Well, now that I’ve got the base more or less complete, time to actually play with some of that sweet sweet hardware from Benchcrafted. I didn’t take too many pictures that day, I must have been concentrating too much! It seemed like there were an endless amount of steps to take for what seems like a straightforward vise, but it was really just very, very thorough instructions. And honestly, I would have screwed it up royally without them.
First, we cut the through mortise on the bench leg. I didn’t take any pictures of that process, but trust me, it happened. Then, we drill and tap a few holes to hold the roller guides.
I just bought a cheap $20 tap set off of Amazon.com. Never having used a tap in wood before, I was a little skeptical of how well it would work. Well, it worked great, and those bolts are in there tight. I dont think there’s any better way to do it, honestly. And now that I know how well it works, I think I’ll do it quite a bit more often from here on out.
Oh look! The roller guides are done already. They were pretty easy to make. I just used the drill press to mill out the slots, and used a float and rasp to pretty everything up. I went for a simpler shape than the one Jameel has in his plans, but I think it came out pretty well.
Now, I didn’t take any pictures of making the parallel guide, or milling out the holes on the chop, or installing the glide screw or bushing. I was busy! If you mosy on over to benchcrafted’s blog, however, there is an excellent series going on that details all these steps pretty well. I recommend it highly because, well, you’ll learn more over there than over here. Click here to check it out.
I did take a picture of drilling the holes for the drawbore pins though. I used a brace and bit because I didn’t have a normal drill bit long enough.
That brace looks pretty sweet, huh? It’s an old miller falls that belonged to my Grandpa. Of course, When I got my hands on it it looked like this:
So I sent it over to Wiktor Kuc at WKTools.com for a little TLC, and it came back looking absolutely incredible.
Insane work; I highly recommend Wiktor if you’ve got some old braces or eggbeaters laying around.
Oh look! The vise just jumped up into that leg and installed itself.
Just kidding of course. But the whole process wasn’t too bad. I’m sure most anyone could do it faster though.
I then went through the wonderful process of jointing and flattening fourteen 8.5’ long boards for the top. Hooray! Remember earlier I talked about some 12/4 or 16/4 stock? Yeah, get that stuff. Laminating sucks.
But now… Oh man, it almost looks like we have a bench. Of course those boards are only held together with some clamps, but a guy can dream right? I’m probably, what, like 90% done, right? Sure…
Next up: Laminating the top and a trip to the Emergency Room.