Saturday, November 26, 2011

If I Had Only Done This Sooner...

    For those of you in the know, this is an absolute variation ( or bastardization) of  Tom Fidgen's very excellent toolbox that has been all over the place in the last year or so, with one small modification. It's the not so subtle massive leg vise mounted on it , if you couldn't spot it immediately.
   This proves that  what people are always saying to me is true, and I quote, " You would put a vise on dog if you could." And......yes! More pictures soon, and a video of this atrocity in action.

What a Good Place to Start Again!

    Well, It has been quite a while, like it or not , it's "ON". This blog is in full swing again. I am hoping to focus on benches and hand tool work as a new focus for Bench Vice, and more power tool and general woodworking techniques on the Wood Therapy page.
    A new twist will be that a majority of content from now on will be on location, as I have acquired a slew of mobile technology, as a matter of  fact I will be uploading photos and videos of projects, techniques, and certain embarrassment of myself on the Facebook page.
    In honor of a renewed sense of purpose, here is a link to the very cool Bench Crafted Moxon vice hardware. It looks as if you could easily convert it to be a good twin face vise, if you don't care to spin the wheels.
  Two new posts coming this weekend!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kerfs So Thin You Can Wedge Them With Paper?

Non bench related post here, I am puzzled by a recent trend  happening with hand saws, thin saw plates! I personally do not understand it as I tend to cut on the waste side of my layout lines while doing joinery. For my part this is my greatest gripe with Japanese pull saws, I can cut a curved line with one without batting an eye, which is not the desired result. I think. For my money a saw with an 1/8" kerf ?, that sounds better just think of  how little paring would be needed on dovetail floors! Hmmmm., sounds like a job for Mr. Bad Axe Mark Harrell to me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Joinery Bench: Part V

So now comes the very long post regarding the leg construction on this bench. It is very critical that you get the offset leg angles correct or the stability will be compromised. I encourage you to e-mail me if I do not relay this information in a manor that can be easily digested. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, lets do some math!

Let's start with a formula for the leg height. Take the top thickness and add 3 1/2 " for the top braces and the bottom skis. My top is 2 1/2 + 3 1/2 = 6". Now, take the total height you want your bench to be, mine will be 38" for my 5' 10" stature, and subtract the answer from the first math, 38 - 6 = 32".You will now need a piece of cardboard or plywood that is the depth of your top wide by the answer from our equation ( 24"w X 32"t) This is is what we will use to determine our leg angles and stock length.

Along the top of your board , it does not matter if you start from the left or right because it will be flipped over to do the other leg, just start from the opposite edge when you flip it over, make a mark the thickness of your apron ( mine is 3/4") From that mark measure the distance between the front apron and the tool tray apron (actual top glue up depth) and make another mark. Make a 1" mark off those marks toward the center.. The 1" space leaves room to fasten the legs to the top using lag bolts. 

Confused yet? It get's worse! Now, from the mark 1" off of the tool tray apron (inside edge of leg) to the front bottom edge of the layout board( outside edge of leg ) I lay one of my leg blanks on those marks. my leg blanks ended up 4 1/2" wide, this is the front leg angle. I then lay my back leg blank directly on top of that one at the 1" off the front apron mark to the opposite bottom corner of my rectangular pattern board using a spacer on each end to hold it up.( DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! It is critical that the thickness of your legs be the same or less than the piece of stock outboard of the saw slot/ plane stop, or your saw will not go into it!!!!) Trace where the back leg lands on the front leg and viola! leg angles!

I use a Festool TS 55 to cut as many kerfs as I can exactly half way through my front leg half lap as possible.Then it is a matter of popping the bulk of the material loose with a chisel and my THOR mallet. I then clean up the edges of the joint with a rabbit plane and then a bench plane for the center portion. Lay the blank back on the board in the same spot and put the back leg into the joint and transfer where the corresponding lap joint occurs and repeat the letting in procedure. Now put the joint together and lay the hopefully X shaped assembly on the layout board in the correct spot. The top and bottom edge of the board gives you the line to cut the legs to length!

This is where I am in the process, we will do the top braces and bottom skis next post. If you are building this bench I am dying to see your progress. So please, please send me photos and I will post hem here. "The Schwarz" looks in on the blog occasionally  so if you want to show him what us nobodies can do........

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's About Time !!!!

After a lengthy and unexpected hiatus due to an unusual influx of projects at my day job, as well as my over the top involvement in South Asheville's Little League program. Posts will now resume on this site. I apologize for the lengthy delay in posting the next Joinery Bench installment, but rest assured you can expect it in the next couple of days. (As soon as I rifle through the sixty or so photos for that post!) Ciao!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Joinery Bench Part : IV

So over the weekend I finished dovetailing the apron assembly, put in the dog holes and attached the apron to the top as seen in this photo. This is what your top and apron assembly should look like.I drilled the dog holes in a configuration that best suites my needs, feel free to put them anywhere you like, just be sure not to put one in line of where your vise screws will be installed. You can wait until the vise hardware and chop are installed to drill the holes. I like to start the 3/4" dog holes with a plunge router and finish them with a forstener bit.

                                                                         Now, if you look at the next pic you can see that I attached the apron to the top with a liberal amount of Miller Dowel pins. If you have never used them you are missing out. They are stepped dowels with a matching stepped drill bit and are very strong when installed with glue. I like to layout mine in a decorative pattern usually starting 1 1/2" from the ends, then the middle, then half the distance to the outer pegs, then half again and so on. Just don't be afraid that you are using too many, there is no such thing as too many. I also like to use a contrasting wood but all I had on hand was Oak, so that's what I used. While the dowels come in three sizes, I used the Mini X for the  apron, although the 1X would do just as well.

That is it for today. My next post will be on laying out and cutting the leg angles, which I just came upstairs from cutting and photographing the first leg assembly. I will try to get that to you ASAP, but I  am under the gun as this is the actual bench that will be at Asheville Hardware which will be used to take orders from. I also am dong a hand cut dovetail demo at the grand reopening on Friday April 2nd and would like to use the new bench. No pressure though!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Joinery Bench Part III : Apron Assembly

I could not wait for the votes so I am doing the apron with dovetails. You can use dowels, box joints, or even just simple miters. The objective is to run the front apron across your width ( which should be roughly 36") and return your sides along the depth of the top and beyond to 24".Then directly behind and attatched to the top is the fourth wall of the tool tray, just cut to fit in between the two 24" sides and fasten from the outside with your method of choice. ( Those I will dowel peg in)

So here are some pics of some of (one) the dovetailling and where the mid apron for the tool tray intersects!

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