Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Bit Buzzy

I know what you're thinking - I'm slipping. I'm really not. Well maybe a bit. Life will insist on getting in the way. And bees.

Yes, bees.

Finally had a moment to get in the w'shop and we had a swarm of bees hanging around just outside the workshop door. They were everywhere, like... well, like a swarm of bees. Strangely disconcerting, that incredible buzz. Anyway, the w'shop is no place to be with the door shut at this time of the year, and sure as Karl Holtey makes stunning planes I wasn't planning on being up to my ears in honey bees at the workbench, so that was a no-go.

And yes, I know it sounds like a "dog ate my homework" kind of excuse, but it's true. Really.

Anyway, a shame, as I had planned to share exhibit A in passing as I proceeded with the door panels. Instead it will have to have some wholly unjustified limelight. Gauge, panel, one, gauging the width of panels for the use of. Not an exactly ground-breaking design; the head was modelled after one BugBear took a snap of at an auction. Nor my first choice of materials; the scrap box provided the wherewithall, and frankly the beam is far too heavy for the task.

Taps nicely though. Now if you cast your mind back to the mortising of the door stiles, you might remember I managed to break the end off my sash mortice chisel... Ha-hum. Well that's been floating about the bench tool tray in a slightly recriminating manner ever since, so I decided I couldn't stand the guilt any more and it would have to live again as something useful.

Hole for a pencil (and to hang it up) at the other end, and it works okay. Also reminded me of something I hadn't really forgotten - I absolutely stink at doing through mortices. A more appropriate beam of smaller cross section was available, but by the time I'd made the mortice even vaguely acceptable, it was a bit on the small side... So nope, through mortices for the legs of the workbench are definitely off...


  1. Alright, no through mortise. I have to confess that I used a piece of 1 1/4 inch diameter maple dowel to connect the top to the front legs of my bench. The dowel is three inches long - 1 1/2 in the leg and the rest in the top. I have cross stretchers at the tops of the legs and lag bolts so I can pick the bench up (with a strong helper - about 10 inches forward at a time). I still think you will not need cross stretchers in your bench at the top - you don't need to move it once it is in place. Four dowels in the legs and your bench won't move as long as the stretchers across the front and back at the bottom are 5 inches or so high and bolted to the legs - there shouldn't be any racking with something like that.

    A Canuck Lurker

  2. I'm think I might just build the thing like I was going to drawbore it together and see how it goes. If it's shifts, I'll drawbore but leave it glueless on the basis I can bore them out if necessary. In theory. So essentially it's looking like the Schwarz interpretation of the Holtzapffel, but with an Emmert instead of a twin screw face vice. I reckon Holtzapffel would have been right behind the gizmocity of the Emmert.

  3. I know it was made from my photo... but I didn't designed, I just photographed it.

    But I will admit to not knowing which way the head is meant to travel; it's clearly handed (being asymmetric), but is the head designed to be on the right side of the panel or the left when in use?

    We know which way the beam will face due to the rebate.

    I had originally guessed your hand went in the "hole", but now I'm not so sure.

    BugBear (who hadn't thought about it much before)


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