Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New endvise

When I made my workbench I installed an endvise with one of these generic woodworkers vices. With a big wooden jaw and a hole for a moving dog, it was very usefull together with the dogholes in the benchtop itself. It looked like this.

It worked well enough as an endvice but never perfectly so. And clamping objects in this vice for example for carving was pretty miserable. This type of vise really likes racking and sagging. And to move the jaw a reasonable amount I had to wind the handle an unreasonable number of turns. All in all, this was the part of the bench I didn't really like.

So I bought an old Record 52, years ago, stored it in a dusty corner and never got round to it. After moving the workshop to the garage last summer I started working in the new shop without any endvise at all. And I know, viseless woodworking is all the rage nowadays, but I missed it nonetheless.

At the moment I am somehow not in the mood for fine woodworking, which is a brilliant excuse to tackle little jobs like this. After clearing out the area around the bench and cleaning the bench itself I turned it over. Its a long time since I've seen my bench upside down!

After removing the old hardware it was time to make a plan for installing the new vise in a good spot without interfering with the leg or the dogholes.

This is where it is going to end up, with the rear jaw behind that merbau endcap. And after some sawing and hacking it looks like this.

(one of the bolt holes is out of commision from now on). The line of the dogholes is slightly off centered, so I can reach between the screw in the centre and the guiding rod on the left to push up the dogs. My Record doesn't have a moving dog and it would have been too low anyway. So I made a rear jaw from bits of oak with a hole in the middle for a wooden dog. I also made provision for a wooden spring which gives a bit of friction to the dog, so it doesn't fall down on its own accord. The dog has an extension downwards which fits in between the centre screw and the guiding rod to let me push the dog upwards.

Next where the dogs for the bench. I have made one dog in the past which fits all the dogholes. But that one is to long for the two dogholes nearest to the endvise. The room under the bench is now occupied by the rods and screw mechanism. So I had to make two short ones from some leftover bits of ash.

Reaching between the bars I can push the dog upwards.

And this is the new endvise in use. I am very happy with it allready. It racks and sags a lot less then the old one. And this vise has a quick release which is very nice to move the rearjaw back and forth in a hurry.

As usual, a small job taking more time then envisioned, but it was totally worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Job!
    This is a thing on my list too.
    That is: If i can find a vice like that.