Home > Woodworking > Two-Day Workbench – Part 5

Two-Day Workbench – Part 5

The bench is not “finished” but it is getting there. I’ve yet to level the surface, drill dog holes, and make a sliding deadman but it definitely IS a bench!

The Twin Screw Vise Installation Challenges

Round Nuts, Barrel Nuts or Bed Bolts

I found the installation of this vice to be somewhat challenging but not in the way I thought it was going to be. Veritas put out a killer set of installation instructions and warned right up front that you should carefully read through them. I heeded the advice. Where I ran into a “wall” was attaching the rear jaw to the bench. The kit provided 4 – 5″ bolts with barrel nuts (sometimes called “bed bolts”). Although the supplied instructions were really quite detailed, in my haste I didn’t see a recommended size  to drill for the barrel nut cross hole. I now see that it was clearly shown in the drawing but not mentioned in the text portion of the instructions. The bottom-line is that I should have used a 3/4″ bit for the cross-drilled (barrel nut) hole but I think I used 5/8″. The result was that I could never line up the nut threads with the bolt and I also couldn’t get the nuts out of the recess to assess the situation. I came to realize the hole should be larger but now had trouble figuring out how to enlarge it. If I could get the nut out, I could plug it with a length of dowel and re-drill the larger hole. If I could get the nut out. Insert PG-13 language here. Everything had been going so well to this point, then I made of mess of it.

I took a break and came back fresh and decided, to move ahead I was going to drill through my bench, from the top so I could extract the nut, make a larger hole and have two points of contact to line up the nut. Hey, I’m a woodworker, I can always patch the top. It worked and although I struggled a bit more with the four bolts, I was finally able to affix the rear jaw securely to my bench! I was following the instructions but I still made an error along the way.

Working on the Chain Gang

Sorting out how long to make the chain for my particular installation was also confusing to me. A nice table is provided as an aid, and I began by counting links on the long (53″) chain provided. According to the chart, I needed more than 56 but slightly less than 57 links. I counted out 57 (3 or 4 times) then began to “file off” the peened heads to remove the excess chain. Didn’t work as I would have anticipated. Filing the peened heads also files off the side of the link and even so, the rods connecting the links didn’t budge. Whether I used a file or the bench grinder I had the same result. I pulled out my Dremel with a cut-off when and was able to make more surgical cuts through the rod ends. Finally success!

Bottom-line was that 57 links seemed way too long, so I cut another link out. This should have worked but alas, even with two chain rollers installed the chain still seemed too long. Of course, this is my first time with a device like this so is the chain too long or am I doing something wrong? I cut out a second chain and now, it’s too short so I added back the provided ½” and called it good.

Cover Me

One of the last steps was to cut the aluminum cover to length. Boy, I didn’t want to cut that too short so I dry fit the two End Caps and marked the cover. The good news was that my band saw cut through the aluminum like butter. I didn’t want to dull my blade but hey, I needed this cut. It was close but I ended up taking another 1/16″ off the end and buttoned up the project.

Veritas Twin Screw Vise

You learn a lot, the first time through a new project and it would certainly be easier, the second time through one of these installations. My handles don’t line up and my chain seems to rub in one spot but I’m calling it good for now. Next up, leveling the bench, dog holes and perhaps a sliding deadman.

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  1. September 5, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Nice looking bench you have there. Keep up the good work.

    • September 10, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Thank-you for the encouragement Jeff, I’m following your bench progress also 🙂

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