Monday, May 28, 2012

Updates: Handwheels and Lead Times


Pictured above are, from left to right, 1. the handwheel our Tail Vises had featured up until a couple weeks ago, 2. an un-machined casting of our new handwheel, and 3. a rendering of what that casting will look like when fully machined.

We're thrilled to report that the Tail Vise pattern performed flawlessly and the castings are excellent. We're working on the machining sequence, and hope to have machined hand wheels to show in the next week or so. The Glide Leg Vise handwheel is also in production and we should have some pictures of that relatively soon as well.

Lead Times

A little over two weeks ago we sold our last Tail Vise before production changes over to the new handwheels. That means we still have about two weeks until we're past our typical lead time of 4 weeks. Our hope is that we'll have inventory sometime in July. Our posted lead time of 12 weeks is on the liberal side (and that's actually shorter now since we posted that a couple weeks. We should probably update that. Kind of like that sign you see at bars "Free beer tomorrow!)

We are still a couple weeks out before we have something firm, but we'll keep you posted as things develop. For those who've bought plans in recent months or have started benches without vises in hand, don't worry. Our new handwheels will not affect the installation of vises at all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Glide Instructions Update

We just uploaded the latest version of the Glide Leg Vise installation instructions.

Download them here

We've cleaned up the text and added numerous illustrations to further clarify the process. We've also updated several sections to reflect changes we've made to the vise since we first released it.

If you've recently installed a Glide, not to worry, the new instructions are simply a refined version--none of the installation processes have changed.

Soon we'll be posting technical info about the Benchcrafted Crisscross, for those who are anticipating installing one when they become available.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Put This Book On Your Christmas List

Have you ever had that feeling during the construction of a piece of furniture where you felt that everything clicked? That moment when joinery fit sweetly right off the tool? Or when design elements coalesce into their own element? The moment of satisfaction when you feel like every step in the process was achieved by your hard-wrought practice and skill, and not just a result of luck or chance? Now raise your hand if you also wish that early in your woodworking endeavor there was a book that laid the foundation for you to achieve this sort of satisfaction without years of trial and error.

Jeff Miller has just finished writing that book. I had the privilege to read some excerpts from Jeff's book earlier this year. I can only say that I wish he had written it 20 years ago. This isn't a step-by-step book about how to cut joints or work surfaces. It's more about why the joints are cut that way. It also covers something that is rarely touched on in woodworking media: ergonomics. In other words, it teaches the DNA of woodworking fundamentals.

The book is being published by Popular Woodworking Books. I know I'll be on the lookout when its released this fall. 

For more info, see Jeff Miller's Chairs and More blog

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brese Plane on The Highland Woodworker

Episode 2 of The Highland Woodworker features a nice visit to our friend Ron Brese's planemaking shop. Nuff said. Watch the show.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pouring Handwheels--And An Inventory Update

As of this post, we are completely out of Tail Vises. We won't be producing more until we finish up a run of our new Tail Vise handwheels (see below for more.)

On the other hand, we still have a decent quantity of Glide Leg Vises in stock. If you want to avoid the upcoming price increase, you should order now. And again, if you eventually want our upcoming St. Peter's Cross, it will work fine with these Glides. We will even give you a special price on the St. Peter's Cross when its released, if you've purchased any Glide since February of this year. That includes these Glides. So by buying a Glide now, you can automatically get a price break on the St. Peter's Cross, and it doesn't even exist yet! How many companies give you a discount on nothing?! Wait a second....I better stop while I'm ahead.

Speaking of handwheels, yesterday we delivered the new matchplate for the Tail Vise handwheels to the foundry. And this morning the first batch of samples was poured. Next, the handwheels will season for 12 months while we vacation in the Carribean. After we get back....No, seriously, next we'll machine the samples and prove out the process so we can whip them out like the hot dogs on How It's Made. Are you kidding? We're going to file these babies all by hand and polish them with calf skin shammies and humpback whale oil until they feel like the back of a wet otter. Seriously, (didn't I already say that?) we're making steady progress and hope to show some finished wheels by the end of the month. Stay tuned. Here's a video I took at the foundry. Warning: it's bad quality. (if you want to see a real videographer's work at a foundry, click here) But I got a kick out of filming it. I almost backed into a crucible of molten iron.

Oh, and sorry if you never eat another hot dog again. Brats are better anyway.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vise Inventory and New Handwheels Update

Just a head's up for those planning bench projects. We only have a handful zero Benchcrafted Tail Vises left in stock at the moment. We may sell out by the end of the week. After those are gone, we'll be suspending orders for Tail Vises until we have firm pricing on the new wheels (should be soon.) We have more Glides than Tail Vises in stock, but again, if you're looking to use both vises, you may want to order both now so they match, and to avoid the price increase. These in-stock Glides will work with our upcoming St. Peter's Cross mechanism, so if you anticipate wanting that when it comes down the line, you should pick up a Glide now.

Watch here for updates, and thank you all for your patience as we transition to our new handwheels.

Build a Benchcrafted Roubo Video--Start To Finish

Earlier this year Marc Spagnuolo (a.k.a. The Wood Whisperer) began his latest Guild Build, featuring our Split Top Roubo bench and Benchcrafted vises.

Marc emailed us this morning to let us know that the build is officially complete. Take a look here for some pics and video of Marc's bench. Marc's bench is one of the finest examples we've seen from any of our customers. Fantastic job, Marc!

Marc has provided 24 separate videos showing each step of the process, totaling 630 minutes of professional-quality HD video. It's gorgeous quality, edited beautifully, and super-rich in content. It's pretty entertaining as well. We followed along during the entire build.

But here's where you should sit up in your chair and take notice if you're contemplating building our Split-Top Roubo. You can get access to all the videos for only $99. That is a ridiculous price. Just crazy cheap. And you get access to the rest of the site as well. We've long considered producing our own video showing the construction process, but frankly, after what Marc's done, we would be complete fools to try.

To sign up for the Guild and get instant access to the entire video series, click here.

To watch Marc in action, see his video on drawboring here.