workbench finished: Sam Allen's joiner's bench with Veritas twin-screw end vise

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Hey Silvan,
Thanks for the compliments.

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Mike in Mystic wrote:

Thanks for showing off your bench. Now if only you had made it out of 12/4 rosewood... :)

I have somewhere around $100 in mine. Maybe not that much. To some extent, you get what you pay for. It sure isn't an ideal bench, but it's what I have room for, and what I can afford.

I don't have any hold-downs yet. My dogs are 3/4" oak dowels with a brad shot into one end so I have a way to keep them from constantly falling through the bench.
I bought some steel rod to tap for fake wonder dogs, but I haven't been able to come up with a decent way to make a pad for the end, or a decent crank, or a decent screw, so I'll probably suck it up and buy the real deal. They look very handy.
I'm wishing I had some kind of tail vise already, but have made no decision as yet. I might try one of those pipe clamp deals that was posted on here a bit ago, or else buy some parts from Lee Valley and try to cobble something together on my own.
You've probably heard me blathering about my other vises. I think that was you. Old vise, new vise, big vise, small vise, free vise, cheap vise, one vise, two vise, blah blah, blah, right?
The sweet thing was a the top. Neighbor's old table. Poplar with walnut veneer. Not very tough, but it's pretty, and I could afford it. :)

Sounds like maybe I should do more than retrofit some rods then. I s'pose I should go dig out the book in question and pay more attention to the base construction. :)
Or not. I can always fix it when it gets a lot worse. Angle bracketing it to the wall of the shed^h^h^h^h shop helps some.

Oh yeah, I forgot. I didn't realize that was you. :)

Filling up the space is a good plan. Just by way of demonstrating that, I dropped the cap off my 1" chisel. Spent every bit of an hour rooting around in the shavings on the floor trying to find it. Even vacuumed, and then rooted around in the shop vac. I finally found it on the shelf under the workbench, on the base of the circular saw, curled up in a walnut shaving. I'm kinda thinking closing that space off would be a good idea myself.

I've been thinking about hanging some weights from mine. Hang them so they swing. Seems it would have a dampening effect.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Mike, I couldn't find the scratches on the cover, but I think we all understand how you feel about them. Good job.
jmac
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Hi jmac,
Did you see the close-up of the twin-screw vise? The 4th picture down on my website? I don't know how you can miss them hehe.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Mike
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There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.
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Mike:
Ain't the prettiest but looks like a user.
Suggestions though
1. knock of the sharp corners now rather than after they gouge out part of your body. They will bite you- honest.
2. lightly round over the edges - reaching under the bench to get a tool and making contact with the back of your forearm will be less painful.
3. don't know if your bench dogs will ovalize your dog holes but I do know that the whack down, bump to remove, hold downs will in relatively few uses, especially if you whack them down hard.
4. probably to late to add leg levelers but should you ever get around to doing another bench or changing the feet on this one (as if) check out the bottom of this page (all one line) http://www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb /!M&T/CBbench20.html Using an allen wrench you can adjust them up or down without having to lay on the floor, fiddling with a pair of wrenches. The foot swivels so you can compensate for floors that are less than flat and smooth. Some 60 or 80 grit glued to the bottom and the bench won't slide, even on an epoxied floor. IF THE BOTTOM OF THE LEGS AIN'T COPLANAR THE TOP AIN'T GONNA BE FLAT LONG.
Bullseye levels make leveling - however you shim/ wedge things - easier and quicker.
Hadn't thought of putting a dog hole on the side the the vise jaw but it makes sense. Am going to have to go over the Allen book again. Way too many things to miss in that book, even on the third pass. Add the Landis book and it's mental overload time.
OK to pick your brain on installing the Veritas Twin Screw?
Thanks for the page with all the good photos.
charlie b
ps - your shop floor is WAY to clean. That will change once all those hand planes start getting used. And curlies will clog that dust collector.
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Good suggestion and I'll consider it, but since I laminated MDF and then contact cemented masonite onto the edges, I probably will have to live with the sharp corners, at least on the bench top. I am thinking about chamfering the outside corners of the Veritas vise jaws, though.

or 4 drawers on one side and a cabinet with shelves on the other. I also have a nice 30" wide piece of wall convenient to the workbench where I'm going to build a nice handtool cabinet. I've looked yours over and it is a great example and something to emulate. Whenever I get around to building my cabinet, I'll definately have some questions for you. One I can think of right now is how do you secure the large bench planes in a vertical position? I've seen this in a lot of cabinets, but never any really detailed descriptions of how it is done. Did you consult any books in designing your cabinet?

These bench dogs have a wire spring on the side that keeps them snug in the hole. I haven't noticed any deforming of the dog holes yet, but I haven't really used it much yet. Hopefully that won't happen too badly. The hold down I have (the Veritas version) seems to ride pretty easily in the dog holes. The dowel portion has some ridges on it, that apparently act to hold it in place as the horizontal force resulting from tightening the clamping screw is generated. It works quite well, and definately doesn't require the blunt force those tap-in-place hold downs require.

This point is well taken. I'm still playing with the layout of the bench a bit - basically moving it an inch or two and then working around it awhile to see how I like it. I don't have a whole lot of options, so it won't take me long to decide where it will be "permanently". My garage floor is so out of level it's sad, so it really will depend greatly on the specific location on how I will have to shim/level it. But, you're right and I'm not going to waste too much time for fear of getting any twist in the benchtop.

I looked through the Allen book again this morning and realized I'd misrepresented it previously (not sure if it was in this thread or one on the spalted board). In the book's illustrations it does show the dog hole in the side of the twin-screw vise front jaw, and also in one of the photographs of a completed bench. It's just that in the text there is no mention of this dog hole, so I neglected to credit this book as the source for this. In the Veritas instructions, IIRC, there are also instructions for this. As you might have noticed in the pictures I took of the bench using this dog hole to hold a board for jointing, it will be extremely handy in a lot of clamping situations. I'm still going to make some board jacks to use with the front vise, however, for instances where I'd rather not apply clamping force to the ends of boards.

Sure, that's no problem. It was pretty straightforward, and I followed the warning in the instructions not to deviate from the path. But, ask me anything you want and I'll try to help as best I can.

Well, I did sweep the floor (just around the bench) prior to picture taking, so don't be fooled too much. And I have a trash can separator (that works quite well, by the way), so hopefully the majority of curlies will find their home there. Now that I have the bench all my other shop rearrangement plans are in dire need of progressing. I have to clean out about 150 bf of ash, find a temporary place to store about 50 cans of finishes and related supplies, move some ladders to a new home, build 6 feet of floor and wall cabinets, etc. etc. I think the next year or so is going to find me living in a bit of squalor in the shop, because SWMBO doesn't sympathize too much with "shop projects". She just this morning gently "prodded" me about getting to the 12 feet of built in bookcases she wants me to build for our finished attic. And the 3-month old's dresser....the high chair....picture frames....
Ain't life great :)
Mike
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Mike in Mystic wrote:

Hmmm... Puts me in a mind to coin a new term. "Chick sticks."
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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