This past weekend I got to spend a good couple hours in the shop. If you spend some of your time in the shop too then you understand that sometimes the plans you have when you head to the shop turn out to be very different from what you actually happens once you get there.
I started the afternoon with a little housekeeping. This gives me something to do while the kerosene heater takes the chill out of the shop and I get a chance to acclimate myself a bit. Someday I will have a shop with some climate controls, both heat for the winter and A/C for the summer, but right now I am just happy to have a shop! You take what you can get out of life sometimes. This included organizing and putting away my sandpaper into my new Storage Box. So far I really like how it works and looks.Then I started to set myself up for the day. Over to the lumber pile for a little fishing.
I plan to build a version of the William and Mary Bookstand featured in Popular Woodworking's November 2010 issue. Infact I plan to build it three to four times over. Once for my happy home and I can think of a couple of friends who would love one. It is a great little piece and my hat is off to Chuck Bender for bringing it to us. Here's the thing, and I don't know if this is something you should openly admit after you talk about a magazine and their projects but I never purchased a copy of the issue in question. I stopped by the newsstand and read through the article and I downloaded a page from the Pop Wood website where they goofed up the plans for the bookstand. (You can get your own copy of the page HERE) All the basic information I need as I can infer the rest from experience. I do like the additional information Mr. Bender placed on his blog in regards to the finishing of the piece, HERE is a link to that info.
With that in mind, I went to the wood pile and dug out some rough sawn white oak I have left over from my big summer build of a Medieval Hutch Chest. I knocked it down to flat with my a wooden Jack plane but I stopped short of getting a perfectly smooth surface. That would be easier to do on the individual parts. I can hear the peanut gallery talk about doing it at once so you make sure to get universal thickness, but my answer is I am not that concerned about being a few thousandths of a thickness off, and from working with this particular batch of stock in the past, I know that it loves tear out and that will be easier to manage on the smaller pieces where I have some better control over choosing the grain.
1) Maybe pine was a economical answer when I was originally building the bench and though the rest of the bench is holding up well I always had my suspicions about the durability of the vise board.
2) I was now going to have to replace the vise board as soon as possible with a hardwood, hopefully a hickory or hard maple.
3) There was no way I could afford to do any replacing right now.
4) I'm going to have to try and make a repair that I can limp through a few months, it probably won't work and I'll have to buck up and buy or think of some other alternative but I have to try.
So here is where the plot thickens . . . I decide that I have some JB Weld 2 part epoxy with me in the shop and it's the strongest stuff I own, I've used it to repair cracks in car radiators in the past so I know it's good for a lot of pressure. But in order to get it into the crack I have to apply some significant force to get it to open up. I decide to pin the head of the vise board to the bench top with holdfasts and weight the other end with a large toolbox full of my automotive tools, (that sucker is heavy let me tell you). Well I set the board, placed the holdfasts and went to give them a whack with the mallet to set them.
I dug out another holdfast and arranged the vise board so I could shove some epoxy into the crack. I took the weight off and placed a clamp until I got some squeeze out. Then I buttressed the crack with some wood screws because...why the hell not?
Here's a pick of the repair set off to one side to dry, the latex glove is in place to keep the epoxy from binding permanently to my clamp.
double screw vise for face clamping... I may get along OK for a while after all