Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Roubo Experiment in Terror !

I am taking a couple of days off from "Joinery Bench" related propaganda (which I love!!!) to address something that has cost me a lot of sleep lately. My partially naked bench! My main workhorse is Holzapfel in nature with a ridiculously massive twin screw vice, as well as a quick release vise on one end. (click photo) Most people would be ecstatic with this work holding monster, so forgive me for what I am about to drag you all through, apparently years of lacquer asphyxiation has brought me to this. " THERE ARE TWO SIDES ON MY BENCH DOING NOTHING! Nada-zero-nil-zilch-bupkus, continually mocking me to the point of putting my very manhood in question.

So here's the deal! I'm thinking Roubo redo, wagon and leg vises, dead man to be determined at a later date. But here in lies the biggest workbench thorn of all thorns in my side, damned parallel guides. I mean have you priced draw bore pins lately, pricey is putting it kindly, not to mention the fact that you are locked in to preset increments on the guide.

Dig this! " Duel Screw Leg Vise" There, I said it and I am absolutely serious. There should be no reason that you can't use a separate vise screw where the parallel guide would normally be, I mean imagine if you dare this, micro-adjustability in a Roubo style leg vise. OOOHHH, AAAHHHH. Here I will document my journey into completely re-writing workbench history as we know it, or the birth of a total abomination that will exile me from the woodworking world as we know it, as well as contemplating a new career as a Sherpa.

So far I have tapped the legs on my bench to accept the screws, yes I said tapped the legs! I make all of my bench screws, so I whipped up two that are 18" long. Excessive?, Always! I currently don't have a lathe, so I glued up a 3"x3" walnut blank and grabbed a spokeshave to make the hubs, which surprisingly only took about 30 minutes to make "square", "round". Then the 1" hole to accept the handle, and a 1 1/2" hole in the end to accept the shaft of the vise screw. Unlike one piece screws that can be found more and more these days, mine are two piece so I can use any wood species I want for the hub portion. I also prefer a steeper thread pitch, roughly 4 to 5 threads per inch, the steeper angle creates greater clamping pressure with less force than a 2 tpi screw. Check the photo to see where I am so far. I will be posting more progress tomorrow. (I hope)


Nik Brown said...

Now there is a class I would like to take.... making a complete threaded vice screw without a lathe.

I also don't own one and wooden vise screws are ridiculously priced.

After you mack square round hows do you cut the threads?

Tim Williams said...

I did nearly two years of research and trial and error on the screws.Making them two piece (handle hub is a seperate piece)my options opened up considerably. There are tons of threaders for threading wood rods, mine are 1 1/2" and I don't do it manually and I am amazed someone has not figured out how I am making them. So I will leave it a mystery until someone calls me out, then i'll fess up!

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