I found one of the $29.99 Record 52 7" vises at Big Lots, so I'll be
mounting it and putting faces on it. Next question: What wood for
Rock maple seems a natural choice. Any other suggestions? Should
thickness be 5/4 or 6/4 or so... at least 1" true thickness?
Just about any hardwood that is available would be okay. I've used both
white oak and ash in mine and coated them with some Watco.
As for thickness. If you're considering use bench dogs, the posts are
typically 3/4" so you'll want the movable face to be at least 2" thick.
Laminate up 3, 3/4" thick pieces if you can't find any thicker stock. If
bench dogs are not an issue, 3/4" faces will work just fine.
The main purpose of the wooden faces (cheek-pieces) is to prevent marring of
the workpiece. To this end, the softer the wood, the better - I use pine.
Make sure that the faces are clean and that the screws used to secure the
faces to the vice are countersunk well below the level of the wood.
As to thickness, the thicker your cheek-pieces, the less capacity your vice
will have. I use 1/2" stuff. You don't need more.
I also went with pine 2 1/2" thick. I made it thick so I could extend it
3" past the right edge of the vise to give me a longer verticle grasp
past the guides. I may swap it with some Beech, or Ash someday but now
Pine was the only thick piece I had.
Other Brother Kevin
I use 3/4 imbuia for both vises. It is naturally a bit waxy, so glue
doesn't stick too badly. It's hard like maple. Soft wood is fine for some
uses, but I use the vise to press fit wood parts [mostly wheels on dowel
axles -- I make wood toys], so I need a hard wood. harrym
I used 3/4" oak because that's what was in the scrap pile. It's been
heavily used for over 10 years. I made it such that the top of the
wood (vise) comes in contact first, ever so slightly. Pallet wood
would work just fine too. Finish it with some Watco or varnish to
make it glue resistant.
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