We are in the process of finishing up a run of bookbinding equipment for a store in Michigan and the order called for finished product (we normally sell our vises unfinished). One of the vises uses a screw similar to our Moxon vises only smaller.
In order to finish them, we dip them in oil finish and then wipe off the excess. The only problem is we had 50 of this type to do and hand turning the screws to wipe off each thread would take waaayyy to long. The solution I came up with was a custom drive center for our lathe.
I modeled the shape of the drive center in our CAD software of choice, Fusion 360. Then using the built in CAM (computer aided manufacturing, programs CNC mill to cut out parts), I programmed and cut out the custom drive center from a scrap piece of hard maple. You can watch the YouTube video below to see how it went from a block of wood to a useful tool, as well as how it’s used. We used our Tormach 770 as it has vises already mounted to it, although we could have just as easily used our ShopSabre IS510 CNC router.
This was a great little shop project which made the job go much quicker and a bonus feature of the drive center is that it is also compatible with our standard Moxon vises if we end up finishing some of them.
As you decide which workbench style is right for you and if a Roubo is where you are headed, we suggest you take a look at our good friends from Re-Co Bklyn to consider their green Red Oak Roubo Workbench Kits.
These green (partially air dried) Red Oak workbench kits feature a slab bench top, legs, stretchers and chop, custom sized by you and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. This lumber has also been harvested from reclaimed trees from the metro New York City Area. Great for the environment and great for you.
We also know that Christopher Schwarz is a fan of Slab workbench construction, and has had great success building this type of workbench, so it must be good. Plus it will save you the time and effort of having to glue up a workbench top – which is no small amount of work.
Frankly, the only other choice you’ll have to make here if you decide to pursue this bench kit is for which type of vise to marry up with your red oak chop to power this workbench. If your choice happens to be a fully wooden vise screw kit, we know some people that can hook you up there.
Lake Erie Toolworks
We would like to announce that Dictum has now joined the Lake Erie Toolworks family as our latest International distributor covering Germany, Austria and much of Europe.
The vise stock inventory has now been received in Germany and the Dictum catalog, stores and online website are ready to roll for a lot of happy woodworkers ready to get their workbenches underway.
Welcome aboard Dictum!
As we kick off the new year for 2016, we have an amazing Roubo style workbench idea built by Ken K. from Birch Run, Michigan. Ken has constructed a massive 600 pound bench that features 3 different vises to accommodate his woodworking needs. What a great way to ring in the new year, extremely well done Ken.
The table top is 84’’ x 44’’ x 4-½” made from Maple. The legs are 6’’ x 6’’ x 34’’ also Maple. The runners & bench ends are made from Oak, as I ran out of the Maple. The leg vise is made from Black walnut and the leg vise leg was tapped by Lake Erie Toolworks to accept the wood screw (very well done, thank you). The end vise is a Lee Valley Twin Screw the width of the table. The other end is a Benchcrafted tail vise.
All the lumber I cut from standing trees in Mid-Michigan three years ago in preparation for the day I got to make my very own bench. I used a Danish oil for the finish. The total weight is estimated at 600 lb’s.
Once I started the table it took about three months after work and weekend to complete. I still haven’t drilled the dog holes yet but I will soon. All the vendors provided great instructions that made it easy to understand and install their products. I will admit I moved forward with great care to avoid any mistakes.
Ken K. – Birch Run, Michigan
We are extremely excited and happy to announce that Highland Woodworking is now a stocking distributor for Lake Erie Toolworks.
Highland will specifically stock our Wood Vise Screw Premium Kit which can be used for Leg, Tail, Face and Twin Screw vise installations as well as our Wood Wagon Vise Screw Premium kit with extended wooden nut to ensure a simplified wagon vise installation.
We would encourage you all to check Highland out for not only our Lake Erie vise kits, but also for the many other fine woodworking tools and products that they offer for sale. Plus, they are just a great group of people to deal with. Enjoy!
As we close out 2015, we have a tremendous workbench idea that combines the best of a Roubo mixed with a Shaker Style bench from Jeff J. who hails from Noblesville, Indiana. This is one fine workbench that has plenty of storage for Jeff’s tools but also plenty of capacity & space to clamp whatever is being built.
Dear Sirs, my son finally convinced me to send pictures to you of the workbench I built 3 years ago with lumber that I accidentally stumbled onto while attending a small Estate Auction. I was able to purchase 14 pieces of 3” x 5” x 80” rough cut maple boards for $100 and decided at that time to build the workbench I had always dreamed of building.
I spent the next weekend planing and finishing the wood and assembling the frame and top. My son helped me assemble the main bench with recessed lag bolts which are covered with 1/8” thick walnut plugs which allow the workbench to be broken down for moving at a later date if necessary.
The following two weekends were spent building the center drawers and storage compartments for all of my wood working hand tools and wood planes.
This storage cabinet measures 19” tall x 24” deep x 58” long and consists of 12 individual sliding drawers with the main carcass being built from 3/4 birch plywood. The face frame was built from walnut and the drawer fronts were built from walnut and curly maple with solid brass knobs. The back side of the storage cabinet was partitioned off into 9 individual shelf areas for storage of my larger wood planes. Another weekend was spent mounting the leg vise and end vise and putting the final touches to the project.
The workbench stands 34” tall and is 30” wide by 72” long and weighs in at a hefty and very stable 450 pounds. The workbench was finished off with several coats of boiled linseed oil while the drawer fronts were finished with several coats of clear satin polyurethane finish. The workbench has become the centerpiece of my woodworking shop and the envy of all of my woodworking friends.
Jeff J. – Noblesville, Indiana
Just a quick note that Lake Erie Toolworks will be transitioning to a new Website provider over the next several days to better serve our customer’s needs. Therefore we will be experiencing periodic outages of our Lake Erie website and email over the coming week until everything has been fully migrated to our new website provider.
In the interim, until this transition is fully complete, you can always reach us at the following email address and at our normal business phone number:
We thank you in advance for your attention and understanding on this matter as we continue to grow and expand to bring you the best user website and product ordering experience possible.
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks