be off-center in a rectangle so I have 4 height settings.
The pipe is still in the mail so there may be unexpected complications. I’ll have to check clearances when I actually have it and the parrot vise in hand. The Chinese ones seem decently made or I may hold out for a Gyro-Vise or Versa-Visa on Ebay. I’ve still got to make the bench so the design may change a dozen times in the head-scratching stage.
At any rate, I hope this helps if you are thinking about versatile clamping. sh
PS I settled on the 1/2” hole because this was to originally fit a 2” hitch ball with a 5/8-18 shank. That doesn’t seem necessary now because the hardwood block can be squeezed at a variety of angles in a normal bench vise. Still, I have that option and thought that an auxiliary set of vise faces with a partial ball shape carved into the surface would give you any angle you want. Don’t think I need it but you never know. sh