Woodworker's Journal 2007-Winter, страница 23


Details Make the Difference

Carved Oil Cup

Leather Vise Liners

Ebony Crosscut Stop

Small but important details elevate Frank's bench to the highest level of craftsmanship. The carved oil cup mounted to the underside of the tail vise, for instance, is a handy place to keep a little vegetable oil to lubricate anything that needs it, such as saws and plane soles.

Leather vise liners are another delightful finishing touch featured on Franks bench. The leather protects the jaws and the work. When it wears out or gets damaged, you can soak it off and replace it.

And, of course, the fold-down crosscut stop at the end of Frank's bench is another detail that truly enhances the performance of his classic design.

Building the Wooden Vise Jaw

Once you have bolted the top to the base and cut the benchscrew to length, you're ready to make the wooden vise jaw for your shoulder vise. Frank used a 1"-thick piece of rosewood for his, but any seasoned hardwood is okay for this detail. Make it a little wider than necessary so you can plane it flush with your bench after you install it.

The wooden vise jaw has an extension on the left end that fits between the shoulder block and the top rail of the base. It is connected to the benchscrew by a cast-iron foot that allows the jaw to pivot left or right to accommodate tapered or odd-shaped workpieces.

To locate the pivoting foot accurately, hold the wooden jaw in place and tighten the benchscrew against it (with the swiveling foot attached), making sure the open side of the foot faces to the right. Trace the outline of the foot onto your vise pad, then remove the pad and rout a 3/8"-deep recess in it to receive the foot. This allows the jaw to open a bit wider, and it looks better, too.

Constructing a Wooden Stop

The wooden stop is another useful feature of this bench. It is simply

a strip of tough hardwood — Frank used holly — that fits tightly into a rectangular mortise through the top (see the Drawings). A tap of a hammer or mallet from below raises it to working height for planing thin pieces of wood.

To make the mortise, drill a series of 1/4" holes with a brad-point bit, and then remove the waste between them with a paring chisel. The mortise should slope about 2° from vertical, toward the right end of the bench. It's a good idea to make the mortise first, then make the stop to fit the mortise.

Frank likes to finish his benches with Waterlox® wiping varnish. A few coats at the beginning and a little more from time to time keep the bench looking beautiful. Make sure to seal up the entire bench with the finish, including under the benchtop. This will equalize moisture that moves into and out of the wood as the seasons change.

If you build Frank's bench, you will have a trusty shop friend forever. You may even ask yourself how you worked without this bench up until now. Many years from now, your children will thank you, too. q

Attach spacer blocks to the underside of the benchtop where it meets the trestles. Then glue one maple "bullet" into each spacer block and drill mating holes in the tops of the trestles to locate the top perfectly each time you assemble the bench.

After gluing the backboard to the ends of the end caps, glue the plywood tool tray into the groove in the backboard and screw and glue it to the underside of the benchtop.

Winter 2007


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