Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It lives!

The monster lives. And without recourse to an electric storm and an Igor.

I'll admit this is something of a relief. Not just because there's always the worry that you won't remember how it all went back together - the digital camera is worth its weight in gold in that respect - but because I've never actually seen it all in one piece. It was quite a buzz getting it all together.

A sort of idea of how it goes together when fitted on a bench. I cleaned up and refinished the beech handle with the plastic ends (shaving pony, scraper, Speed'n'Eeze polish for, well, speed and ease...) but the long term plan is to replace it with one more like the originals. Anyone know the preferred wood of Joe Emmert and his little elves?

The biggest triumph was that pesky segmented washer. Kids, would you believe the Heap 'o' Washers that have been kicking about Alf Towers since Noah first took to a dinghy offered up one that's not only a perfect fit on the shaft of the Taper Adjustment Knob, but a beautiful friction fit in the casting slot to boot? A little work with hacksaw and file, light tap with mallet on screwdriver, and she was home. I love it when a plan comes together.

So now I'm looking at this gleaming behemoth and wondering if I don't rather fancy it on my existing bench after all. Only problem is the beam is so long that it'd quite possibly necessitate hacking into the tool well and rebuilding it just a tad. Hmm. But I do worry about just how short a bench is really practical for this monster. Here's a naff bit of SketchUp to demonstrate same using the most pathetic rendering of an Emmert vice you could imagine with the SU file of the Holtzapffel type, but reduced in length to 5ft or 1.5m-odd, that being about as much as I can squeeze in (and still be able to use it).

It looks okay, kinda. But, gentle reader, I wake up in the early hours, wild-eyed, having nightmares of this variety:

I'm pretty sure Joe would come and haunt me personally if I let that happen, and I wouldn't blame him. And thus the angsting goes on...


  1. Do you mean something like this?

  2. Well, I hit publish sooner than I had expected.

    It is not that bad on the short bench. The trick is to move the shaft of the vise up close to the leg. It is really not in the way. My base is light cedar and yes, it is a bit top heavy but not a real problem. I plan on putting some storage under the bench which will add quite a bit of balance to the other side. Not saying that you should do it that way but the tipping is not as much of a risk as you might think.

  3. Jeremy (jmk89)7/21/2010 04:30:00 pm

    I doubt that will happen, Alf. But if it does, put another leg on the RH end (not purdy, but it will keep Joe's spectre from haunting you)! Or put a shelf between the four legs and put some combo planes there for storage (doorstops and boat anchors, indeed!!!)

  4. Better yet, get a matching vise and put it on the end to balance it out!

  5. Well, if there's enough space, I'd fit something like a Record 52D at the other end as a tail vice, and drill some dog holes along the top. Also, I'd fit a couple of metal brackets to two of the legs and screw it to the floor.

    Cheers ;-)

    Paul Chapman

  6. Bah! It would never tip...unless the legs of the bench are made of Balsa. It's all a matter of torque. The outer legs and stretcher have (according to the sketch anyway) 6X the lever arm of the vise so as long as they are 1/6th the weight of the vise, you are all set...with plenty of room for safety since the center of mass of the top is far to the right of the left set of legs.

  7. Steve, most of that goes over my head, but it sounds very technical and convincing, and above all, exactly what I wanted to hear.


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