Announcing our October 2015 Workbench of the Month

Our October 2015 Workbench of the Month comes to us from Dean W. from Victoria Australia.  He had ordered one of the Moravian Workbench build DVD’s that our good friend Will Myers had made and based on that, Dean constructed this workbench masterpiece.  One of the key points that Dean makes mention of is the fact that this style of workbench can be easily disassembled, transported and then reassembled.  So if you need this type of flexibility, then the Moravian workbench might be your cup of tea.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Leg Vise

The idea of a portable workbench has always intrigued me ever since buying a workmate – that was until I built a solid bench with real vises. So when I saw a DVD for the Moravian workbench for sale I was hooked. Following Will Myers instructions l built it over a period of two months part time. Unlike Will I incorporated machinery where I felt appropriate but still spent a far bit of time with handsaws, chisels and brace.

The bench is built with what is described as construction grade F17 hardwood. The benchtop section is laminated together to get the right size. I used Old Brown Glue for any joinery except for the top which used titebond 3. I finished it with Organoil Danish oil.

I never imagined I would build a workbench with a leg vise but have been converted and impressed with its workholding capacity. Nick at Lake Erie Toolworks was a great help when buying the hardware and suggested using the external garter. Overall I am impressed with their products and service.

I also installed a HNT Gordon tail vise. Boring dog holes to accept hold downs and bench dogs with centers 45 mm from the front edge. I find this distance good for use with joinery planes, routers even sanding.

The bench is very solid but easy to dissemble and reassemble thanks to wedged through tenons on the rails. Supposedly the original bench which is at Old Salem NC was moved to the jobsite where needed. It easily fits in the back of a station wagon.

For images of the build visit my instagram page @louiss100.

Photos taken at Montsalvat.

Dean W. – Victoria – Australia

Announcing our September 2015 Workbench of the Month

Our September 2015 Workbench of the Month offers up a very unique vise submitted by Drew W. from New Orleans, Louisiana.  Drew has used one of our standard Vise Screw Kits to construct an amazing tool making, joinery and carving vise.  The details are provided below and we’ll let you all be the judge as to how fantastic Drew’s vise turned out.  Simply tremendous.

Wooden Vise, Workbench of the Month, Lake Erie ToolworksWooden Vise, Workbench of the Month, Lake Erie ToolworksWooden Vise, Workbench of the Month, Lake Erie ToolworksWooden Vise, Workbench of the Month, Lake Erie Toolworks

Wooden Vise, Workbench of the Month, Lake Erie Toolworks

Good afternoon,

Enclosed is a vise I built to accompany my smaller workbench designed as a plane maker’s or toolmaker’s bench. The vise found its inspiration from the antique La Forge Royale carver’s vise, but additionally from Jameel Abraham’s blog featuring the build of a replica. My design is nearly all wood construction with the exception of a few machine screws for the garter and the assembly for the hand wheel.

I had the liberty of using exceptional material that had been air dried for many years. The heavy stock is hickory from a medium sized slab that was discounted because of bug holes. By cutting it into smaller billets, I was able to dodge nearly all flaws and yield beautiful stock for this vise. The other wood specie used is ipe which machined surprisingly well with sharp tools, but best of all, complements the hickory. The jaws are lined with suede and the finish is conversion varnish. The knobs on the handle are lignum vitae, as is the hub of the hand wheel. Threads are tapped directly into the lignum hand wheel, which was a pleasure to execute with the natural oils of the wood lubricating the whole process.

Dimensions are 6” wide, 10” tall, and the vise screw is 24” long. The height elevates work pieces above the bench top to a very comfortable height. The big wood screw means that the vise moves quick, grabs hard with little to no racking, and parts can rest on the threads without getting grease on them.

The nut from the standard kit is captured inside the moving jaw assembly and I had to take extra care to accommodate wood movement between the different types of wood and different grain directions. Parts were dimensioned to their final sizes over the course of weeks to ensure stability post glue-up. If I were building it again, I would use a “T” shaped track for the moving jaw assembly. The dovetail is nice looking and maybe the simplest in design (which is always a goal.) Though, to execute a smooth functioning vise with little slop in the components, the tolerances in the dovetail track were around +/- 0.001”  This means that it is a little stiff at 100% humidity and a little loose at 30%.

The vise gets daily use in my shop and has become more than a novelty, playing a vital role in several difficult joinery tasks, and of course, carving.

Drew W. – New Orleans, LA

Announcing our March 2014 Workbench of the Month

Our March 2014 Workbench of the Month comes from Mark Harrell who is the owner of Bad Axe Tool Works in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Mark had us craft a tapped leg & wooden vise screw combination for his Roubo demonstration bench that he uses at trade shows.  He also makes fantastic custom saws that are without equal and we highly recommend that you give them a look-see if you are in the market for a new saw.  Enjoy!

Roubo Workbench, wooden vise, leg vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

Roubo Workbench, wooden vise, leg vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

Roubo Workbench, wooden vise, leg vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

What is it about big wooden vises I like so much?  I’ll tell you what:  durability, permanence, craft.  Nick Dombrowski makes a helluva product via Lake Erie Toolworks.  Great Stuff.  So with that in mind, check out what’s on my bench today:  the leg vise & screw o nmy trade-show-Roubo, made by Lake Erie Toolworks.  Fundamentally sound products.  Excellence unbounded.  This is one stout vise Nick Dombrowski makes.  You can’t help but give the wood screw a turn when you’re around it.

Mark Harrell – Bad Axe Tool Works – La Crosse, Wisconsin

Announcing our August 2013 Workbench of the Month

Adding our August 2013 Workbench of the Month from Ariel J. of Travelers Rest, South Carolina to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

Pic1---Web Pic2-Web Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Wagon Vise, Wooden Vise

Basic Information:
The bench was originally constructed without a Lake Erie Toolworks Wagon Vise. The original bench was finished in January 2013. The retrofit of the Lake Erie Toolworks Wagon Vise was completed in April 4, 2013.

Type of bench, wood used, finish:
Roubo type work bench, Southern Yellow Pine, Hickory and Beech, finished with varnish, linseed oil and mineral spirits.

Comments (Anything you’d like to share with us or your global audience):
This whole thing started from a conversation with John, a store worker and fellow woodworker from the local Woodcraft in Greenville, SC. John steered me to reading a book on workbenches. I embarked on constructing the “Roubo” after reading the book by Chris Schwarz on workbenches. I started the project before Christmas in 2012. I got sidetracked by a trip to Belgium on business. Upon my return in mid January, I got back in earnest to finish the project. This workbench is based on the writing of Frenchman Jacques Andres Roubo in late 1700s.

The dimensions and construction is based largely on the designs Chris had recommended. The drawings in Chris’ book specified an 8 foot long bench. My bench is a foot shorter, with a proportionately shorter base. Other than the length, the modifications I made include gluing a European beech face on one edge and facing the leg where the leg vise is with hickory. The leg vise itself is made from hickory. The bench is made of southern yellow pine (SYP) except for the exceptions noted. The top has round dog holes and round hold fast holes. The moving deadman is identical to what Chris had drawn. The moveable deadman that allows the clamping of extra long stock against the front face of the bench. The entire workbench can be regarded as a three dimensional clamping device.

All the joints are mortise and tenon, drawbored and pegged with contrasting color – walnut dowels. The top is finished in 1 part varnish, 1 part linseed oil and 1 part mineral spirits. The wagon vise is a late retrofit.

Ever since finishing the Roubo workbench in January, I had wanted to add a wagon vise to make the row of dog holes much more utilitarian. I had to decide whether to make or buy. If I were to buy, I had to decide on hardware. Benchcrafted sells a tail vise screw kit. The other choice is a wood screw by Lake Erie Tools. I decided to go with the latter and bought the hardware a month ago. All it is really is a screw and a nut and some hardware to bolt on to the movable dog.

Step 1 is building the end cap.

Step 2 and is the critical step is in hogging out all the material. For this step, a router with a spiral upcut it is chosen. The first cut is along the back edge establishing the spline by removing the 1.5 inches of material from both sides (first with the bench right side up and then upside down).

Step 3 is in hogging out the channel for the movable dog.

Step 4 is in making the dog block assembly. Runners are made from a UHMW block inserted into a dado in the dog block. The runner is trapped by a maple runner screwed into the underside of the channel.

Once that is completed, the last step is to bolt the end cap using 6 inch SPAX lag bolts. No glue is used.

The operation of the Lake Erie Toolworks wagon vise is quick and smooth – thanks to the close tolerances I was able to maintain during the build and the overall superior quality of the screw and nut produced by Lake Erie Toolworks. I am very happy with the way my workbench is now able to carry out the multitude of workholding that I expected from it – very special thanks to Nick Dombrowski and Lake Erie Toolworks.

Visit my website at jacalawoodworks.com

Ariel J. – Travelers Rest, South Carolina

Announcing our July 2013 Workbench of the Month

Adding our July 2013 Workbench of the Month from Brian M. of Ottawa, Canada to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise

Nick,

I finally finished my Roubo style workbench and I have attached some pictures.

The vise installed beautifully. Rather than use tape to align the screw in the hole I used pine splints. The hole size was 2-5/8″ so the splints were 1/16″ thick. They held the screw quite firmly, yet the pine was soft enough not to damage anything. I have shown the splints partially inserted in the chop. I used the same technique for the leg. Their length is smaller than the depth of the leg, to allow the screw to fully tighten the assembly. The block was bolted to the leg, no glue. To me the splints gave an absolutely positive affirmation that the screw was perfectly aligned in the hole.

With the exception of the leg vise the bench is entirely red oak. The bench top is 2 pieces of 3-1/2″ red about seven feet long weighing around 170 lbs. (Jointing 7 feet of 3-1/2″ thick oak is no treat, especially since the joint integrity was done by placing one on top of the other, not sideways. Lots of heavy lifting!). The top is 22″ wide. Bench height is 33″. The legs are 5″ x 5-1/4″. The risers are 3-1/2″ deep by 7″ tall. The tenons are 6-1/2″ high x 1-3/4″ wide x 3″ long.

The tenons were secured with quarter sawn red oak dowels made on a dowel making machine that is about 120 years old ( original use was for barn building). No glue was used

You will note the Lake Erie Toolworks screw vise is in good company with an Emmert vise and a Benchcrafted Criss Cross.

Total bench weight is around 440 lbs. (350 without the Emmert vise).

I am thinking of adding a second shelf for hand planes. I am also going to leather line both vises.

Thanks Nick for an absolutely great product.

Brian M.
Ottawa Canada

Announcing our June 2013 Workbench of the Month

Adding our June 2013 Workbench of the Month from Kirby R. of Cochrane, Alberta Canada to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

Lake Erie Toolworks. Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood vise

Lake Erie Toolworks. Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood vise

Lake Erie Toolworks. Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood vise

Lake Erie Toolworks. Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood vise

Good Day,

Here is my version of the Roubo. This thing is massive! The bench wouldn’t be the same without your vise screw kit, a breeze to install and works flawlessly. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

The details of my bench are as follows:
– Length 100″ x Width 23 1/4″ x Height 31″
– Laminated top thickness is just under 6″
– Weight ~ 600lbs
– Material used Canadian Beech
– Finish poly/boiled linseed oil/solvent blend

Can’t wait to put it to work on my next project!

Thanks again,
Kirby

Announcing our May 2013 Workbench of the Month

Adding our May 2013 Workbench of the Month from Kerry K. of North Branford, Connecticut to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg vise, Wood Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg vise, Wood Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg vise, Wood Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg vise, Wood Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg vise, Wood Leg Vise

Hi Guys,

Thought you’d like to see something different. The bench is modeled after Fine Woodworking Magazine’s “Hybrid Roubo” which uses timber frame joinery. I left the through tenons long for aesthetics and placed the vise to the inside of the leg. The bench is made entirely from hard maple and finished with three coats of Watco oil. Your nut & screw has two coats of Watco and a generous rub of Butcher’s Wax which makes for a buttery action.

I took cues for the design of the vise from one I saw on a Shaker bench in Scott Landis’ book. It works flawlessly and holds incredibly well. I have more pics of the bench build and vise on my site.

For what it’s worth, the quality of your vise screw is exceptional. I had a vision of an “Old Style” bench. And your vise screw is a big part of that.

(More Photos and video) – Bench build with video of vise in action:
http://www.jackmiter.com/blog/2013/1/29/my-roubo-build.html

(More photos) – Details of this very unique vise assembly:
http://www.jackmiter.com/blog/2013/2/9/my-roubos-vise.html

Kerry