After seeing numerous posts, and watching it in action on The Woodwright’s Shop, I decided that the double screw bench vise just might come in handy. I sure could’ve used it when I was sawing the 40 sets of dovetails for my tool chest!
Here in sunny FLA (no joke, it’s December 23rd and it’s 80 degrees plus with high humidity. Yuck) we don’t have the benefit of the fantastic lumber yards of our northern cousins. I often peruse with envy the web pages of Goose Bay Sawmill in New Hampshire, drooling at the hardwoods they carry. Don’t get me wrong, we have a couple of local yards, that carry a pretty good selection of hardwoods, but nothing to match those in the very heart of America’s hardwood forests. What we do have down here is lots of Southern Yellow Pine and cypress. So, it was only logical that I use these materials to construct my vise.
I did get a 2×2 piece of maple from Woodcraft for the screws. My first idea was to purchase a tap and die and make the screws out of wood. But, I didn’t want to outlay the cash for something I may only use once. So, for about $20 I got the wood, threaded rods, and various nuts and washers from the Orange Box. I bored the shaft holes, then chiseled deep counter bores for the long nuts. After some tweaking with a rasp, I pounded in some hand cut wedges to secure the nuts in the handles so they could be removed later if need be.
I bored all the holes in the face boards with a new Irwin bit for my brace, then test fit everything.
Meanwhile, the other face was gluing up. I rabbeted both the face and the support piece in back, allowing for more glue surface for a stronger joint.
After planing a 45 degree edge on the front face board, as a relief for saw cuts, I eased all the edges with a block plane. The long surfaces were trued with a #7 jointer, then I glued some leather onto the face. The “leather” is actually some leftover doe skin I had from another project. Pretty classy.
After a long night’s rest, I took it for a test drive today. Cutting dovetails for the molding to go on my tool chest. Having the work about 6″ taller than the bench top was very nice, being able to saw without bending over. Now all I have to do is put a couple coats of oil on the exterior faces and Mr. Moxon’s infernal machine is ready to go.