With the benchtop attached to the base, the next step is to continue with the installation of the vises. The majority of the work along these lines was done while the benchtop was upside down. All of the mounting hardware and guide blocks have already been installed, but I need to put all of the parts together and fine tune the fit. However, before I can do any of that, I still need to fix my little screw-up with the skirts on the two face vises.
Here’s my mistake:
When I made the skirts that cover the vise mounting hardware of the face vises, I forgot to account for the position of the legs. The tail vise skirts were fine and are still attached. When I realized what I had done, I removed the face vise skirts, so that I could assemble the bench. I now need to trim these two skirts so that they fit into the available space.
To make sure that I cut the skirts in the right place, I installed the two guide rods. These will maintain proper alignment while I mark the back with a knife.
I was careful to keep the skirt pressed into place while I ran a marking knife along the edge of the leg.
I removed the skirt from the guide rods and clamped it to the benchtop. I used a square to continue the knife line onto the top edge of the skirt. Having two lines makes it much easier to saw off the end accurately.
This saw is such a joy to use.
I re-installed the vise skirt and tightened the lag bolts that attach it to the benchtop. No glue.
I repeated the process and trimmed the other vise skirt.
Cutting this part off was a little annoying. I spent quite a bit of time sawing, rasping, and sanding these pieces to shape. Oh well.
With the skirts fixed and re-mounted to the benchtop, I installed the rest of the vise parts.
Here is the bench with all four vises installed.
With two opposing face vises, and two side-by-side tail vises, the bench should be quite versatile. One side is configured for left-handed use and the other for right.
The vises are installed, but I need to fine tune the fit. I want to make sure that they close evenly on both sides and that the top closes a fraction before the bottom. I’ll do this by hand planing away the high spots and frequently rechecking the fit.
More on that soon.
– Jonathan White
That is a great bench. I know you are going to find it to be the most versital bech to work on. I know this because my own bench is similar. Because of back problems I have a Noden adjustable set up with a front vise at each corner as you have. After using it for more then a year I could not be more pleased. I have at times had all vises in use. Enjoy!
Thanks for your comments. I know it is unusual and that it breaks many “rules”, but I have given it lots of thought and think it will do all that I want it to. I’ve already been using it as I make the last remaining parts of the bench, and it has been great. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one with four face vises.
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