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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Melbourne
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    4,204

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    Lance I would like to say this and that but in all honesty you explained everything beautiful and it was fun to read,including the little mishaps, we all have them.
    An to top it of the bench looks absolutely fantastic, well done.
    Canít wait for the next stage an hope the DC remote will be involved [emoji6].

    Cheers Matt

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Bris
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    94

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    Great looking bench. The only thing I would have done differently is put the long stretchers the other way around so that the "buttresses" are below but that's just my aesthetics.


    1535_23_52-rigid-vise-caps.jpg

    edit: this is the only pic I could find but it explains it a lot better than my words can....

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Hobart
    Age
    73
    Posts
    271

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    Lance

    Terrific thread, thank you. It has given me quite a number of good pointers!
    I would be interested to know why you abandoned the idea of a shoulder vice and what you'll end up selecting!

    Yvan

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sutherland Shire, Sydney
    Age
    66
    Posts
    1,185

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    An excellent write-up Lance. Loved the Oops with the remote control, you were darn lucky you didn't end up with bits of shrapnel evenly distributed throughout your dust collection system. It looks like a very good workspace you have there, I am sure many of us are jealous of how much room you seem to have.

    The bench will give you enormous satisfaction in the years to come, you should be very proud of your efforts.

    Alan...

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    508

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    Quote Originally Posted by KahoyKutter View Post
    The only thing I would have done differently is put the long stretchers the other way around so that the "buttresses" are below but that's just my aesthetics.
    Hmmm, you know I racked my brain trying to come up with a simple way of using buttresses (great choice of words) whilst sill keeping plenty of "platform" to potentially build storage onto. Not once did I consider simply turning it upside down, which would have been such a simple solution. In theory I could trim the tenon top, and simply flip it, and see what I think. Does anyone foresee an issue with that? It simply means the tenon will be floating vertically in the mortise (which I could pack out I guess)?

    Quote Originally Posted by yvan View Post
    I would be interested to know why you abandoned the idea of a shoulder vice and what you'll end up selecting?
    Good question Yvan. My main reason for initially choosing the shoulder vice was that it was 1) a tried and proven method, and 2) a concern with racking when clamping tall stock in only one end. So what changed my mind? The more I thought about building and using a shoulder vice, the more I found myself wondering how I would accomplish some of the tasks I currently do. This can be a little silly though, because surely I've not discovered an issue that generations of master cabinet makers missed. In the end I came to the realisation that there are a variety of vice types that many successful craftsmen have used to accomplish their tasks, and their respective methodology has developed around their choice of vise (though I suspect it had more to do with what was widely used by their mentors). As for the racking issue, it occurred to me that I have never experienced disadvantageous racking with my old Dawn vise. Perhaps it's an issue with poorly designed/manufactured Record style vises of recent.

    I quickly popped down to the workshop and took a few photos for you to try and explain my change of heart.

    The first is a 25 mm thick board of Tasmanian Myrtle, clamped on its end. I tightened it reasonably tightly, but there would certainly be plenty more grip available were I to put my back into it. Measuring with my vernierr calipers, there was a 2 mm difference in width from the board end of the vise, to the far open end. Bearing in mine this was a ridiculous test for demonstration purposes only. I don't think racking is going to be an issue when sawing dovetails.

    20190822_103515.jpg

    The second is a method of holding wood I do a lot, where I clamp something across the top of the vise. I would be unable to do this with a shoulder vise. I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to accomplish this, and I'm not suggesting the shoulder vise can't do this with some jig/rest etc, it just would require me to change how I work. I also find it very convenient to be able to rest a piece of stock on the vise rails whilst getting myself organised, before fine adjustments before clamping.

    20190822_103623.jpg

    And lastly, whilst all the popular bench designs at the moment suggests that the front of the bench should be one jaw of the vise, I really like being able to get my fingers between the stock and the bench. I just find it so much more convenient.

    20190822_103646.jpg

    So in the end, I decided to switch from a shoulder vise to a Record styled vise as it offers pretty much everything I want at the moment for a front vice. For a tail vise, I'm going to add on another Record style vise at the tail. I'll do a write up as to my thought process when I get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Al
    It looks like a very good workspace you have there
    We love it. I am very fortunate that woodworking is one of my wife's great enjoyments too, so when we designed the house a reasonably sized workshop was a priority for both of us (6x9 m). We used to have a one car garage, which needed to fit a car too, so very limited space. Then we moved to Tasmania where for many years all work was outside, which was no fun having to quickly drag everything inside as soon as it would start raining. Even after we had built our new house, we built it as finances allowed, and the workshop took longer to get to than we would have liked, but the patience paid off in the end as we're very happy with what we built. The only negative is that my office is in the loft above the workshop, so I hear my wife having fun whilst I'm not.

    Kind regards,
    Lance

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    508

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    I had the top off my bench today whilst fitting the vises (which will form another post when done), so thought I'd investigate flipping the long stretches as suggested by KahoyKutter. Whilst they were symmetrical in design, it was with delight that Mr Theory and Ms Reality were found to be hand in hand.



    The beauty of this is that I now have a full length platform on which to add storage.

    KahoyKutter, you're a genius!

    Kind regards,
    Lance

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Bris
    Posts
    94

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    Waddya know, I'm not so useless after all!!

    I'm glad it was an easy fix.


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    508

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    I wanted to add two vises to my bench, a front and tail vise. Both of them of the cast iron Record style quick release. I already had an old Australian made Dawn No. 9. Itís position in the bench vise hierarchy would be determined by what second vise I could buy for a reasonable cost second hand. After a wait of a month or so monitoring the coming and goings of the second hand market, I picked up a pre-1960ís Record 52 Ĺ quick release vise. While I wasnít really all that fussed about the dates, I do love the look of the tulip bulb boss of that era.

    Record-vice-e1569291830522-300x240.jpg

    It was pretty grimy but otherwise in great working condition, so disassembled it, removed all the grease with mineral turpentine and a Simply Green wash, then de-rusted the parts in a white vinegar bath. When it came to painting it, I really wasnít feeling the vibe of traditional Record blue. For many years Iíve painted or marked all my tools with a bright yellow paint, and felt like a change.

    20190924_131705-1024x768.jpg

    I thought I had taken a bunch of photos of the restoration, but canít find them. I may have been in a ďno phoneĒ mood when doing it (I get that way some times when I just want to be unavailable). I did however find one photo with a bit of a story to it. When painting the vise, I wanted to protect the holes from getting painted and encumbering the smooth sliding action. I tried covering with masking tape and balls of cloth, all which proved unsatisfactory. I thought I could use blue-tack to fill the holes, but a) couldnít find any, and b) some holes were big, so would have been rather expensive. In a moment of inspiration I thought, Ē Ahh-huh, play-dohĒ! When our kids were young my wife would whip up a batch in no time, and as she was overseas at this juncture, Iíd just make some myself. I found what looked like a simple recipe which promised Iíd have play-doh in ten minutes, and embarked on an adventure.

    For those of you who have not yet mastered the art, let me offer two tips. First, when it looks dry, but youíve added the stated amount of water, donít add more, just keep kneading. Secondly, use white, not whole meal flower. I ended up with a sticky mess that was covering more and more of the bench despite every effort to contain it, and looked remarkably like cat vomit. I did end up with something usable, but entirely unsuitable to give to children to play with. The photo below is following a big clean up.

    20190904_124920-1024x768.jpg

    The Face Vise
    Both vises have ribs in the casting, so needed slots cut in the underside of the bench to accept them. I can assure you that cutting into my new bench ensured many double and triple checks. In the end I used a card to transfer the spacing from vise to bench. I created my knife walls for guiding my sawing, then chiselled out the waste.

    20190906_111049-1024x768.jpg 20190906_111106-1024x768.jpg 20190906_111619-1024x768.jpg 20190906_111755-1024x768.jpg 20190906_112314-1024x768.jpg 20190906_113118-1024x768.jpg

    When fitting the vise, the one change I had to make was add a chamfer to the rib slots, as they join the main casting with a radius. Once the dry fit was suitable, I marked the casting holes, drilled the pilot holes and screwed them in place. They were big suckers, so added some wax to help their progress into the wood. Once that was done, I put a couple of roofing screws through the back jaw into the bench top. Until I saw Paul Sellers do this, Iíd never used these holes before, but they do add massive strength, as downward pressure is now trying to sheer the screws, not just pull against the thread.

    20190906_120150-1024x768.jpg 20190906_115713-1024x768.jpg 20190906_120246-1024x768.jpg 20190906_121203-1024x768.jpg 20190906_121207-1024x768.jpg

    To complete the vise, I added some pine soft jaws. I may still replace them with hard wood, but pine was all I had on hand, and seems to work fine. If you were observant you will have noted that two dog holes are now obscured by the vise. I have cut those dogs a bit shorter so that they do not hit the vise, and if required, may be raised them from the top with my marking knife.

    20190924_131705-1024x768.jpg 20190924_131733-1024x768.jpg 20190924_131742-1024x768.jpg

    The End Vise
    The end vise was largely a rinse and repeat exercise for the mounting, except that the jaw liners were a little different, and a whole lot more work. Iíd forgotten when making my last set, that the jaws arenít parallel in either direction, and very rough castings, so a fair bit of finessing was required to shape the liners to close neatly.

    20190924_131817-1024x768.jpg 20190924_131833-1024x768.jpg 20190924_131842-1024x768.jpg


    I have had the vises installed now for a couple of weeks, and am simply thrilled. I never had any doubts about the front vise, but the tail vise has been a welcome success. The travelling dog is a revelation, and on more than one occasion Iíve enjoyed the use of a vise which can hold materials at 90ļ to the bench. I will write another post at some stage about my impression of the two vises, suffice to say, there is no comparison. The Dawn canít hold a candle to the Record.

    The one final piece is to now install some rubberised cork to the vise jaw face to provide a better hold than sooth planed timber. The roll arrived late last week, but need to buy some contact adhesive with which to attach it.

    At this juncture Iím calling my bench done. There may be additions and modifications in due course, but they will be just that. The substantive work is complete and I have signed and dated a leg.

    Kind regards,
    Lance

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Port Sorell, Tasmania
    Posts
    371

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    Great looking bench Lance and nicely detailed write up. Thanks for posting.

    Tony
    You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~Oscar Wilde

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    blue mountains
    Posts
    4,031

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    That's been a great bench build Lance. Good pictures and explanations. A very good looking bench too.
    Regards
    John

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Tasmania
    Age
    48
    Posts
    160

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    This is an awesome post Lance - so much detail I know it will help me when I get around to making mine.

    And...it looks even better 'in the flesh'! ;-)

    For everyone else, this is really a beast of a bench!

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    508

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    After two months I finally got around to making "springs" for my bench dogs a couple of days ago. While the dogs are made from spotted gum, I was concerned that it was too brittle to take an 11 deg bend. As such I settled for good old pinus radiata. The contrasting timber add a nice touch too.



    It is funny how such a simple thing can make a significant difference to usability. No longer do I need to hold the dog in place while I clamp, or swap out a dog for my one proof of concept model which had a spring.

    Here they all are lined up like smart tin soldiers on the parade ground.



    Then it's time for rest, as they climb into their beds...



    ... and, goodnight.


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