[Leg Vise Chop] Seating the Garter

Good news bad news kind of day.  Twice.

The first thing that hit me today was that the bare spot I had filed into the threads on the leg vise “screw” (really a 5/8″ threaded rod from the Borg) for the first chop won’t work on v2 because the chop is twice as thick.


Soooo…half an hour of filing and I had this:


Then I started making the garter.  First I measured out a 2.5″ square of 1/2″ oak.  Then took it to the drill press and punched a 1/2″ hole with a Forstner bit and cut the garter in half.


Made a pretty good fit, I think…or as close as I can get with the equipment I have.


Once the garter was ready, I put the whole chop on the drill press and after lauhing a bit at how it drwafed the press table, I drilled a 5/8″ hole for the screw.  This was a little complicated, as my little Harbor Freight (I know, gasp) drill press and small bits dodnt have the travel neccessary to punch through the whole chop in one pass.


So I would drill as deep as possible, the scooted the chop up ontot the bit and shimmed it with scrap underneath to let the bit go deeper.  I repeated this until the chuck hit the chop (lol) and had to flip the chop, mark the location of the hole on the back and drill in to meet the front hole….

At last I had the hole drilled and smooth.  The threaded rod slipped through much nicer than when I drilled the first chop last year…that was using a cordless drill and a twist bit.  It was a lot more dofficult and probably was the reason for the wobble that caused me to replace the chop.

Anyway, I tested the rod with the garter in place, the  traced out where to cut my mortise:


Back to the drill press to hog out the waste (first time I’ve ever used it to do this….talk about fun!)


And 5 minutes later I had chiselsd out the most square, straight sided mortise of my life!!!


I was so happy with the mortise I had a hard time seating the garter and rod….I hated to cover it up!  But, after countersinking for some screws, everything went together like butter (the wax I added to the garter and the rod may have helped).

It only took a few minutes to thread the rod into the bench’s bushing (also oak) and my new chop was attached!!


Sorry for the bad blurry image…I was using a cell phone camera and the window just washed it out.

Then….I noticed the other bad news….when I originally built the bench I must had drilled the hole for the rod off a little.  Because I did it by hand (not with a bit and brace, just with a power drill and no guides) and not with a press, my new chop is waaaaaay off.


You can clearly see the bottom has mad contact with the bench leg, but the top is….you guessed it…exactly as far apart as the infamous wobble in the old chop that caused me so much grief.

After wiping up the sawdust filled tears of frustration, I started thinking of remedies.  Firs toptoo  is to cut an angled piece to glje on the face of the chop to make it clampable.  Not pretty because I’ll have a lopsoded chop….but I don’t think it’ll bug me enough to not want to use it.

So I’m putting the old batsignal out intot the clouds….anyone got any ideas on how to proceed?  I’m hoping I don’t have to use the u option of removing the leg and replacing that and drilling a proper hole to match the chop….



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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