I made up the maple hooky-looking vise nuts for the face vise today. I’m not completely happy with the final shape – the hook on the end needs to be more fish hook-y. But they work.
First I drilled a 23mm hole for each hooky nut in a maple blank, then I tapped each hole. After I confirmed the tapped holes were true and accurate, I drew their shape around each hole. Then I sawed them out and shaped them with a coarse rasp.
The chop for the vise is off-fall from cutting the notch in the benchtop. I planed up the chop (the inside face is purposely planed so it is slightly convex) and applied adhesive cork to the inside face of the chop and between the threaded screws glued to the benchtop.
Then I flipped the bench on its feet and have it a test run. No surprise: the vise worked as expected.
The vise screws poke out about 4” from the jaw of the vise, so I might need to ask Peter Follansbee to spoon-carve me a cup to wear while working at the bench. While I have no further plans to reproduce, I also don’t want to mangle my soft bits (like I did when reproducing Moxon’s face vise).
With the face vise working, I’m turning my attention to the end vise and the gorgeous hardware from blacksmith Peter Ross and Lake Erie Toolworks.
— Christopher Schwarz