Monday, April 25, 2016
It's been a very busy 2016 so far here at Benchcrafted. We're up to our ears in new products that we want to offer this year. So here's an update on where things stand.
Classic Workbench Plans
We're hard at work drafting the plans for the bench. The goal is to have everything ready by the end of summer/early fall. We're trying to make these a little unique, perhaps print them on special paper, or make them look like old blueprints. We're not sure how that will play out, but we're trying hard to figure it out while keeping the price reasonable.
We've been jumping over a few hurdles on this one. This is basically a really thick, but short saw. Getting nice sharp teeth in thick steel takes some doing, while keeping the price reasonable. We've got a few tricks up our sleeve though. We're looking at about 2-3 months availability on these at the earliest.
Production on the vise is underway and we'll have the first components finished in the next couple weeks. We will be offering this vise in two setups.
The base model will mount to your bench depending on how you build the vise. And we'll have plans showing various ways of doing this. For example, the rear leg of the vise can be built with wings that allow you to clamp the vise to a benchtop with typical clamps or two holdfasts. Another way will be to build the vise with an arm that extends back and down off the rear leg, to allow the arm to slip between the jaws of our Tail Vise and be held firmly in position. Quick and extremely solid. Or you can simply build the vise with a plain rear leg for holding in a traditional, open-front tail vise. This will allow the vise to be pivoted fore and aft in the jaws of your tail vise. We'll cover all this in great detail.
The deluxe model will include hardware to allow the vise to be quickly clamped to any surface via a mounting screw built in to the rear leg. The mounting screw will be sized to accommodate a broad range of thicknesses, from a 4" workbench, to a 3/4" particle board banquet table (hey, you never know.) You can also build the vise to clamp to a range of thicknesses of your own choosing in case you've got a really thick bench.
Bench Seat / Swing Seat
We're still in the design phase on this one, but moving right along. It will go to the head of the line once we get further along on the Etau. We're particularly excited about this one. We've been using the heck out of our prototype, and so far everyone is saying "how did I work without this?"
Posted by Jameel Abraham at 11:33 AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
When we first released our Classic Leg Vise we promised a few that we'd eventually offer it without the black Parkerized finish. Here's your chance to pick one up.
We only have a limited number of these, since this isn't a stock item. First come, first served.
The vise will arrive unfinished, sporting the freshly-machined steel surfaces right off our mills and lathes. The parts will have a light coating of oil. We recommend that you treat these like raw steel (since they are) and either keep them lightly oiled, or give them a good coat of paste wax to keep the rust at bay. You could also just let them get a nice old bronzey patina, if you have a few years worth of patience. A rub down with steel wool, followed by cold bluing would give them a steel-blue sort of look. Baked flax is also an option.
The handle is the only part that doesn't get fully machined. Since we start with cold rolled steel, the main shaft of the handle shows the mill finish, with only the threaded ends, and the V-groove midway being machined. This makes the main shaft look less shiny than the rest of the vise. The solution to unify the look of the handle (if you care) is to polish it with a maroon or gray Scotch-Brite pad, followed by fine steel wool (which is what we did to the assembled handle in the background.) You can do this to the rest of the vise as well, if you like the brushed, satiny-look.
If you're building a complete bench, this would pair nicely with a Tail Vise M, with its fully-machined handwheel.
The price of the unfinished Classic is normally the same as the standard Classic.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
You probably receive several of these a day, but I wanted to say thanks for the excellent hardware and bench plans. Like many out there, I used Marc Spagnuolo's video series on his Guild site as well.
Walnut was 12/4 I got from a small hardwood dealer in New Hampshire, base was 12/4 and 8/4 hard maple I bought wet from a guy in Massachusetts and air-dried stickered in my basement for 30 months, and the top is from 8/4 soft maple I got from Downes and Reader Hardwood in Stoughton, MA (http://www.downesandreader.com).
I’ve been woodworking for a while, but the condor tails were the first dovetails I ever made.
I’m looking forward to years of heavy use - it will drastically change the way I woodwork. Also looking forward to the new Moxon hardware, and the other products you announced in a blog post recently.