Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Make A Parallel Guide Pin Handle

We've been wanting to do this video for a long time.

Once in a while we'll get a customer request for a handle for their parallel guide pin, to match the Glide's rosewood knob. There's a reason we don't supply a finished pin with the Glide. People leg's are different widths (and not just at Wal-Mart) and their parallel guides are positioned differently. So it would be impossible for us to supply a finished pin-and-handle that would fit everyone's bench properly. So we supply a raw steel pin for you to make a finished pin from. It's a quick and fun project that will greatly improve simply using a naked steel pin, which is difficult to grab.

The first handles we made for our own benches, and for custom benches we built were turned from rosewood to match our vise handles. But since then we've changed our opinion of the best handle style for the pin. Turned rosewood looks pretty sweet, with that little brass ferrule and a nice finish, but it doesn't perform as well as it could. Here's why. When you do need to move the pin you want to move it quickly and get back to work. A slick, round handle does not provide for the best grip. What you want is a handle that's easy to grab, easy to pull out and replace with a minimum of effort. A handle you don't really have to grip all that much. And for us that handle is octagonal and tapered narrower towards the pin. Rosewood handles are too slick.

So yesterday I took a few minutes and made a pin for the small Roubo bench we took to WIA this year. It was fun because I actually used the bench itself to make the handle. I wasn't too finicky on this one. Just knocked it out quick. It works great.             

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