Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Moxon Vise Aftermarket

Customer and blogger Paul-Marcel has built his Benchcrafted Moxon vise with some slick options. Nice job Paul-Marcel! And thanks for the laughs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tapping Moxon Handwheels Video

Our first run of Moxon Vises sold out in short order, and we've been busy getting the next run finished up. They are almost done and should be shipping in less than two weeks.

Earlier this week we were tapping hand wheels and thought it would be interesting to show how this is done.

For those of you without machine experience, running acme taps in this size is demanding work. Unlike machine screw threads, where there is relatively little material to remove from the largest diameter of the thread, acme threads feature a flat bottom and almost square-shouldered threads, requiring lots of material removal. Acme taps either come in pairs (roughing and finishing), or in tandem form (a single tap with two stages, roughing and finishing). The tap in the video is a tandem. The first half of the tap gets rid of most of the material, while the second, finishing section refines the profile and leaves a smooth finish.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Email, Postage, Packing and Paper

While we spend a lot of time developing and producing some great products here at Benchcrafted, believe it or not, we also spend an enormous amount of time practicing the mundane.  So to clarify a few points and explain a bit about how we go about getting those products to our customers:

Email:  We're huge fans of email.  In fact we don't even publish a phone number.  We realize this is a bit unusual but it saves us lots of time and energy, both of which we'd rather be putting back into development and actual production.  Unless we're out of town (rare), we typically respond to emails within a hour or two during work hours.  It's not uncommon to get a response from us in those wee hours, we're not always conventional.

With that said, our responses aren't always exhaustive or sugar coated.  While we often make a lengthy reply when called for, short and sweet (maybe not always so sweet, but pickles are good too, right?) is the de rigueur.  We're not saying that you'll never get a snide response from us, but we do put the customer first, always, and any missteps by us are just that.

Postage:  We ship everything as economically as possible.  Small packages typically go out USPS, large go UPS.  We never charge for "handling", though to be blunt we probably should.  Most people would be surprised to find out how long so called handling actually takes.  It's not uncommon to spend hours per day packing and shipping.  We also never charge more than it costs us.  We know that shipping charges can be pretty thrilling (you know, like a car accident), but we don't take a cut.  In fact, we're not always the sharpest tools and oftener than we'd like to admit, we take a loss.

Packing: Though we've not received any comments, we're guessing some of our customers have been left scratching their heads at some of our packing material.  We're pretty professional about most our image but there's no place for fancy schmancy in the packing material world.  We always use new boxes for stability but our packing, in it's many forms is strictly hand-me-downs.  In fact we do one better than most of the "recycled" packing those green companies use, our packing is 100% re-purposed.  We source all our packing from a local company that deals in large amounts of electronics materials where we get all our myriad supplies.  What's this mean?  Well as many of you already know, it means unpacking a box from us doesn't bring to mind "corporate" or "professional", but it gets the job done AND again, it saves money.  I guess we're also happy it didn't require a second round of petroleum product manipulation either, though Uncle Ted probably wouldn't care one way or the other.

Paper:  Similar to that drivel directly above about packing, many people probably notice we never include invoices or packing lists in our shipments.  In this internet age, where DARPA has made all of us so happy, we don't really see the need of using more ink and paper just to confirm what you already know via the email receipt you received.  You probably also don't need a packing list to confirm what you are holding in your hands, only the sweetest piece of hardware you'll ever be able to hand down to your grandchildren!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Roubo in Two Days and WIA 2011

This week I worked solo in the Benchcrafted test shop getting some things ready for WIA in September, where we'll be exhibiting everything Benchcrafted at the year's best woodworking show.

This year we're debuting our new Benchcrafted Moxon vise at the conference. And in order for as many people to try it out as possible, we're building a special bench. But in order to have enough room for it in our booth, I knocked out this small Roubo bench this week (its only 18" x 60"). What you see above was built in only two days, including installing a Benchcrafted Tail Vise. If it weren't for the angled stretchers (the rear of the base is built on a wider footprint for stability) I would have finished the Glide install on the second day. That's the beauty of using 12/4 lumber. You can knock out a massive bench lickety split.This bench will make the journey to Cincinnati so folks can try out our Tail and Glide Leg Vise in real time, on a monolithic bench.

We're also building a massive 40" x 40" sawbuck-style bench to hold four complete Moxon vises, so four woodworkers can have a go with them without bumping shoulders with anybody. Each Moxon vise will be outfitted with a test board and a brand new Bad Axe "Doc Holliday" Dovetail Saw. All four complete Moxon vises will be for sale at a special price, and customers can take them home Saturday evening or Sunday, as will the Dovetail saws from Bad Axe.

If you bring a set of dice, we may set this up as a craps table. But only if someone shows up dressed like Wyatt Earp.