I did a little shopping around, since I needed a workbench machinist’s vise for my workbench – as I plan to start doing some light metalworking (hush hush secret project) in the near future. After looking at Harbor Freight’s poor showing for vise options (mostly due to poor quality), I found a suitable 4.5 inch vise made by Record (Irwin) at Home Depot for a very affordable price. It’s a light duty workbench vise, so it’s not going to be a heavily used item. Once I got it back to the shop, I dreaded drilling holes directly in the bench and permanently mounting it – so I came up with a mount for it so I can clamp it to the work surface without permanently affixing it. I also made a front apron on it so I can use a leg vise I’m planning for in the very near future. The surface of the mount is 3/16″ hardboard over 3/4″ plywood, with a skinny wrap of cherry for edging to make it look nicer on the bench. It should come in handy. I also ended up purchasing a set of magnetic soft jaws at Lowe’s made by Bessey (a popular clamp manufacturer), so I can clamp oddly shaped items.
After cleaning up my shop, I realized I had nowhere to sit at the workbench. While standing is supposed to be better for you, I also enjoy having the kids join me from time to time, and visitors, and everyone needs a place to settle occasionally. So I found a nice, simple plan from Ana White for a stool. I had to enlarge the top of the stool to 12″ x 12″ to allow the cushions my wife had made me years ago to sit on top. I ended up using walnut for the legs and rungs, and sapele for the top, with a few contrasting poplar plugs in the screw holes.
Recently, the Bushwood workshop got a refit. We hadn’t had much time over the past year or so after buying the house to do much, but I’ve been wanting to get back into the swing of my favorite hobby. Once the Craft Room project was completed, I was able to get back into my shop and clean it up. I refinished the workbenches with hardboard and plain old paste wax, and wrapped the edges with SYP (southern yellow pine). I tidied up and threw out old junk that wasn’t needed. I made a window. I put my tools away and made some cabinets and other things.
It’s a work in progress, but I’m satisfied for now.