Roubo Build: Installing the Bench Crafted Classic Leg Vise with Criss-Cross Retro

The past weeks have been hectic, but I was finally able to get the Bench Crafted classic leg vise installed.  The installation was a little daunting, but careful layout ensured a good fit.

I started laying out the criss-cross mortises by marking where I wanted the bottom of the chop on the leg.  From there, I was able to mark out the mortise and vise screw locations.  Then, I carefully transferred my lines to the chop.  I roughed out the mortises on the drill press.  I cleaned them up with a plunge router and chisel.

With the mortises complete, I fit the retro brackets and marked the machine screw holes.  I bored out pilot holes on the drill press, and then tapped them with a 5/16-inch bottoming tap.  Everything came together nicely.

Next, I bored a counter-bore in the leg for the acetal bushing.  I finished boring the holes for the vise screw and gave everything a test fit.  Then, it was only a matter of attaching the rest of the hardware.

If I had to do it over again, I would have used a larger router bit to clean up the criss-cross mortises.  Cleaning up the bottom of the mortises in six or seven passes was time-consuming.  I still have to shape the chop, but that will be the easy part.

Next up, draw boring.  Stay tuned.

You can find links to my other Roubo posts here:  Project Index

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Shop Update

This past week was hectic.  Work was crazy, and we had a small event at my son’s school.  Unfortunately, that meant choosing between writing and shop time.  Shop time won that battle. I finished laminating the vise chop and started excavating the mortises for the Bench Crafted hardware.  That means I have a new video … Read more

The Fundamentals of Furniture Design: Finding Inspiration

Nature never fails to provide design inspiration

Design inspiration is all around you, awaiting discovery.  You just have to know where to look.  It often turns up where you least expect it.  You’ll find inspiration in nature.  You’ll find it in the designs of others.  Often, you’ll find inspiration in areas remotely related to furniture making.  Be careful not to design cheap … Read more

That’s a bit of a Stretch…

Clamp your stretcher to your leg

With  all four legs fitted to the top, I’m rounding 3rd and heading for home.  That’s a bit of a stretch.  I still have many details to work out, a vise to install, chop and sliding dead-man to complete, and the stretchers. Fitting the Roubo Workbench Stretchers I milled up the stretchers much the same … Read more

Superior Hand Tools: The Bit and Brace

I’ve recently been using my vintage hand brace often.  I’ve discovered that there are many times when I prefer it to a power drill.  As long as your bits are sharp and you use a brace with the proper sweep, it doesn’t need much more physical effort than a power drill.  It’s easy to get crisp, clean holes and it’s a lot of fun to use.  It’s also nice not to have to worry about charging batteries all the time.  Watch the video below to see how easy it is to use a bit and brace.

Music is by ‘Hare and the Hounds’.  They just released their first album.  It’s a good one.  I highly suggest you check it out.

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The Fundamentals of Furniture Design: Proportion Part 2

Proportion creates harmony

Understanding that the traditional builder focused on proportional design instead of measurement isn’t helpful to the modern designer if we can’t see how he did it.  In this post, we will do just that. Proportion has three primary objectives: to create symmetry, contrast, and punctuation.  Designers create symmetry in the horizontal: right-to-left.   Symmetry’s purpose is … Read more

Roubo Workbench Build: Chopping Mortises by Hand

Roughed out mortise

The mortises in the top are huge.  When I say huge, they are caverns of darkness that suck the life force from unsuspecting victims.  They measure two inches wide, by 5 inches long, by two inches deep.  There are four of these soul sucking vampires to slay.  If you want to face these monsters, you’ll … Read more