Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pictures of the Process, Part 2

So, at this point I have the boards of the top in shape to glue up. It's time to finish figuring out the wagon vise.

The first thing to do is to finally commit and drill the hole in my vise chop to accept the bench dog. It was a scary thing to do because this little simple piece of wood had caused so much trouble as I figured out how to do it.

Ta da!

Now came the part of drilling the hole in the end block. The vise screw has a collar through which the screw threads and I wanted to inset it into the block of wood at the end of the bench. This involves boring a hole 1 1/4" in diameter into hard maple end grain. I tried every boring tool I have including t-augers and all kinds of bits, but everything is made for face grain boring.

Based on a suggestion from the Porch I tried drilling a series of holes with a normal twist bit and cutting them out.

Maybe my bits aren't the right kind or I needed a chain drill or something, because that was REALLY hard work. And in the end, when I tried cutting out in between the holes I discovered how little straight grain was actually in the block. It tore out past the line something horrible.

So, in the end, I created a new block and this time I cut out the semi-circle on each piece first, using a variety of chisels, sawing down to the line, and my one measly gouge, until it was acceptable. I glued up the block and went to bed.

The next morning it all fit well and so I drilled the holes for the two small bolts that will hold the collar onto the block. I'm using bolts instead of screws because I want the collar to have strength not just for pushing but also for pulling in case I want to use the vise to pull something apart.

On the back of the block, I counter sunk some flat holes for the fender washers and nuts with one of my beloved center bits. The hole is a little raggedy since I was trying to using a center bit around an existing hole so there really wasn't much for the center spike of the bit to grab onto. But it worked well.

And here it all is clamped up and working quite well!!

It helped a huge amount to wax the insides of the groove with an old candle. That helped the action immensely.

You can see that I have almost five inches of vise opening to work with. Not huge, but sufficient for my purposes. I'll just have to make sure and place the corresponding dog holes at appropriate distances apart.

Altogether the opening is 8-inches long. I had the rough measurements based on what I could measure ahead of time, but I cut the groove a little long, and left boards 2 and 3 a little long to account for the reality of the situation. This allowed me to adjust to the reality of the vise once I got it installed to get the maximum opening I could.

Next up, I cut the groove for the sliding deadman.


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