Lake Erie Toolworks – Choose Your Holiday Savings!

Now’s the chance to choose your Holiday Savings by shopping with Lake Erie Toolworks through Cyber Monday (November 20th through November 27th, 2017 at Midnight EST).

Announcing:

  • 10% Off Everything – using code:  NOVEMBER  (minimum purchase $100)
  • 15% Off Moxon Vises – using code:  MOXON
  • 20% Off ClampGAUGEs – using code:  CLAMP  (minimum purchase $90)

Don’t forget to enter your discount code during checkout to receive your savings!

Happy Holiday’s from Lake Erie Toolworks!

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wood Vise, Wooden Vise Screw, Wagon Vise, Leg Vise, Moxon Vise, ClampGAUGE, Clamp

Announcing Our November 2017 Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea

Our latest Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea for November 2017 comes to us from Marcel K. from Auckland, New Zealand.  Marcel has built a tremendous Moravian Style Workbench using the Will Myers Moravian build DVD as his inspiration and guide.  Kudos to Marcel, as well as to Will Myers and Joshua Farnsworth for helping to make this reality happen.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Hi Nick,

I can’t believe it took me this long to build it but I finally finished my workbench.

Not sure whether it meets the standard of the other awesome workbenches in your blog but I thought I’d fire some pictures and text (below) through to at least show that the vise has eventually been put to use.

And of course let you know my appreciation of your vise screws.

Kind regards,

Marcel K. – Auckland, New Zealand

Details/Comments

When I first saw Will Myer’s WKFineTools article on the portable Moravian design I knew it was a perfect choice for the tight confines of my garage. Basically I wanted something that was solid/heavy yet not too big and could still be relatively easily moved when needed.

The only thing I wanted to change was the tool tray as I preferred having extra bench space so to SketchUp I went and started working on modifying the design to incorporate the Roubo split top idea. After a year of pondering (while building my tool chest) an article appeared on the Lake Erie blog about a great compact version of a “Split Top Moravian” from Ron G in Florida which confirmed my ideas.

While finishing my tool chest I bought Will Myer’s fantastic DVD (“Building the Portable Moravian Workbench”) and watched it repeatedly while acquiring the lumber and letting it dry a bit. After purchasing the Lake Erie Toolworks vise screw I set to work in December last year.

Yes it took me about 10 months of working off and on to complete!

I did nearly all of it by hand (rough-sawn stock dimensioning, joinery etc) and only submitted to power at the end to cut the back slab to final width using a circular saw. By then I thought I’d had enough hand sawing practice!

The bench is all white ash apart from the maple Lake Erie vise screw. Even the various dowels were formed from scrap Ash used during the build (hardwood dowel is hard to come by in New Zealand). I went with a Veritas inset vise for the end vise due to its compactness since the design doesn’t have much space at the bench ends to add a vise.

The inset vise works but during the bench build process I frequently used the notched batten method (“Doe’s foot”) to hold boards while planing on a make shift bench and it worked so well I’ve since been wondering whether I even need an end vise. The things you learn…

The overall length and width of the bench matches Will’s plans (76″ x 24”). The top slabs are asymmetrical with the front one about 12.75” wide and the back about 9.5” separated by a 1.75” slotted gap stop. This means that I have the option of building a tool tray like the original plans if I want in the future. It also means that with the gap stop in the raised position I can comfortably hand plane a 12” or so wide board against the stop.

The thickness of the top is 4.25” which is thicker than the original plans (3.5”) and the legs and stretchers are also a bit thicker than the plans so the bench is certainly heavy when assembled. I haven’t weighed it but the front slab alone is at least 40kgs (about 90lbs) so while the bench is technically portable you wouldn’t want to move the front slab too far by yourself!

The bench and vise are finished with Organoil’s Danish oil which is one of my favourite finishes. A straight oil finish that’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave a varnish/film finish and smells pine fresh which is a bonus :-). The top still has a bit of friction which is great when working on it.

There are still a few details to finish off including boring some more hold-fast holes, adding some cork or leather to the leg vise jaw and adding a loose tongue and groove lower shelf but the bench is up and running and the leg vise works awesome. I was expecting a fair bit of initial “squeakiness” before wearing it in but the Danish oil and paste wax on the screw threads have it running smoothly already.

Apologies for the quality of the pictures but they give you an idea of how small my workspace is. Basically the workbench and my tool chest sit on some rubber mats about 8’x8′ in size and that’s my entire workspace. Also shown in the pictures is the gap stop in the raised position and the vise screw. If a project I’m working on needs more space I can temporarily move the car out of the garage, partially disassemble the bench tops, rotate it 90º and reassemble to give me extra room on both sides of the bench.

This project was a fun challenge and while there’s a few mistakes, it was a great learning exercise for a novice like me. Perhaps the biggest lesson learned though is that next time I should consider buying a portable thicknesser! Jointing 20+ large lengths of timber by hand is enjoyable, thicknessing them not so much 🙂

Big thanks to Lake Erie for making such wonderful vise screws. When it arrived I wasn’t sure whether to use it or put it on the shelf as a work of art it looked so amazing.

Big thanks as well to Will Myers (and Joshua Farnsworth) for creating the workbench DVD which I highly recommend and also to Will for taking time to answer some queries I had on the design.

Announcing the Lake Erie Toolworks ClampGAUGE Calculator – Simply Amazing!

When Lake Erie Toolworks launched our ClampGAUGE product earlier this year that allows you to take the guesswork out of panel glue-ups, we heard a lot of good things about this unique and innovative product.  To date, we’ve also sold a lot of these tools around the globe and have many very satisfied customers who use it to achieve the perfect clamping pressure when performing a panel glue-up.

T’he one thing that we did hear loud and clear from our customers was that the ClampGAUGE Chart that tells you how many and what type of ClampGAUGE tools to use and where to place them along the panel edge to ensure a solid panel glue-up was a bit intimidating to use.

We thought it was pretty straightforward, just pick the proper chart for your kit type (Apprentice, Journeyman or Master Kit) along with the board thickness you are gluing up.  Then read down and across the chart to find the panel length you are gluing up and it would tell you how many of each ClampGAUGE type to use (A, B or C) and where to place them along the panel edge. (See Picture here for an Apprentice Kit, 3/4″ thick x 44″ long panel Chart example).

CGChartPic

Well, you know what, our customers were spot on correct.  As easy as we thought the Charts were to use, there had to be an even simpler and easier way to identify the type and placement of the ClampGAUGEs for a glue-up.

Guess what – there is now.  Welcome to the ClampGAUGE Calculator!

You can access this simple Calculator software program via our website Install/Video section for the following platforms:

  • Windows PC – Available now
  • Apple MAC PC – Available now
  • Android for Google Phones & Tablets – Available from the Google Play Store now
  • iOS for iPhones & iPads – Available from the iPhone App Store very soon

Here’s what you do.  Simply download and install the Calculator on your PC, SmartPhone or Tablet (or all of them) and then run the Calculator to choose your Kit type, board thickness and length and then press the “Calculate” button.  The Calculator will then display the type and quantity of ClampGAUGE Tools that you will need along with the proper placement from the top edge of your glue-up (in either inches or metric).  It couldn’t get easier. Here’s a screenshot of the Android SmartPhone version of the Calculator to give you a look/see.

CG-Android-SS4

The Charts will still be around for those that want to use it, but the Calculator is here to stay and we encourage you all to give it a try.  It’s easy, it’s intuitive and we really think you are all going to enjoy it.

Best regards,

Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

Roubo Workbench Build – Part 2 of 2 from Crafted Workshop

The Roubo Workbench Build (Part 2 of 2) is now complete and has been posted online by Johnny Brooke from Crafted Workshop.  The overall video and direction provided by Johnny for both Parts 1 and 2 of this very informative series are fantastic.

While Part 1 of this video series covered the workbench top and wagon vise installation, Part 2 focuses on the leg & stretcher portion of the Roubo Workbench along with the leg vise and chop build and installation.  The end product – an amazing and very functional workbench.  The plans are also available for purchase on the Crafted Workshop website as well.

Great job Johnny!

Roubo Workbench, Wagon Vise, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Crafted Workshop

 

Roubo Workbench Build From Crafted Workshop

One of the things that we’ve needed to do for a long time now was to make a good video on how to build a Roubo Workbench using our Lake Erie Toolworks wooden wagon and leg vise kits.

I guess we can check this one off the list now as our good friend Johnny Brooke from Crafted Workshop has done an amazing job with this fantastic Roubo build video (Part 1 of 2).  He will also be adding the workbench build plans for sale to his website very soon along with the Part 2 of 2 video to finish up the workbench.

Great job Johnny – job very well done!

Roubo Workbench, Lake Erie Toolworks, Crafted Workshop, Wagon Vise, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Tips For Gluing Up Flat Panels

Ernie Conover just released his latest gluing techniques video sponsored by Woodworkers Journal & Titebond Glue and he gives a solid & positive review of our Lake Erie Toolworks ClampGAUGE System.

Look at it this way, you spend many hours designing and building your woodworking masterpiece.  The last thing you want to do is to have a panel glue joint fail on you as it kind of defeats the purpose of all of those hours of sawing, dovetailing, mortise & tenoning, sanding and finishing.  Not a bad idea to take a few extra minutes to make sure that you are clamping your panels with the proper glue-up pressure to ensure the best glue-joint.

So if you want to take the guesswork out of glue-ups and achieve the strongest and longest lasting glue joint possible, take a look at our Lake Erie Toolworks ClampGAUGE System.

Note: We are about midway through the video.  Good stuff!

Lake Erie Toolworks, ClampGAUGE System, Panel Glue Ups

Best regards,

Lake Erie Toolworks