Tuesday, August 20, 2019

First Fitting Of The Slab

The first fitting is not bad, the backer board needs a bit of trimming, maybe a mm or two off where the angle meets the forward vertical and I expect after looking at the left forward peg and mortise I'll drill the mortise a couple or three turns deeper.

I'll piddle with the fitting a little then clean up and flatten the slab and trim the ends. After the slab clean up I'll round the ends of the long stretchers and mount the chop followed by making the tool tray.

Making a tool tray can be a PITA because it is so long but bottom line it is not structural and almost any joint is strong enough. The biggest problem is finding or making boards that are long enough and straight enough to use.

This sucker is almost finished, in fact if needed it could be used as a bench today.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Slab Mortises Finished

The slab mortises are finished, I expect I'll do a little more clean up on the bottom before the bench is finished but the slab is ready to mate with the base.

The rectangular mortise is to house the top tenon on the vise backer board and the round mortises will house the base 5/8" dowels holding the slab in place.

One more mortise to chop on the long stretcher to house the bottom tenon on the vise backer board. Once that mortise is chopped the base will go back together, the vise will be fitted, and the slab installed. All that is left is the tool tray and clean up. The fat lady is clearing her throat.


Blind Pegging The Slab

Before you can blind peg that sucker you gotta get the slab on the base. Another couple of feet longer I'm not sure I could do it without help.

Next up is deciding where to put the base mortises and then driving a finishing nail 10mm or so into the center to start the blind pegging.

Clip the nails to about 3mm, leave enough so they can be easily removed but short enough to just leave a marking hole in the slab.

Place the slab back into position on the base and press down to mark the mortise location. Remove the slab and drill the mortises. The back mortise will be elongated on the slab to allow wood movement. The next post will cover drilling the mortises and final install of the vise.

I guess I should add that the base mortises will hold 5/8" dowels that stick up ~25mm and the slab mortises slip over the dowels to hold the slab in place.

The next job will be taking the base apart to chop a mortise in the stretcher to hold the vise backer board. The slab will have to be moved back into the shop, my back hurts thinking about it, so I can chop the mortise for the top of the backer board. Once those are done the bench goes back together with the vise installed and the bench is finished other than clean up and making a tool tray.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

BenchCrafted Classic Vise With Crisscross

The vise is together and damn it is slick. Give the Johnson bar a push either left or right and the screw spins until it runs out of energy or the chop runs into something. Then give the bar a little encouragement and whatever is between the chop and the face is held rock solid. Pretty damn impressive.

I still have to shape and fit the backing board to the bench and shape the chop but the vise is made and it is onto installing the slab.


Working On The Vise

The French cleat crisis is over. The hanging cabinet is back on the wall with a more secure French cleat. All the crap that did the bounce test (thanks Ralph) survived and is back in the cabinet and I'm back to working on the new bench.

The crisscross is installed and working as advertised. Next is installing the screw and nut. It is mostly fiddly work making sure everything lines up and nothing drags.

Once the nut and flange are screwed down and the action is free I'll take the vise and backer board apart and finish shaping each.

The next step is installing the slab followed by marking the positions of the upper and lower backer board mortises on the slab and long stretcher. The whole bench will have to come apart one more time to chop the mortises then back together with vise and backer board installed.

After installing the vise all that is left to do is making a tool tray. The fat lady is warming up backstage.


Monday, August 12, 2019

French Cleat Failed

The screw holding the French Cleat to the wall stud failed and the cabinet fell.

It looks worse than I expect it is from my preliminary inspection. The drill press table is not damaged, just the base support turned. Best I can tell the stuff on the floor did not break nor were any of the chisels in the rack under the cabinet damaged.

The biggest problem will be getting the cabinet down from where it is without causing more damage. For now I'll wait for MsBubba to awake and have her morning tea before doing anything. Maybe between the two of us we can get that sucker out of there with minimum damage to person or stuff.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Splitting Out Stub Tenons

The vise backer board has a stub tenon on each end. The bottom one needs to be made first so the backer board will set on the long stretcher for marking the top tenon and angle of the leg.

One of the nice things about Poplar is it is easy to split and splitting the short wide tenon is a lot easier than sawing.

Next is installing the screw. To install the screw I need both a 2 5/8" and a 1 1/4" Forstner bit, the 1 1/4" is no problem. The 2 5/8" I had to order. It should be here tomorrow but until it arrives I'm dead in the water.

It may be a good thing, a nap and pool time is a good way to spend a hot Tucson afternoon.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Making The Vise

The crisscross is installed and works a treat.

The inter board is the vise backer and the outer board is the chop. I've marked where the vise screw hole needs to be drilled on the backer board. The vise needs to be disassembled to drill the screw hole and install the nut. The backer board also needs a top and bottom stub tenon cut along with cutting the left edge at an angle so the backer board fits against the base assembly.

After finishing the vise unit the slab needs to be installed on the base so the vise backer board mortises can be marked. After marking the mortises the whole thing needs to be taken apart to chop the vise backer board mortises. Once the mortises are chopped everything goes back together and the basic bench is finished.

I will make a tool tray for the bench and I expect a full length tool holder for the back edge of the slab.

The fat lady ain't singing but this ol' horse can smell the barn.


Friday, August 09, 2019

Checking Bench Slab For Wind

The slab is out of the clamps and bottoms up on the French/English bench so I can clean up the contact areas of the slab and correct any wind.

Cleaned up the part of the slab that will set on the base and checked for wind.

It looks pretty good with no wind. I'll do a light clean up of the glue lines before attaching the slab to the base.

Next is finishing the vise. I finally settled on using the BenchCrafted Classic screw and 14" crisscross. The vise should go fairly quickly if the heat or MsBubba's line of sight do not get me.

Once the vise is mounted I'll make a quick and dirty tool tray and the fat lady can sing.