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Thread: laying out bench top

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nashua Iowa
    Posts
    110

    laying out bench top

    My first bench had bench dogs and a record type vise ( home made) that didn't have a quick release on it. And depending on the length of the piece being clamped, in many cases, the vise was either all the way open or nearly closed and because the dogs were equally spaced there were many time I had to put a spacer piece in so I could clamp the piece. In other words it was a pain.
    And then I say Frank Klausz use his bench with a tail vise and I never looked back. My next two benches had tail vises and the bench I am building now will have, guess what, a tail vise.

    I started laying out the top at the right front corner. The main reason is I like tail vises. And the vise hardware controls the size of the vise.
    Now I looked at Lie Nielsen's hardware and Lee Valley's hardware, and some vises from Dieter Schmid's fine tools over in Germany. I looked at about all that I could find.


    I chose the small tail vise hardware from Wood Craft. because of price $64.99, I got it on sale a while back and the fact that my used that vise on my last bench and I liked it just fine. I like everything about the Veritas quick release sliding tail vise from Lee Valley feature wise but I am a traditionalist and it just wouldn't look right. Lee Valley also sells it for $79.99 and a shoulder vise screw that I might consider for a leg vise in the future.
    Anyway I started laying out the bench top from the front right end because of the vise. I took some measurements from my old bench before it left.


    I taped some paper on the top and laid out the tail vise. A tip, use really good masking tape that comes off easily. I changed some dimensions on the vise and the ones I took from my old bench didn't work out. The spacing on the dog holes didn't work out. They were not even in the vise jaw. Now they don't have to be perfectly even but they have to look right because the eye will pick up the discrepancy. Have you ever walked into a room and looked at a picture only to see it is not level. You do not want an untrained eye to catch the incorrect spacing. I taped another paper over the old one and redrew it.


    Another tip it is far easier to redraw on paper than to try to correct it once it is cut in the wood. Anyway here are some pictures of the process, and the tools used. The first picture shows an add on because it is part of the tail vise and not part of the bench

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ID:	98714 the picture is of a wagon vise the next is the correct vise Click image for larger version. 

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    Next is the tail vise drawing

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    The next two are the rest of the bench layout. The dimensions didn't come out so I started adding 1 /16 to every 4.5 inch spacing . I din't change every one down the road but the eye can't pick up the spacing variation

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    The end results

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    And the tools used were a 24 inch steel rule, a square, a marking knife, a marking gage and a sharp pencil. I will cover the marking knife and pencil latter

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    In the end results picture all the lines are the 2 2 inch pieces that are through dovetailed and a 1/4 inch piece that makes then look like half blind and 2 pieces of leather on the ends of the vise jaws. Originally I had two strips for the vise hardware but I didn't have all of it at home, at the time, and I needed to add another strip. And that is clearly seen in the end results picture. If you are unsure of what I am talking about see my post on bench part one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nashua Iowa
    Posts
    110
    Even though it is to cold yet to glue up, needs to be 55 degrees to get a good glue bond. I did get started by cutting a 4 X 11 piece of cherry 11 feet long for the legs. It only weighed 95 bounds.

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