Saturday, May 9, 2015

(The Tail Vise) Split Top Roubo Bench Progress as of May 08, 2015

The Bencrafted Tail Vise (Design and product)

The installation of my Benchcrafted Tail Vise didn't go as smoothly as I'd expected to be. 

Firstly, dove tails (one of many types of joinery), never underestimate how easy one could hand craft out a dovetails on a piece of wood. Being a novice woodworker myself, self learning from the internet and books are my only source of guidance and know how on how to hand craft a lovely and sharp dove tails. Meanwhile, having a sharp tool (i.e razor sharp chisel)  will give you an advantage on cutting out an accurately fitting dove tails.

Now, dovetails for my Split Top Roubo Workbench Top. I have deviated a little from the original Benchcrafted blue print for the workbench. As such, a common practice by other woodworkers, the workbench top consist of 7 (total width per side 11.1875") pieces of 1.5" by 4" by 7.25' lumber glued together to form the workbench top.  However my workbench top are made of 2 pieces of 11" by 2" by 7.33'. 

Thus, because of these layout designs the installation of the tail vise end cap and also the method of stenciling the dovetail  tenon on to the end cap is rather different. In following my design, dog hole backing strip, dog hole strip and front laminate are eliminated. I just need to carve out a grove for the sliding plate block and also the tenon for the end cap.

In the Benchcrafted Tail Vise installation guidelines, after carving out the sliding plate rail groves and the grove for the sliding plate, the tenon of the vise tail can then be carved out on the front laminate. There after the tail vise end cap is placed in front of the dovetail front laminate and marked/stenciled to form the other mortise of the dovetail on the end cap. When both dovetails are completed, the end cap is then installed first to the top bench followed by the joining of the carved out dovetail front laminate. Fastened with screws.

Since it is impossible to remove my front laminate, simply because it does not exist, so cutting out the dovetails tenon and mortise is a little different. Instead of having a front laminate, I have a section of front laminate which is the sliding plate block grove. The difference between the "Benchcrafted tail vise installation guidelines" and my method is that, 
1. Benchcrafted tail vise  installation guidelines utilizes the front laminate which  is removable and installed as the last piece for the completion of the tail vise. 
2. My method of installation of the tail vise is when the sliding plate block grove being stationary with the movable end cap as the last piece for the completion of the tail vise.
(Shown in pic I,II,III,a,b,c,d)

pic I

pic II (In the final stage the tenon are of reduced size (not shown))

pic III

Since the section of the front laminate is non removable, the end cap has to be slide in from the side facing of the bench rather than installing it from the front facing of the bench (as in the benchcrafted guidelines) (Shown in pic a,b,c,d). Dovetails are stenciled from the side of the non removable laminate to its end cap. Here, the end cap horizontal mortise is longer then the bench top tenon for allowing the sliding in of the end cap later in the installation (not shown).

pic a

pic b

pic c

pic d

In Summary, I'm still dumbfounded as to why there's a 2"-3"gap on my dovetails as I've stenciled and place the end cap perfectly on the side of the tenon dovetail (shown in d1). Perhaps the dovetails are asymmetrical on the front and back. Anyways, the horizontal sides of the dovetails are perfectly matching. (Shown in pic a1, b1, c1 are the stenciling and cutting of the tenon dovetails).





Pieces of thinly cut wooden sheets to fill up the dovetail gaps.

Sliding plate block and bench dog

tail vise parts

End result of a Not so perfect dovetail joinery :(     I'm gonna regret this

End result of a Not so perfect dovetail joinery with tail vise heel attached  :(     I'm gonna regret this

 Coming soon on next write up.....


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