Sunday, July 5, 2009

Installing the Glide in Softwood Benches

A customer recently wrote us about installing the Glide Leg Vise in a bench made of Southern Yellow Pine (SYP). This material is a common bench wood in the South, and a popular choice because of its low cost. It makes a fine bench, but there is an issue with mounting the roller brackets with the included machine screws, since SYP does not have sufficient holding power when tapping the wood for machine screws. Woods such as ash and maple have no problem with this, but the SYP does not have the shear strength to maintain the integrity of the 3/8-16 threads. Douglas fir is also a popular softwood used for benches, and suffers from the same weakness as SYP in this regard. You can strip out the threads if you overtighten the screw. The fix is to reinforce the SYP (or other softwood) with metal thread inserts, providing the machine screws with a better grip. We're sourcing appropriate inserts for this application, and will have them available in the next week or so.

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