This week my
pesky highly rewarding day job has been interfering with the installation of my new Benchcrafted wagon vise. Our February 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking is riddled with typos (or it is written in Pig Latin). So Managing Editor Megan Fitzpatrick and I have been cleaning up our poor verbiage this week while the real work has sat dormant in the shop.
Here’s a quick update: On Monday I did nothing in the shop. On Tuesday I got my Ashley Iles 1/2″ mortising chisel off the rack and hacked out the rest of the cavity on the underside. This was the biggest “mortise” I’ve ever chopped: 3″ deep, 4″ wide and 4″ long. Then I used a jigsaw to remove the rest of the waste topside, which lengthened the slot for the vise’s sliding dog block.
Finally, I took my chisel plane (Yea! Another use for the chisel plane!) and trued up the slot. The chisel plane worked brilliantly. I pressed its sole against the existing slot and it trimmed the newly cut areas flush.
Today I worked on the bench’s new end cap. This was boring. A lot of boring. About 12 holes that all had to be spot-on to accommodate the Benchcrafted vise, plus the four enormous lag bolts that attach the end cap. Luckily, it was a snap.
Right as I was about to leave work today, I installed the vise screw and bolted it to the end cap. Then I turned the bench over to start the installation of the last metal bits. I couldn’t help it. I gave the wagon wheel a spin. Whizzzz. The vise moved like a water moccasin through the bog.
I belted out an uncharacteristic “Yee-haw” and headed home.
– Christopher Schwarz