In Projects, Shop Blog, Techniques

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In my last few posts, I showed how two different vise chops designs were created for the BARN workbenches.

One technique was based on an easy to use 3D CAD tool: extrusion. Armed with a squiggly line, that gave me a 3D ripple in a hurry. The second chop was created using rule-based clone copies of simple geometric shapes to create an array. That gave me a big set of 3D components that I used to simulate diamond tuck upholstery. Both results then were warped onto my base form — that gently curving surface that’s the front face of the chops.

That’s two out of the 11 vise chops. In the interest of efficiency, rather than go into all the CAD details of the remaining 9, I’ll just say that no concept or method used was overly-sophisticated. All designs were created with a variety of 3D techniques — most basic, a few more challenging. After all, this was a volunteer project and with 9 benches to build and 11 vise chops, I had to at least try to be efficient with my time. Each design was developed in less than an hour.

Each BARN vise chop design is a combination of straight forward concepts, built with basic 3D CAD techniques in Rhino3D to serve a deliberately restrained design approach. Once the design or pattern was complete and large enough to cover the vise face, it was warped onto the gently curved base surface and trimmed to the outside vise chop shape. The machining was programmed in RhinoCAM. Each chop was CNC machined over four to six hours.

Now, for a final tour of the set of 10 vise chops in both raw and final form…

For the last post in this BARN workbench series, I’ll touch on the CAM programming that I used for CNCing out the final results.

Tim Celeski

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