Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Workbench, Part 5

This was my only vise.
Looking back at Book 2, The Metal Lathe, I saw that the lathe was fixed to the bench by four bolts, which could also be used for  leveling. I realized that I didn't need a smooth bench top under the lathe, or even a level top, just a rigid one. I tried bolting my vise to the bench, and it worked just fine. I added a second vise and a bench grinder.
Now I have two.

When I added boards to the top, I lined them up against the wall. I figured this would keep the front and back edges relatively straight, and minimize the chances for things to fall behind the bench. I forgot that:

1. I had meant to have a 3 inch overhang in the front for clamping. Because there was a double layer of baseboard, (I have no idea why) my overhang was now in back.

2. I had meant to screw particle board to the back of the bench and extending a few inches above the top to make it rigid and serve as a backstop. There was no way I was going to roll it over now.

3. With the bench top against the wall, all vibrations would be transmitted to a partition we share with the neighbors. (I live in a duplex.)

Using a crowbar, I was able to move the bench about a half inch from the wall. That should reduce vibrations in the wall, but now I had a gap behind the bench, and nothing to keep small parts from rolling off. I laid a 2x4 along the back, but with such an uneven surface, I worried that some parts might be small enough to roll under the 2x4. I cut a groove with a circular saw, stood 1/4 x 2" lath in the groove, stood the 2x4 on edge behind it, and laid 1x2s flat behind that. I screwed the 1x2s to the bench, screwed the 2x4 to the 1x2s, and glued the lath to the 2x4. A complicated solution to a problem that could have been easily avoided.
The clamps are holding the lath in place while the glue dries.

I attached power strips to the 2x4, hung a shelf from the joists above the bench, and clamped reflector lamps ($6.47 each at Walmart) to the shelf.

It may look like I am overloading the circuit, but the power strips are rated for a full 15 A, I put LED bulbs in the lamps, so they only consume 15 watts each, and I only use one power tool at a time. The power strips are to save plugging and unplugging.

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