One...Two...Three...Spring has arrived in Wisconsin! And the peasants rejoice. Spring and the return of reasonable temperatures means more time for me in the shop. This has been my first year with my shop located in a different place than my home, and getting to it in the winter was very difficult at times. But all that is past now and I can make it out there with regularity again, and I am thankful.
One of the first things that needed to happen was kind of a spring cleaning project, and that was fixing the leg vise on my Nicholson workbench. Back in early December I was working out in the shop and had my vise, made from construction grade pine, crack. (You can read / reminisce with me about it HERE) I knew the pine was not ever going to be a long term answer anyway, but it held up through a lot of regular use for a couple years. I had some 5/4 white oak about 11" wide and I decided to use that to rebuild.
Now I still had not cut the angled top cut. This is what I was waiting for because it was important to get it right. there was no guarantee this vice would fit exactly the same as the previous one I had templated from. I wanted to make sure the vise top cut and the bench top were the same. So I put it together and then scribed the line for the right cut on the back of the vise, Then I took it apart again and took all the hardware off. Grabbed the crosscut saw again from before and made the diagonal cut following the mark I scribed.
As I was thinking about it I was looking at the pieces of oak I had recently cut from the narrow sections of the new leg vise. So I cleaned them up, planed them to equal width. Using an bevel gauge I set the angle of tehe end cuts to match the angle of the legs. I drilled a series of 3/4" holes all about 2 inches apart. I had to join up the two pieces because neither one was long enough to do the job on it's own.