I am at last about to finish my work bench. It has been a 7 month long
process, every night and weekend. I have posted several times in the
past about my concerns over the flatness of the top. I bought a 3'
Starrett straightedge and got the entire bench very flat. Almost.
However, at the very last minute, when assembling the end vise (twin
screw, covers the entire end) I made a major mistake. Although most of
the bench was flat, the last 1/16 of an inch of it was sloped down
slightly (about three degrees or so) I did not notice this. When I
attached the rear jaw of the end vise to this edge, there was of
course a small ledge created by this slope butting up against the rear
Here is where the major mistake comes in- instead of leaving the
ledge- I planed the rear jaw flush with the off edge to remove the
ledge, and planed the front jaw flush with the rear. The result is
that now both 2-inch thick jaws create a sudden slope that ends up
being almost 1/8" off! All on what seems to be the most critical part
of the bench- the vise jaws.
My two options, before I finish the top with oil are: 1. leave it. 2.
take the entire rear jaw assebly apart, redrill all the holes, recut,
replane, shim etc., (I have laready done this once before- and am very
reluctant to spend another week on this.)
Any ideas on what I should do? Will 1/16-1/8 inch at the edge make a
real difference? Thanks for all the help. Ill post some pics when its
On 4 Aug 2004 13:26:10 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob) wrote:
Well, I reckon you could take a burnisher to that Starrett and turn it
into the Mother Of All Starrett Scrapers (MO-ASS) - then have a go at
the whole top...
But I don't guess I'd go that far.
On a functional level I think it will be fine as it is - but if you
are anything like me, that "Persian Flaw" is going to annoy you every
time you use the bench.
Maybe a halfway house would be to start using the bench as it is.
After it sits in the shop for a while it's going to develop some
little irregularities of its own and about a year from now you'll
prolly want to level things out again, anyways.
So maybe the best course is to save the tuning up for version 1.1,
which you will be doing in any case.
My bench is almost old enough to vote and I still true it up from time
to time. (enough times that the dogs no longer sit below the level of
the top when in the storage position and thus have to be kept in the
closet above the bench until needed).
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
If you planed the vice jaws I guess I can safely assume they are some
for of hard wood. Seems to me you are complicating things a bit more
then necessary. Just get the same kind of wood, mill it, then glue it to
the top of the jaws. Make it over sized so your can plane it back down
to proper size and clean up the joint.
Thanks for the responses guys. I probably will just wait it out to see
if there is an effect on use when planing. Mostly, I am just tired of
working on this bench. I have put almost 850 hours into this sucker.
The last 840 have been the hardest. I have made a ton of mistakes, but
that's how we all learn isn't it? I guess. I think once I start on
another project, I will be able to "let this one go". The wood is rock
If I do raise up the rear jaw flush with the rest of the bench, I
still have the issue of the "lip" created by the small slope on the
end of the bench meeting the rear jaw (see below). Would I fill this
in with Hot Stuff? I ask because I wonder if this lip will cause snags
when sliding a board to the dogs in the front jaw.
Anyhow, thanks again, Im learning a lot here...
email@example.com (Bob) wrote in
It's time to make something else. Go ask the lady in your life if she
would like to have anything from your woodshop, and then build it for her.
Or surprise one of the family members with something.
The worst that could happen is what happened to Tom Watson:
"Dad, I MIGHT like it if I knew what it was."
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