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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #110: Variable Thickness Anti-Racking Gadget

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Blog entry by retired_guru posted 02-26-2020 01:29 PM 644 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 109: Using Drill Press Clamps in Workbench Dog Holes Part 110 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 111: 3 Dollar Saws »

I probably already posted this find a long time back. For those who are not inclined to sift through a hundred or more blog entries to find out, here it is again. It’s a cheap, very useful tip, and I think worth mentioning (~ again).

—————-

The end vice on my Harbor Freight Windsor workbench racks whenever I clamp a board off center in the jaws. I found (I can’t remember where) this easy to make gadget that works perfectly at eliminating racking.

The length of the 1/4” bolt used should reflect the maximum width of a board you would ever mount into your vice. I used the longest bolt I had at the time, a 4-1/2” carriage bolt. Obviously, a hex or Allen key head bolt would be a preferable alternative to what I used, and I would suggest using one nylon locknut instead of locking together two standard nuts.

The only tricky aspect in making this is getting the holes drilled in the tongue depressors without tear out and cracking the thin wood. I made a simple jig to hold several atop of each other while I used the drill press to bore the holes. That worked okay, but I did spit a couple of stick in the process. A box of a hundred of these is dirt cheap, but I’m thinking a better method would be to sandwich one or two sticks between two hardboard templates, clamping the ensemble down to the drill press table, then drilling. The clamping is necessary because you will find that tongue depressors come in all manners of twist, bow and cup.

The one shown in the pictures is at least a few years old. I’ve only broken two sticks since I made it.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.



8 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4729 posts in 1598 days


#1 posted 02-28-2020 10:07 PM

Good suggesting using pop sticks techno’... I used 3mm MDF, however, with the thinner pieces you get better “precision”.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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retired_guru

838 posts in 2137 days


#2 posted 02-28-2020 11:21 PM



Good suggesting using pop sticks techno ... I used 3mm MDF, however, with the thinner pieces you get better “precision”.

- LittleBlackDuck

MDF? I wouldn’t have thought that thin a slice of MDF would be sturdy enough. Interesting. Thanks for letting me know.

By the way, I used tongue depressors, not Popsicle sticks. A box of these is really cheap:

https://www.amazon.com/Dynarex-Tongue-Depressor-Senior-Non-Sterile/dp/B0011Z82YO/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=box+of+tongue+depressors&qid=1582931918&sr=8-4

I bought mine locally. It wasn’t much.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4729 posts in 1598 days


#3 posted 02-29-2020 12:01 AM


.... I used tongue depressors, not Popsicle sticks…..
- technoslick

Kind of guessed something like that. Couldn’t remember … depressors hence the … in cheek statement of popsickles.
On hindsight, popsicle sticks would have been subjected to swelling and could be compressed, mucking up your accurate by the eye tolerance measurements…

Also 3mm MDF could still be subject to about a 1.5mm racking still, compared to the depressor…

Hmm, thinking of SWMBO… where do you get tongue suppressors... ugh, now quickly preparing for a slap across the back of the head if she stumbles across this comment…

PS. Where the hell do you get a bolt long enough to go through 500 tongue depressors… and don’t try to tell me you put the unused ones into your scrap bin!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4729 posts in 1598 days


#4 posted 02-29-2020 12:37 AM


... MDF? I wouldn t have thought that thin a slice of MDF would be sturdy enough….
- technoslick

I used 100mm x 50mm x 3mm MDF pieces which were well and truly sturdy enough,

But just on simple maths, 19mm and 25mm stock already had an unavoidable 1mm rack and the 3mm thickness made for unacceptable tolerances… though better than nothing…

Finished up surrendering to my dark side and getting the Woodpecker$ Vi$e $hims for a tad more than tongue depressors,

though it’s thickness range is exceptional.

Damn… If you had posted this 3 years ago you would have save me quite a few shekels… even if I bought those Magnum ice-creams to feather out my popsicle collection.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View retired_guru's profile

retired_guru

838 posts in 2137 days


#5 posted 02-29-2020 01:39 AM


PS. Where the hell do you get a bolt long enough to go through 500 tongue depressors… and don t try to tell me you put the unused ones into your scrap bin!

- LittleBlackDuck

Heh. You buy one box, which has enough spares (for when they break off) for your lifetime. Then you will what’s left to your grandkids when you die. :P

;)

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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retired_guru

838 posts in 2137 days


#6 posted 02-29-2020 01:43 AM


Finished up surrendering to my dark side and getting the Woodpecker$ Vi$e $hims for a tad more than tongue depressors,

though it s thickness range is exceptional.

Damn… If you had posted this 3 years ago you would have save me quite a few shekels… even if I bought those Magnum ice-creams to feather out my popsicle collection.

- LittleBlackDuck

It’s my frugal nature to make a sour face toward expensive “quality” that exceeds my abilities ten fold. But I also am one that believes “to each his or her own.” Since you would have taken the cheaper alternative had you known about the tongue depressors, I stand guilty and await your punishment. <crosses>

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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LittleBlackDuck

4729 posts in 1598 days


#7 posted 02-29-2020 02:01 AM



... I stand guilty and await your punishment.
- technoslick

Far too many innocent statements have been made by the unwary…
I shall turn my tongue suppressors into kindling (for the upcoming bonfire) and unleash SWMBO on your home page….
I suggest you start your penance… NOW!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View retired_guru's profile

retired_guru

838 posts in 2137 days


#8 posted 02-29-2020 02:09 AM

... I stand guilty and await your punishment.
- technoslick

Far too many innocent statements have been made by the unwary…
I shall turn my tongue suppressors into kindling (for the upcoming bonfire) and unleash SWMBO on your home page….
I suggest you start your penance… NOW!

- LittleBlackDuck

<laughs>

<runs>

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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