Sunday, 16 February 2014

It Just Might Work...Maybe...

This is where my portable vise stands as of this afternoon...

The 16-pieces that make up the meat of the vise are now all drilled, glued up and rough-blocked (that is the term for truing up a car's body panels but is that the correct term for truing up a piece of wood?).

Even though drilling those 32 - ¾" dog-holes was monotonous, it was an easy and relatively enjoyable task doing them on the drill press. I didn't through-drill them, but that might change by the time it is done. While I was blocking it, I found that it was quick and easy to fill the holes with shavings, but getting them out was a real bitch. My original thought was that it would be easier to keep my work area clean with blind holes, which would reduce the spread of crap from getting under the vise. After spending 10-minutes earlier, cleaning out all the holes with a awl before turning it over to work the bottom side, I'm rethinking that one.

Cutting the runways for the two maple stabilizers and the walnut screw was a fun task. I cut slots in the pieces that they run in and used a round plane to cup the surfaces of the pieces that face them to get the width needed. They all slide in and out smoothly and evenly, so I figure I made a good choice regarding how to cut them.

I still have to cut the ends square, but I am going to have to wait for some decent weather so I can do that on the outdoor bench. Cutting stock is a dusty job, too dusty to do indoors. The weatherman is actually calling for warmer, sunnier days starting Tuesday, so the minute the temperature gets close to (or hopefully above) freezing, I'll be out there with saw in hand. I'm going to try that H. E. Mitchell Tenon Saw I purchased recently to cut them, not just because it is a good, heavy backsaw, but because I want to see how it works.

I have shown a piece of 2x4 oak stock to the right of the vise's body which will become its right frame-rail. I bit the bullet and bought new stock for the frame for no other reason that aesthetics. I figured the 1½" by 3½" boards would look a lot better than 2 - ¾" boards glued together, given that the body was glued up with material of that thickness. I am going to keep this material at its 3½" height, but rip some cut-outs along their bottom edges leaving extra material in each corner to act as feet. I think the vise needs feet as I can't count on the work surfaces I will use it on being level. Feet will make it easier to stabilize the vise by sliding narrow strips of cedar shingles under them as required.

I still haven't given up on setting this vise up to use as a shooting board, but I have decided all the shooting board parts will be detachable. The reason for this is I want to add a storage box to hold the bits and pieces the vise will need, such as dogs and clamps, and if everything is connected in one piece, I'll have to rent a crane every time I want to move it. The drawing below shows how the vise will look when the frame is done, showing the where and how of the storage bin...

That's it for now. Catch ya' again when I get the frame done.