Workbench TWO – Day 21

The object today was supposed to be finishing the tenons and short rails.

In order to do that I needed an exact understanding of the relationship if the vises to the legs.   The twin will has an control shaft that connects the two locking mechanisms.  This will pass over one of the upper short rails.   So this has to be planned and cut before the assembly of the short rails.

I worked for over an hour understanding the operation of the twin vise.  When you purchase the twin vise, it comes as parts with instruction.  While the instructions are clear,  the operation of the vise must be completely understood.

Original Plan


In my head ( a somewhat scary place sometimes ) I have thought for at least 3 years the twin vise would be on the same side of the bench as the tail vise.  This is all the pictures of Roubo style benches have.   So That is what I thought.  I worked and worked on the placement of the twin vise.  I keep finding problems.  Several problems.

Problem:  The vise mechanisms cannot cover a dog hole.  Two things.  First, the mechanism would have to be place 1 1/2″ further back from the front face.  Second, the mechanism must be exactly 25″ apart.  This limited the the placement of the vise.

Problem:  The installation of the twin vise requires a 1 1/2″ x 3 3/4″ piece of wood attached under the face to support the steel rods for the vise.  These blocks are are the back surface of the vise.  So if the steel shafts for the vise are 25″ apart,  then the vise face ( and these support blocks ) would be about 35″ wide.  The limited access to the dog holes severely.

New Plan

So it dawned on me to put the twin vise on the other side of the bench on the same end and the tail vise.  WOW.  This actually started me thinking real hard.

In reality I will be working on this bench from the end with the vises.  This is the end next to the Chisel Chest and the tool wall.

1-ChiselChestFULL (96 of 87)          This is my #handtoolthursday  Not a great picture but a big statement about where I want to go as a craftsman. This new interation of the #toolwall is all about handtools. You do not see the #chiselchest for all of my #markingtools and chisels, rasps, marking guages etc.  The tool wall is 10' long x 4' high. There is now some space remaining but future projects will tell me how to fill this.

WBTDay21-14In looking at the pictures above, the new bench will be in the same spot as the old bench.

Solution: All of the pop up dogs will be easily accessible.

Solution: The path along the dog holes will have have the vise parts in the way of working on a board in the tail vise.

Solution: The vise will actually be closer to the tool wall and the chisel chest.

I am completely convinced after thinking about this for 24 ours and writing this blog, this is a GREAT solution.

In truth,  I have a VERY hard time deviating from a plan that is already in my mind.  I tend to solve a problem and then quit thinking about it.

Get the bench finished

So I have a new plan.  Time to get this bench finished.

I repaired the bandsaw with a new belt.  Guess it was time.  I purchased the Laguna HD16 in 2006.  Guess it was time for a new belt.  I still have all of my mechanics tools, with metric stuff, to the BS was an easy fix.

The tenons were finished on the band saw.   I worked on the first two in one end of the bench.  Totally enjoyed sizing the tenons with my should plane and chisels.  I need to perfect the fine art of cutting tenons a hair fat and then they can be easily worked to a “glove” fit.  ( Thanks Ralph for the words.)

The first two legs turned out excellent.  I have to drill the holes for the lag bolts that will hold the leg assembly to the top, cut the notch for the twin vise control bar and run a dado for the shelf bracket.  So many things to keep up with.

NOTE: Day 22 will be finishing tenon on short rails, cutting dados in bottom rails and fitting the twin vise..

Bench Build Blog Index


Please enjoy the full set of day 21 pictures with detailed comments:



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