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Anarchist Workbench Build #2: Prep for Wagon Vise and Dog Strip

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Blog entry by Lazyman posted 11-24-2021 04:38 AM 810 reads 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting started. Part 2 of Anarchist Workbench Build series no next part

The Hovarter wagon vise that I selected is mounted to the underside of the bench top and should be at most 3” from the top. This mean that I need a cavity in my 5” top and I decided to cut that out before I glue up the top. For 2 boards that was just a matter of sawing out a piece 16” long Unfortunately, the vise mechanism requires about 3-1/8” of clearance so I had to carve out about 1/4” from the 3rd one. I decided to go old school and did this all with hand tools as I really didn’t want use a circular saw or the tailed router.

I used a combination of saws, chisels and planes, including my router plane to do this. I really love using my router plane. It worked amazingly well taking the recess on the left down. I used a block plane to sort of hog out the areas away from the wall and the router plane to get along the wall and corners, while also make sure everything was the same level. A little ragged on the end but this will be hidden with an end cap.

Next, I decided I wanted the dog strip for the wagon vise to use square dogs. I know, I know. Round dogs are easier, probably more versatile and work just as well (or better) but I just like the way the square ones look. I didn’t want to mortise them out after glue up so I decided to route them out. I was going to use the Benchcrafted template approach but instead went to the other extreme from the hand tools approach above and decided to use my CNC machine instead of making a router template.

I still need to resaw a 3/8” strip to complete the dog strip but I am getting close to starting to glue up the top.

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



20 comments so far

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

3131 posts in 3259 days


#1 posted 11-24-2021 06:25 AM

Looks good Nathan.

After this project we can’t call you Lazyman.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

19846 posts in 2422 days


#2 posted 11-24-2021 01:45 PM

Are you kidding Paul? He used a CNC, that is the epitome of lazy! ;-)

It’s looking great so far Nathan. In all seriousness, I love that you’re using a CNC and a router plane. A good hybrid mix is the most efficient way to get stuff done IMHO. I have to admit though, I would have just used a tailed router to carve that shallow pocket out.

I commend your choice of vice hardware and condemn your choice of using square dogs. Boo! Boo!

;-)

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8221 posts in 2671 days


#3 posted 11-24-2021 01:56 PM

The powered router would have definitely been easier but for some reason I just didn’t want to mess with the router that day. Heck, I even considered using my CNC to hog that out too.

Frankly, even after cutting this strip and since I haven’t glued anything together yet, I am still considering leaving out the square dog strip and switching back to round dogs. Any compelling arguments for round over square, other than it being easier to drill or using dowels or buying round dogs?

-- 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

19846 posts in 2422 days


#4 posted 11-24-2021 01:59 PM

The big seller for me is that every hole in my bench top is both a dog hole and a holdfast hole. And I can add them at any time and in any spot.

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8221 posts in 2671 days


#5 posted 11-24-2021 02:24 PM

I thought about that but I don’t think that I would want to use the holes near the edge in line with the wagon vise for the holdfast? I was worried that they might get sort of chewed up and wonky. And since they will normally be used with the wagon vise exclusively, having them sort locked facing forward (and canted 2° forward) seems to make sense—my logic anyway. The downside is that if they don’t work as expected I’ve got a bunch holes to fill.

-- 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

19846 posts in 2422 days


#6 posted 11-24-2021 02:54 PM

I can see that. I will say though, I use my front line of dog holes for holdfasts probably more than I use the ones further back in the bench. And so far, I have had zero problems with the holes getting sloppy. The holdfast really only makes contact at the very top and very bottom of the hole. So it won’t ever really affect your dogs. I may my dogs with a 2 degree lean on the face at the top. I looked and don’t have any pics but my dogs are just 3/4” oak dowels with a 3/4” long flat face cut on the top with the 2 degree angle. Then I put a bullet catch about 1/2 way down so it will stay put at whatever height I set it at.

And just to be clear, I was only kidding about condemning the square dogs ;-) I can see the appeal. They do look nice and function just as well as round ones. And, they’re probably significantly stronger if you really like to clamp stuff down hard. I’ve yet to break a single round dog though so I wouldn’t lend that much weight.

One other thought about using holdfasts near the front of the bench.

I do this quite often to hold irregularly shaped things while glue cures. I also do this:

to hold things in place on my miter saw.

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8221 posts in 2671 days


#7 posted 11-24-2021 03:55 PM

Interesting. Hadn’t thought about using them like that. The holes are 6” on center apart so I guess I can always add 1 or 2 as needed plus yours seem to be a little further in from the edge than the ones I’m adding for the wagon vise.

Are those the gramercy holdfasts?

-- 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

19846 posts in 2422 days


#8 posted 11-24-2021 04:51 PM

Yep I put mine further in than most people do because I don’t have a wagon vise to keep them aligned with. And yeah, poking holes between the square holes can always be done in the future if you see a need. You may never see the need.

Yep, those are the Gramercy. Highly recommend them.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8798 posts in 1866 days


#9 posted 11-24-2021 07:08 PM

Interesting. I’m building a small bench to hold my miter box, dowel cutter and a small wagon vise and face vise. Used 4×6s I got at a neighbor’s garage sale for hauling them away, so I’ll have a 3½ inch top. But I cut square dog holes down the inside edge of the outermost 4×6 with the circular saw, and installed the wagon vise (the small Veritas I set vise) on that 4×6 and the next one in. Since my legs are from the same 4×6 stock, I’m orienting them the other direction, and the leg mortise will just clear the vise.

But yeah, I had the same debate about round vs. square dog-holes, and went with square because they were easier to cut with the circular saw. Oh, and because the vise only has a 5” throw, I put the holes 4” apart. If I need holdfast holes on this bench (it’s mostly going to be used for the miter saw and small parts), I can always get out the brace and bit later.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8221 posts in 2671 days


#10 posted 11-24-2021 08:42 PM

If I measured correctly, the Hovarter wagon vise will have nearly 10” of movement which is why I went with 6” spacing.

The original anarchist’s design has 5×5 legs using 4 2-bys milled to 1.25 thick with 2 of them extended to make a tenon. I’ve changed that to 3 2-bys (mine are 1-3/8 thick) with a a single board as the tenon. This made it easier to work around the tenon so that no dog holes line up with the tenon on the front legs. Hopefully that won’t compromise the strength any.

I am still debating whether I am going to try some sort of dovetail/condor tail to join the wagon vise end cap to the front board. Hovarter instructions recommend some screws to secure the cap anyway so the tails are probably mostly a cosmetic thing. Leaning against it right now but I will wait until I get little further to decide that.

So Dave, If I understand, the dogs and inset vise line up almost 4 inches from the edge? Any concerns about that being too far in to be comfortable when planing? As currently drawn, I have mine a little over 3 inches in and I am a little worried that might be too far from the edge. One reason I did that is because I was worried about having only one board along the edge next to the wagon vise chop so I moved it in one board. Note that the cavity over the vise hardware make the top just over 2” thick so that also weakens that corner some.

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

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

4867 posts in 2608 days


#11 posted 11-24-2021 08:50 PM

Nathan, I’ve been to your shop and wondered, where did you find room for the bench?

Come by my place and I’ll help you make a couple of holdfasts. Actually, I have a couple already made that we could modify to your liking.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8221 posts in 2671 days


#12 posted 11-24-2021 09:08 PM

Its going to be tight Duck but I think I have a place. I may end up sacrificing my current bench/assembly/outfeed but before I embarked on this I did some minor rearranging after playing around with different layouts in Sketchup. I guess this was technically the first step of planning for a bench.

Of course, this doesn’t include the clutter that accumulates around the shop as I work on something and assumes that everything winds up on its place when I am finished using it. Wood storage in the right corner tends to be in a constant state of disaster.

-- 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

19846 posts in 2422 days


#13 posted 11-24-2021 09:19 PM

My dog holes are 4” in from the edge and it’s never been an issue for me except for when using a plow/combo plane with the fence on narrow boards. So if I have a 2” wide board and need to put a rabbet on one side for example. If the board is too thin, there isn’t room to register the fence if I clamp between dogs. So, I have to rig up a planing stop instead that’s held with holdfasts. Lots of ways to work around it. But that’s the only type of situation where my dog holes have been too far from the edge. And even if they were only 3” in, it wouldn’t have solved the problem.

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8221 posts in 2671 days


#14 posted 11-24-2021 09:29 PM

Thanks.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8798 posts in 1866 days


#15 posted 11-24-2021 09:38 PM

So Dave, If I understand, the dogs and inset vise line up almost 4 inches from the edge? Any concerns about that being too far in to be comfortable when planing?

Yeah, the 4×6s got narrowed down to 5 on the nose after I bandsawed off the rounded corners, and the dog holes are ¾ inch squares cut into the edge of that last board.

No concerns at all about that being too far in. As I said, this new bench will be my “small stuff” workbench, beyond holding the miter box, and if I need something closer to the edge (moulding, for example), I’ve got a sticking board that will sit nicely with one edge over the edge of the bench, one edge about an inch past the dog-holes, and a board sticking up almost directly over the dog-holes. It’s built from an oak 1×6, and works well on my big bench at the moment, so that distance in on the smaller bench should be fine.

When I have something narrower to put on it that I need closer to the edge, I screw a pine 1×4 to it and now the “back” of the sticking board is about an inch and a half from the edge of the bench.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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