[Leg Vise Chop] Finished!

Finally wrapped this project up, after some setbacks.

To correct the angled chop I had to see what was the problem: the hole drilled in the chop or the hole drilled for the coupler buried in the leg? 

First I tested the hole in the leg:


Clearly, the threaded rod exiting the leg is off of perpendicular.  Then, before I attacked the solution, I decided to check the chop:


Huh.  It’s off too!  So, after some hand wringing, cussing, and a few beers, I took the case online and asked for help.  I received a lot of good suggestions (thanks guys!!) from plugging and redrilling the chop hole to counter the downward pitch of the leg hole, to turning the bench around and drilling a new chop hole in the far left back leg (making that the new front right).

In the end, after some careful head scratching and lots of pondering, I decided to try and shift the angle of the chop hole. Since I was only talking a few degrees I decided not to fill it. That and I didn’t have any 5/8″ dowel stock laying around. Playing with the sliding bevel gauge, I hit on an angle I thought would fix things.

After a test piece on some scrap almost worked, I tweaked the tilt on the drill press table one past time and hit pay dirt:


That’s what I was after!!! A nice flush fit. Now. Just have to add a corresponding angle to the garter (oh yeah…redo that bit as well). In a shorter amount of time that I thought, I had it:


At last. Done! Well, sort of. I still had to make a new parallel guide. Which wasn’t too hard. I used a piece of 1/2″ oak and planed it to the right thickness to match the slot in the leg, then drilled holes for the pin (er, screwdriver) then mortised out a new slot in the chop, drilled a hole in the side for a locking dowel and reassembled everything. Voila!


This was a worthwhile project that despite having done it a year ago, taught me a lot about woodworking. My mortises were spot on this time, better than I’ve ever done. In all, I’m really happy how this turned out!



About Marcus Richardson

Marcus attended the University of Delaware and later graduated from law school at the age of 26. Since then, he has at times been employed (or not) as: a stock boy, a cashier, a department manager at a home furnishing store, an assistant manager at and arts and crafts store, an unemployed handyman, husband, cook, groundskeeper, spider killer extraordinaire, stay at home dad, and a writer.
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