Dad's Benchtop Bench: Part II
Once I had finished the legs and had milled the top, I made the twin screw vise out of a big hunk of oak Kari Hultman gave me. It was about 10/4 to begin with, and after all of it’s milling, the vise was still a heavy 8/4. This was a bit thicker than Miller’s plans from Fine Woodworking, but I figured giving up 1/2 of vise capacity wasn’t worth the extra work of planing off 1/4” from each jaw.
|The milled vise jaws.|
With the vise screw locations marked on one (1) of the jaws, I set them on top of each other on my drill press. I used an 1/8” bit to drill through the entire upper jaw and about half the lower jaw (I ran out of bit length). These 1/8” holes served as center guides for the larger bits I would use to make clearance for the vise screw (about 5/8”) and the vise screw nut (about 1-1/4”).
|Drilling the pilot holes for the vise screws.|
After checking that the vise screws fit in their holes, I set the vise screw nuts in their holes. I traced around their flanges and pulled them out.
Then I used my DeWalt DWP611 with an 1/8” upcut spiral bit to route out for the screw flanges. To set the depth, I set the router on my bench and brought the bit down to the bench. Then I loosened the depth guide and slid the flange between the top and the turret. I then tightened the stop and pulled the flange out. By lowering the router until the stop hit the turret, I had set the depth exactly as deep as the flange.
|Plenty of clearance.|
I then simply routed free hand. To ensure that the flanges fit, I made sure to go outside the lines which were drawn tight.
When I installed the vise screw nuts, I found that they fit perfectly within the routed out areas. I also found that they stuck out proud of the inside face of the vise jaw. I had to remove them and cut off the excess with a grinder in order to fit them properly.
|Being shamed into fitting.|
With the vise nuts installed, I assembled the vise by inserting the vise screws through the front jaw into the rear jaw and snugging them up. Then I laid the vise in place, letting the screw threads rest on the underside of the benchtop. I marked the screw locations with a pencil and took out the DWP611 again.
|I actually routed the nut clearance first.|
I used the router freehand to remove a clearance hole for the screw threads and I relieved a small amount on the edge to give just a little extra clearance for the back of the vise nuts.
|Ready to receive the screw.|
With the benchtop milled to accept the vise, I went back to complete the front jaw.