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Benchcrafted Roubo Workbench #10: Tail Vise Installation Screw Up

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 01-18-2022 11:26 PM 1117 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Condor Tails - or Not Part 10 of Benchcrafted Roubo Workbench series Part 11: Distractions, Side Trips, and Squirrels »

The bench top is flat, the tail vise cavity has been cut out, end caps have been made, and the front and back laminate board joints fitted into the end caps. All of the necessary prep work is complete to begin the tail vise installation.

Here are the components of the tail vise kit:

The tail vise installation boils down to this drawing:

In my case, there were a few dimensions that were different than the plans. The front laminate was 1-1/4” rather than the 1-1/2”. Additionally, the dog holes weren’t centered in the dog strip. The dog strip was 2” wide, rather than 1-3/4”. The benchtop was only 3-7/8” thick, not 4”. All of these accumulated errors increased the opportunity for incorrectly drilling the hole for the screw since the plans called for placing the template on the end cap and marking out the centerlines of the screw hole and the anchor bolt holes.

I spent most of an afternoon measuring, drawing layout lines and generally measuring a dozen times before I was satisfied that I had accounted for all of the discrepancies I had inadvertently created. My suggestion when using plans is to fully understand them before blindly changing things, or stick to them and don’t deviate from them.

Once I was sure everything was correct, I drilled the larger hole for the vise washer into the end cap, followed by the hole for the vise screw.

Before drilling the anchor holes, I screwed the carriage onto the screw and checked to make sure the carriage opening center line was reasonably close to the center line of the dog holes. Fortunately, it was. The anchor bolt holes were marked out and drilled.

The bench top is flipped upside down in this picture:

At this point, the end caps were installed and tightened in place with the barrel blots. The back laminate strip was glued in place.

Then the front laminate strip was glued in place and all of the squeeze out was cleaned up:

The plans called for the front rail to be 3/4” from the front edge. That resulted in 1/4” of the rail overhanging the tail vise cavity. A 1/4” strip was glued into the front rail to make up the difference. Then, the 3/4” rail mortise was routered into the underside of the table. The back rail mortise was routered into the other side of the cavity, parallel to the front rail mortise. I started a bit shallow and made the final depth on the second pass.

Everything was assembled and tried out.

There were some issues with the screw and carriage working smoothly. Come to find out, the rails weren’t quite perpendicular to the end cap and they also flared out just a bit as well as not being co-planar. I filled the screw holes with glue and toothpicks, let things dry, then very carefully set the front rail perpendicular to the end cap. Then, using the same approach installed the back rail parallel to the front rail and perpendicular to the end cap.

Since I didn’t remember to make sure the carriage was also installed when the rails were set in place, I disassembled the carriage and slid the plate between the rails, then reassembled the carriage block. A few metal shims and everything worked great.

Once things were working smoothly, I realized that the tail vise cavity was too long. The dog block carriage came off the screw before it reached the far end of the opening. A block was added to the end of the opening.

The dog block is screwed into the carriage plate and should be aligned so the opening in the plate lines up with the dog hole. In my case, it is off by about 1/8”. The back of the dog was trimmed.

One final adjustment – the side of the dog block had to to be trimmed so it wouldn’t rub on the screw or bind up on the side of the opening.

Fortunately, I had a 3-day weekend so I could work on the adjustments with fewer interruptions. The last thing was flipping the beast back over

Lessons learned – pay attention when you are working off someone else’s plans and make sure you really read thru them and understand them. Otherwise, plan on some surprises and plenty of changes to make things work.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"



20 comments so far

View Eric's profile

Eric

5080 posts in 1332 days


#1 posted 01-18-2022 11:49 PM

That looks really good Earl. Happy for you that everything was figured out and is working correctly.

Is that a tail vise from Benchcraft? I was checking out their site over the weekend. Thinking about getting a Moxon vise hardware and building a small bench to use on top of the main bench. And I did see the tail vise too.

-- Eric, building the dream

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

5518 posts in 3807 days


#2 posted 01-19-2022 12:46 AM

Eric – I think Dave Kelley (KellyCrafts) just built a Moxon vise using their hardware kit. The Benchcrafted stuff is SOLID and extremely well made.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pottz's profile

pottz

25817 posts in 2443 days


#3 posted 01-19-2022 01:54 AM

thats a great bench earl,should serve you well.last one you’ll ever need to build.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10289 posts in 2041 days


#4 posted 01-19-2022 02:03 AM

Looking good, Earl! Glad you worked through all the adjustments.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

7004 posts in 3081 days


#5 posted 01-19-2022 02:11 AM

Sorry to hear of the faux paux but happy to see you were mechanically inclined enough to figure out a resolution. A nice bench for sure

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9601 posts in 2846 days


#6 posted 01-19-2022 03:51 AM

How do you like those bench castors, Earl. I am thinking that those might be nice to have considering the weight and frequent need to move things around in my shop.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

1027 posts in 2493 days


#7 posted 01-19-2022 11:27 AM

Looking good Earl, glad you could get everything adjusted in right.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

5518 posts in 3807 days


#8 posted 01-19-2022 12:00 PM

Nathan – the caster are really nice. It takes a bit of effort to get the caster pushed down so you have to lift up on the bench a bit which is to be expected with a 400 lb bench (rating for the casters). The only down side is getting to the back ones if there is something next to the bench. They are the best version I’ve come across. These came from Rockler. Once the rollers are engaged, moving the bench is almost effortless.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

21709 posts in 2597 days


#9 posted 01-19-2022 01:09 PM

That looks fabulous Earl! Great call on the wagon vise vs an end vise. I wish I had gone that route. Now show us some leg!!

And I hinted in your last post but you didn’t catch it but, that’s a wagon vise not a tail vise. A tail is the thing that goes between your legs when your wife is mad.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9601 posts in 2846 days


#10 posted 01-19-2022 01:10 PM

I’ve been looking at those and some of the other brands on Amazon which appear to be a little cheaper. I may add the quick release plates because I do not like the way they stick out from the legs. I also saw this idea so you can lift the entire end at once.

Not sure if that will make it any easier to lift but in some of the demo videos it looks awkward lifting one corner at a time so I figure it couldn’t hurt.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

21709 posts in 2597 days


#11 posted 01-19-2022 02:05 PM

I pondered casters like that when I built my bench. But ultimately left them off. The concrete in my shop is slick enough I can slide the bench around as needed without any help or too much effort. But I keep my bench in the same general area all the time so being “mobile” only really involves moving a couple of feet.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

5518 posts in 3807 days


#12 posted 01-19-2022 03:19 PM


And I hinted in your last post but you didn t catch it but, that s a wagon vise not a tail vise. A tail is the thing that goes between your legs when your wife is mad.

- HokieKen


I caught it alright. I bought a tail vise not a wagon vise. A tail vise is much more sexy.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pottz's profile

pottz

25817 posts in 2443 days


#13 posted 01-19-2022 04:00 PM



I pondered casters like that when I built my bench. But ultimately left them off. The concrete in my shop is slick enough I can slide the bench around as needed without any help or too much effort. But I keep my bench in the same general area all the time so being “mobile” only really involves moving a couple of feet.

- HokieKen


same here ive got em on my one bench but im gonna change them to locking poly wheels.sometimes when im rolling the bench it will drop down on it’s own.not happy with em.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9601 posts in 2846 days


#14 posted 01-19-2022 04:10 PM

Pottz, do you remember what brand you bought?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

21709 posts in 2597 days


#15 posted 01-19-2022 04:28 PM



I caught it alright. I bought a tail vise not a wagon vise. A tail vise is much more sexy.

- EarlS

They do call it a tail vise. That’s weird. They even explain the disadvantages of a tail vise that are overcome with a wagon vise like they sell. In my understanding, a tail vise is where the whole chop moves (Dave Kelley has a tail vise) and a wagon vise has the captive sliding block like yours. So I guess you don’t have a wagon. Nice tail!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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