Saturday, May 30, 2009

Glide Update--What you'll need to install it

We're on schedule for delivering the first batch to customers the first week in July. There is still plenty of time to get the Glide at the pre-order price of $299. After June 30th, the price will be $325.

In the meantime, we thought we'd post a list of some of the tools required to install the vise so pre-order customers can get geared up.

Aside from the typical woodworking tools required to build the wood components of the vise and install it, you'll need some machine screw taps to install some of the components. Many of you will already have these, and for those who don't, you'll be able to pick them up at any hardware store or home center.

The roller guides are attached to the bench legs with 3/8-16 chromed cap screws. You'll need a 3/8-16 tap for these holes. Standard taps will work fine for all the holes, but bottoming taps (they cut threads almost to the bottom of a hole) will require a shallower hole. I use standard taps and just drill about 3/8" deeper than the ultimate length of the threads in the hole. You'll also need a 10-24 tap for the set screw that holds the wheel's axle in place.

To attach the garter or flange to the chop you'll need a 5/16-18 tap. If you like, you can dispense with this tap, drill clear through the chop and countersink 5/16 nuts to receive the bolts. Although the tapped holes make for a cleaner installation and are plenty strong enough. The flange on the Glide in opening mode only pulls back on the chop, and with the roller guide system, there is almost zero force in this direction. It's also a lot easier to remove the screw assembly from tapped holes. You'll be doing this a few times during installation, so it's worth it.

The nut plate is attached to the leg with 1/4-20 cap screws, as is the acetal bushing (not pictured) that's mortised into the front of the leg. Buy a 1/4-20 tap for these screws.

I'm a big fan of tapping wood for machine screws, and I've been doing it for a number of years. The holding power is about the same as using a threaded insert, and you don't have to buy the inserts. It's great for making jigs and knock-down joints. You'll also need matching drill bits, but chances are you already have them (see the table below).

Once I drill the pilot hole (use a drill press for accuracy if possible, but it's not necessary) I like to chuck the tap in a small, cordless, variable-speed driver set for driving (the slower setting). Hold the drill perpendicular to the surface and without pushing on the drill (just support its weight while keeping it square) press the trigger and let the tap feed itself into the hole. When you feel the tap tighten up a bit and you've reached the depth of threads you're after, release the trigger. Switch the drill into reverse and press the trigger without pulling on the drill. Let the tap thread itself out of the hole. It's important to go slow and feel how the tap is working. If you go too fast you risk binding the tap. At that point the tap becomes a drill bit and you just end up making a larger hole. If you're new to this, practice on some scrap first. You can also tap the holes by hand, but once you get the hang of using the driver it makes tapping quick and easy.

Complete installation instructions will be available in 2-3 weeks.

Glide Leg Vise Taps and Drills required:

10-24 tap ♦ 9/64" drill

1/4-20 tap ♦ 13/64" drill

5/16-18 tap ♦ 1/4" drill

3/8-16 ♦ 5/16" drill

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