Workbench Day 25: Leg Vise shaping…

Well it’s been too long since I was out in the shop making the wood chips fly so I had a few moments and decided to put steel on wood.  My wife and I have been focusing on getting the kids’ bathroom finished (we started that project in June by ripping up the flooring (down to the sub-floor) and taking out the huge double vanity.  Since then, we have installed Ditra a la Mike Holmes (after repairing a 3’x2′ section of sub-floor that was missing under the vanity) to waterproof the bathroom, then put Brazilian slate on top of that.  Re-installed the toilet (and had a plumber out to fix said installation), re-installed the vanity (that took an entire day to remove) replaced the ugly counter top with a granite slab, repainted the room, trimmed the closet and main door to fit over the tile (used the new workbench for that this week!!!), created a new transition trim and stained to match the other trim, installed the new sink and fixtures (and had a plumber come out to fix that too) and re-hung the huge 5′ mirror back on the wall.  Whew.  We finished two days ago.

That means I’m free (for the moment) to head back to the shop to work on the bench that has been more useful than I could have possibly imagined in the last few weeks.  So glad that I took the time to build it before we continued with out projects any further than we did.  Now it gets used almost daily for something!

Anyway, today I took the leg vise chop that (if you remember from last time) had been glued together and the pattern sketched on the surface.  I wanted to put a 45* bevel on the top board (only the top board… because…well, I don’t have a reason, it’s just the way I thought it up).

So out came the chisels and the rubber mallet with some leveling by the block plane,  et voila: one side bevel is done.

The top of the chop is to the left.  After roughing out the bevel with the chisels (which sliced through the wood with little effort) I was able to focus on turning the…I don’t even know what to call it, but the part where the bevel stops (ha!).  Then I focused on the bottom corner (right side in the above photo, center in the below):

Paring the end-grain is a bit tricky, I have discovered (and so has everyone else before it seems from the amount of info on the internet).  But it wasn’t that bad when I figured out how to work with the chisel, not against it.  I was able to cut a nice little edge in the curved part and then shape a flat plane down to where the top board and bottom board meet.   This edge is looks completely wrong to me, but I kind of like it.  It’s unique.  We’ll see what I think when I copy this pattern (or try to) on the other side.

Since it only took about 35 minutes  I don’t think I’ll have to worry about wasting time if I don’t like the result.  The trick will be getting the time to get back out there to the shop!

Felt good to have tools in the hands and wood shavings on my feet again!


About Steven M. Vaught

A native son of Delaware, now living in Illinois, Steven is a writer, family historian, amateur astronomer, sometimes-gardener, woodworker, father to three wonderful children, husband to a wonderful wife, and caretaker of one cheeky vizsla.
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