Workbench Day 31: Mounting the Leg Vise (part 3)

I made some good progress for the 20 minutes I had to work on the bench today.

I used the utility knife to chamber the edges of the two locking nut/wood discs I fabricated, then polished off the wood with 220 grit sandpaper for a nice smooth finish that didn’t end up overly round.

I also got out the 3/8″ paddle bit and started to hog out the slot for the support guide at the bottom of the leg vise.   I ran out of time to get this part finished, but the hole is roughed out and I just started to chisel it smooth.

The main event, however, was a full up trial run of the vise.  I put the chop on the threaded rod, then 2 washers (I haven’t decided fi I want 2 or 1) then the first nut/wood block, then the handle, then the end nut/wood block.  I set the end piece to cover the sharp end of the threaded rod in case me or the kids or anyone else happens to get to close to the bench, they won’t (read that as I won’t) gore themselves.   Then it was a simple matter of rotating the handle in the opposite direction until it was snug and tight against the end piece.  Then , repeat that process for the last nut and the whole thing got incredibly tight.  I don’t think I even need to glue it.

And the test?  It worked like a dream.  I spun the handle a little bit and it was so smooth.  When the chop was engaged, I put Jim’s lamp mounting plate in it for the first test and man did it get locked down.

The chop wanted to wobble side to side a bit as I tightened it up, but I anticipate that the guide at the bottom that is to be installed with solve that.

I have yet to figure out a way to get a garter on this thing.  The first idea I had met with horrible failure.   I mortised out a little space in the rear of the chop (the inside face) and placed that little metal piece I worked on yesterday in the slot.  Everything fit nice, the threaded rod passed right through…but when I went to test it, the chop just tighten up against the handle (using the same principle as the handle itself) and then wouldn’t budge.  After some head scratching, I realized that this tack is the wrong course.  That’s when it hit me that the garter can’t touch an actual thread or it acts like a nut.  Duh. Ah well, the learning pains.  Which means, I think I need to mortise a hole in the front of the chop, cut a thick slice off a thick dowel and hollow it for the threaded rod, then cut a groove in the dowel and mount a garter into that.  I’m thinking this will ride with a washer on either end (one against the chop, one against the handle assembly).

But that can wait a while.  It’s not so bad at all to just tighten things down, then back the handle off and manually pull the chop back.  I’m going to live with it for a while and see how I like it.  If I don’t, I’ll rig up the garter.

At the moment, I don’t want to mess up a good thing by tinkering too much!


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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2 Responses to Workbench Day 31: Mounting the Leg Vise (part 3)

  1. Paul says:

    As for the garter, just file a neck(square groove) in the screw just to the bottom of thread. Fit garter to fit in groove. Enjoyed,

    • S. M. Vaught says:

      I may need to do an overhaul on the leg vise at some point because when I installed the garter it was a pretty rough operation. I’m thinking of redoing the leg vise in oak or maple or something anyway…your tip will come in handy! Thanks

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