Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I Just Have To Mess With It...

If the projects I currently have on my plate were actual food, I'd be a bloody glutton. Here is what I am milling wood for today...


This is a remake of the plans for a portable vise that I have been mucking with for the past few months. As you can see, I never know when to leave things the hell alone.

First, thanks to Anonymous, whoever and which one he is, it is now being made of red oak, recycled red oak to be exact. As it turns out, it is surprisingly light for its strength and ability to take a beating.

Second, the vise bed hasn't changed much except it is now going to be constructed out of ¾" stock because that is what I have a ton of in my little material stash.

Third, I am adding a shoot board to one side of it. Only time will tell if this is brilliant or idiotic, but I came up with this because of a revelation I had the other night - I'm getting seriously lazy in my old age. I expect to use this vise as much as I do my makeshift shooting board, so if I make two separate units, I would have twice as much to carry. 

Forth, because I have learned the hard way that shooting boards require some sort of adjustment ability on their fences because, for a multiple number of reasons, they get out of whack occasionally, I'm adding one here. The three items at the bottom-left of the line-drawing show three views of the adjustable fence. It is a pretty simple design, actually. This mental-midget brainwave has six parts. 
  • Two brass pins that match the dog-holes in the vise, made out of brass because a leap of faith told me they might last longer than wood pins, but also because I can drill down their length and tap them.
  • Two bolts; one that will act as a pivot for the adjustments and another to hold the adjustment for, hopefully, longer than one or two plane runs.
  • One 1¾" x 1¾" strip of oak that has the brass pins attached to it so it acts as the anchor for the fence.
  • One 3" x 2½" strip of oak that has a wedge shaped cut-out that fits over the lower strip of oak, giving a ½" of adjustment at one end while being fixed in place at the pivot end.
The only other thing I can add to it is the vise will have 2-across dog holes from the head of the vise to just beyond where the screw and stabilizers end. From that point to the end of the vise there will be 4 dog holes across the width of the bed. While these holes may be used to secure stock, they are really there for the fence, allowing me to move it quite a bit forward so the plane has travelling space after the stock and I won't have to reach as far while using it. It also allows me to move the pins that hold the fence outboard so they can better take the beating I am expecting to give them. Also, the bed that the shoot plane will travel along is ramped downwards 1¼". Research has told me that there isn't any advantage to a ramped shoot board but I am going to ramp this one simply because I think it will allow the blade wear to be spread over a wider area, increasing its use between blade sharpenings.

Lastly, the plans do not show any bench hooks but that is because I haven't quite finalized how I'm going to add movable hooks. If I can move them, I can set the thing up to work from either side or end of the bench.

Only time will tell if this is brilliance or bullshit, so we will have to see. I'm heading to the outside bench today to freeze my butt off while ripping a bunch of 5" wide oak down to 4". Hopefully this project won't take as long as those damned blade retainers I am also currently making for a frame saw. I thought I could bang them off quite quickly, but it isn't quite the job I thought it would be. So far I have the threads cut on the blade tightener, but that is about it. Because my lathe isn't set up yet, I had to hand-file ⁵⁄₈" square brass stock down to ½" round...


Peace,

Mitchell