Today I finally had enough of thinking and worrying about how to mount the leg vise. After all, once I drill that big hole through the leg, there’s no going back!
I got out the Black and Decker Woodwrecker and a 5/8″ paddle bit, then punched a hole in the chop for the threaded rod. Then i carefully lined up the chop exactly where I wanted it…leveled it and clamped it in place. I marked the spot on the leg where the hole for the rod needed to be and got the chop out of the way.
I used a 3/4″ paddle bit to hog out a hole in the wood to seat the massive threaded rod coupler I bought. This thing will be buried in the leg to support the rod/vise. Then I centered the 5/8″ bit again and bored out the rest of the hole.
Test fitting the coupler let me in on the fact that the 3/4″ hole was still about 1/8″ too small all the way around for the coupler to fit. Now I had to use the 1/4″ chisel to cut the round hole into a hexagonal shape to seat the coupler into the leg so it would not turn when the rod turns. This turned out to be easier than I thought and it turned out a lot better than I imagined!
After a few test fits with the mallet (had to use a carriage bolt and the mallet from the other side to pop the coupler out, the fit was that snug) I realized that the last part of the hole in the leg (the smaller diameter part in the rear of the leg) was not perfectly level like everything else. So when I put the rod in to test it, I found it was trying to screw it’s way through the leg for the last inch or so. Well, that wouldn’t do at all.
Out came the chisel again and I carved out the last bit of the hole the correct angle for the rod to work it’s way through. After slipping on some nuts (it took three, each rotated in opposite directions to lock in place) and using some pliers, I was able to get the rod to go all the way through the leg. Once it punched through that initial time, I could use my hands very easily to turn the rod. This is promising!
I now understand the reasoning for those wood screws the massive threads—even though this threaded rod is coarse threaded, it still took a loooong time to get that rod all the way through the leg so I could test fit the chop. Whew. Good thing I’m not going to be backing this sucker out the full 24″.
And here is the chop on it’s first test fit. Everything looks good to me! Next step is to fabricate a handle/lever (I’m still trying to sort out the mechanics of this and how I’m going to do it) and garter.
Speaking of the garter, I found a piece fo scrap metal laying on a shelf and realized it was just barely too narrow for the rod to pass through. I busted out the file and the bench vise and worked on a for a while. Then I got the idea to use the hack saw, cut a notch below the hole and then slam it with a hammer. That bent one “arm” back and allowed for enough space the rod to sit inside. I used the file to make the thickness of the “arms” a little more pointed to fit in the threads on the rod, and I think the garter is now ready to install on the chop.
Here is the full length shot of the bench with the chop installed for the test fit. With any luck, I’ll figure out how I’m going to attach the handle/lever I have yet to create and then I’ll attach it permanently! It sure is strong though—glad I upped the screw from the 10″ 3/8″ carriage bolt to the 1/2″ x 24″ threaded rod! As an aside, the strip of wood laying on the bench is the 4 pieces of oak trim cutoff that I glued together months ago. I planed it down to it’s fighting size today and it fit so smoothly into the slot that’s already cut into the leg for it. Should be awesome for the support bit down there on the bottom of the chop (the slot for that hasn’t been cut yet).