Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hanging Deadman

Before we start, apologies to BB - I forgot about his board jack suggestion. I have used something similar before. Well clamps anyway. A clamp:

As you can tell from the vice and drill, and indeed the ply, this is a carefully and recently staged photo to demonstrate the use of a handscrew for the purpose. This is because I don't have any pics of me using it "in stock". And this is because I'm a lazy idiot and will sooner swear and curse than move myself sufficiently to apply one lousy clamp to the work. Which is why it's absolutely essential to have the easiest and laziest-person's solution to the problem - or I won't use it at all. So, BB's solution, although easy to make and fit, would be utterly useless because I'm utterly useless at using this sort of thing. I feel the shame of it, I assure you.

Anyway, it was pointed out to me that what with Treasure Island and talk of "deadmen", Monday's post all sounded more than a little piratical. Gets worse today, as I bring you Tom in Colorado's "Hanging Sliding Deadman" - jangling chains and Execution dock fourtunately not required. Tom kindly sent me pics of his solution to the overhanging bench top scenario, and equally kindly agreed to let me share. So in his own words, take it away, Tom:

I have attached some photos of my own board jack, which I designed to overcome similar problems to yours. The overhang on my bench top is a little more than 6 inches beyond the lower stretcher, so I made this sliding jack with a “kicker” to support it against the stretcher.

The leg (vertical piece) needs to be forward (toward the user) from the point where the jack hangs in the track, so that the weight of the leg itself will make the whole thing want to swing backward into the lower stretcher. This just keeps it from swinging freely when no workpiece is on it.

The really nice thing about this design is that it is very easy to remove from the bench. The sliding “head” of the jack rides in a groove on the back side of the front edge of the bench.

There is a backing strip of wood (merely screwed to the underside of the top) that is cut short on one end, allowing the “head” to slip out of the groove and off the bench. You can see this in one of the photos, sort of at an awkward angle, but hopefully it shows the groove and backing strip well enough.

The jack can also be held in the tail vice if ever needed that way.

I built the bench top with this jack in mind, so I cut in the groove before everything else was in the way, but I think any sort of track to hang the jack could be retrofitted (or just screwed on) easily enough, and it would be out of sight on the back of the front edge. I once had a free-standing board jack that I used with an older bench, but got pretty fed up with having to step around its feet when edge-planing a long board. That was the inspiration for my newer sliding jack.

As the jack exists now, it has a series of notches on the vertical piece to hang the adjustable support block. I cut the notches on a tablesaw, but think it would be just as easy to do with a drill press and bandsaw or handsaw. Also, after I built it this way, I thought that just a series of holes drilled in the face of the vertical piece for inserting dowels to support the workpiece would be simpler and less intrusive.

A woodworking friend of mine saw it just after I finished building the bench, and he was skeptical of how strong it was, so I stood with all my weight (I weigh 200 lbs) on the support block and it didn't even make a sound. It surprised me too.

Thank you, Tom. It's certainly an option that appeals, as I can try it without making permanent changes to any noticeable parts of the workbench. I'm inclined to think it's suffered enough in that respect!

As to holdfast holes, I'm touched by the idea that time and projects will reveal unto me where to put them. How long have I had that Veritas holdfast, waiting for this very thing to happen? Certainly years, and it, well... hasn't. Why? Because it always seems easier to do without it than stop and bore the necessary hole. Yes, I know; I'm a fool to myself. You needn't point it out...

1 comment:

  1. wow ! I´m really impressed by this beautyful and well crafted deadman
    It´s very very alive


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