Workshop Twin Screw Bench Vise

While doing some shop improvements, I got the idea to create my own DIY vise to use for projects and so forth. After much deliberation and research, and my wish to keep the project budget low, I decided on mostly wood materials with store bought hardware. I purchased a length of 3/4″ threaded rod, some threaded coupler nuts, washers, a 23/32″ tap, a 3/4″ drill bit, and some lengths of steel rod. I milled the necessary parts down, and used the new Lathe (see this post) to make the lead screw “heads” that would take the threaded rod and the handles. I also had to turn the handle ends. I figured while I was on it, I might as well be creative so I carved the Bushwood logo onto the front of the vise.

I’m pleased with the results. I finished it with 2 coats of Tung Oil and 2 coats of Johnson’s Paste Wax.

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Workbench Vise and Mount

IMG_20140119_160147I 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.

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Workshop Stools

IMG_20140112_132549After 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.

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American Girl Doll Bed

So Christmas 2012 (this past Christmas), my wife and I were lucky enough to be able to get our daughter an American Girl Doll by way of our wonderful ex-next door neighbors in our old hometown.

My wife asked if I could take an existing plan from Ana White who is a fairly well known DIY blogger and crafty woman from Alaska. Her plans are usually very simple to build and use inexpensive hardware and supplies.

The plan specifically was this one: http://ana-white.com/2011/08/doll-bunk-beds-american-girl-doll-and-18-doll

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I had a bunch of Sapele (read more about Sapele here) sitting around the shop, and it was very easy to size the lumber I had down to the dimensions I needed. I finished it in roughly 1 weekend’s worth of time, plus a little extra for finishing. I used two coats of Tung Oil to make the grain stand out (Sapele’s grain is just plain beautiful when finished with oil).

My wife finished it off by making a custom sewn bed set for both bunks, and even made quilts for the dolls as well.

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My customer is one happy little girl.

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Entire gallery of images is here: https://picasaweb.google.com/107602759139677368610/AmericanGirlDollBed?authuser=0&feat=directlink