If I were to know I was going to be stranded on a desert island, or marooned anywhere, I would wish for a Jack Plane. If I could get any Jack Plane, I’d want the one I find most versatile, A Low Angle Jack Plane. In fact, I have said my favorite plane on a shooting board is a Low Angle Jack Plane.
The 62 was originally introduced by Stanley and has been repopularized and made better than ever by Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, redesigned and reissued by Stanley Tools, and is also part of Woodcraft’s Wood River line in recent times. We now offer a Chute-Style Shooting board for the Number 62 Low Angle Jack Plane.
The 62 Shooter™
Some of the cool things about LA Jacks on the shooting board is that it has heft, much like the LN-51 and Veritas SP, but it is also ambidextrous, which makes it a great choice for woodworkers who favor either the right or left hand.
When shooting moldings, The LA Jacks excel, because since you’ll have to shoot each side of any molding in situ, the LA Jack is easy to use in a twin-chute, left and right shooting board, and all that is needed is to flip it over from side to side as you use it in each respective chute.
The other great thing about the LA Jack is how it handles in the cut. It is not a skewed blade, but it is presented to the cut at 37 degrees. The low angle cuts cross grain easier and leaves a smoother finish.
It doesn’t end there. LA Jacks are affordable planes that are veritable workhorses in the woodworking shop. It dosen’t matter if you favor hand tools or work wood in a hybrid way with power tools, this is a plane that can bring it for anyone. Depending on the blade you install, this plane is capable of being used as a traditional jack plane, a short jointer, even a panel smoother. Shooting Board Plane is just another job description on it’s resume.
With high bevel angle blades installed such as a 38 or 50 degree blade, and the adjustable mouth this plane can approach difficult grain and reduce or eliminate tearout with a 62 degree final angle.
No other hand plane in the shop has as much versatility. No plane is be all end all, but this is a plane that is useful and can earn it’s keep in any shop. You may even want to keep one in your suitcase along with a ryoba saw when traveling – just in case… Many of our shooting boards will fit in a suitcase as well, and if a bottle of glue is along for the trip, that is a tool kit that can accomplish a lot!
Now we offer our shooting boards, allowing the 62 LA Jack to ride in an enclosed “Chute” just like the LN-51 Chute Board Plane. All the fence angles we offer are available. The added bonus is, the Number 62 LA Jack does not know if it is left or right handed, because it is both handed and then some! Just use it as you see fit!
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© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.
And I blog… If I could, I’d like a few moments of your time. I have a few thoughts I want to share.
When I began the Evenfall Studios Woodworks Blog in early 2008, I was an avid woodworker (still am) and I was running a woodworking business part time. I spent a lot of time writing to woodworking and making topics that I wanted to flesh out and help us all become better woodworkers and makers, and I did. To be certain, I still do want to continue this work.
In 2009 I evolved the business into a full time concern as a toolmaker and our blog naturally evolved into a company blog, announcing not only the new tools we release, but considerations about how they work, and how they can help woodworker do better work through using them.
I love using and restoring hand tools. In our shop I use a good many of the same tools most hand tool users have, give or take a few. My production requirements as a maker of tools, jigs and fixtures also has me running a Hybrid Woodworking Shop with all the usual suspects you’d imagine in the shop machine and power tool department.
I also work in Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Plastics, Glass and Leather, and we offer these materials in our product line. For a year we also offered textiles in the way of granite surface plate covers as well, all sewn right here.
Because of the precision requirements of the tools we offer, most days I spend my time thinking more like a machinist that a woodworker, in any material I’m working. I find that I really enjoy using all these skills and tools in all these aspects of fabricating and tradecraft work.
Going back to 2008, a few different blog aggregators were started, mostly for the hand tool woodworking community. They picked up our blog’s RSS feed, headlining our blog posts whenever we published. This was greatly appreciated, and helped share our content with a lot of readers.
Unfortunately, trying to write blog content to specifically fit an aggregator’s target readership isn’t easy when the scope of one’s work is wider than that. In fact, it slowed our blog updates to just product announcements and articles about our tools, so as to remain relevant to the readers on the aggregators that carry us.
To be fair to our readers, writing to fit any specific type of content isn’t helping us explore all we had hoped to in woodworking and fabrication with many different materials. I find myself wanting to write to my interests, and I feel that is a good direction to go. While wanting to be sensitive about advertising, understanding that it can be overdone, we are also a business that wants to freely share information about the products we make with the world. Promoting and discussing the tools we offer to woodworkers and makers will continue to be a big part of what posts on our blog.
We think our blog content will improve in an interesting way as I move toward trying to write more frequently about all the different aspects of tradecraft I practice or have interest in. Not limiting myself just to hand tools or woodworking, even though that is a large part of our work. As a byproduct of my want to explore beyond hand tools and woodworking with this blog, our articles may not remain relevant to the specific focus of some aggregators or readers. It is my hope that both our readers and the aggregators will continue to find our content interesting all the same.
I wanted to share these thoughts about the future of this blog. Thank you for your continued support of our product announcements and articles about our tools. This will continue. Our tool business is our main focus, and more articles about new releases and using our tools in the shop will be forthcoming. Please know too that we intend to try and write more often, and explore some of the many other making possibilities that are reflective of all the different categories found in our Woodworks Library.
Beyond this, our entire website here at Evenfall Studios is a robust resource for woodworkers, fabricators and makers. We invite you to visit and revisit often. Navigating our site is super easy, there is google search at the bottom of every page. An ever expanding library full of public domain books filled with information, many articles, and references. Please feel free to explore and utilize them. Links to it all are right along the top of our blog and website.
We are enthusiastic about and value those who read our blog. We hope you will continue!
Please remember to subscribe to our Blog! We offer both RSS and email feeds at the top of every blog page!
For much more frequent woodworking, fabricating and making thought for your consideration, please follow our Twitter Feed:
We enjoy your questions, comments, ideas and suggestions! Please Contact Us.
Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!
© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.
The last time I worked on this bench was in March. Finally I am getting a chance to finish this project. The mortises were cut and the sides pared using chisels and the tenons cut on the table saw using a stacked dado cutter previously.
Now it is time to fit the tenons to their individual mortises. Joints should be fitted just before glue up. Avoid letting fitted joints sit around the shop for any length of time if at all possible. For this operation I used a Stanley #93 shoulder plane and a couple of chisels. I know many woodworkers machine these joints to size, but a better finish and fit can be achieved by leaving the tenons a little heavy and sizing them with a sharp plane. Also, the hollow chisel mortiser does a very good job, but a better finish can be had by paring the sides of the finished mortise with a wide chisel. A better finish and a better fit means a better glue joint. This is where sharp hand tools stand out.
Once the tenons have ben fitted to their respective mortises the side frames can be glued up. I use liquid hide glue for all my projects and furniture. With this glue a glue up is a pleasure, as it should be, instead of a fire drill. The modern glues just don’t give enough working time. Also, joints glued with modern glues are not reversible. If you have ever disassembled a piece of furniture for repair or restoration you know how important it can be to be able to take a joint apart with relative ease.
The long aprons and stretcher are located with stub tenons and held to the side frames with 3/8″ hex head lag bolts. You will see this in the next post.
As always, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.
I got to see a lot of friends from the woodworking world, and also met some new ones. I enjoyed fabulous lobster that just melted in your mouth, and was entertained by a talk by Peter Follansbee about his adventures with “green wood”. He is a great presenter – and also does some amazing woodwork and 17th century carving. I spent a lot of my time at the show (when I should have been carving myself) watching him shape wood with tools a LOT larger than I use.
Bob Van Dyke of Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking was also there. I will be teaching a class there November 7 – 9. Bring any carving project you are working on and we’ll figure it out! Spaces are still available.
There are also a few spots still available for the beginning carving class I am teaching at Lie-Nielsen August 23 & 24. I am reserving great weather for that weekend – 70 and no humidity!
Last week I taught a beginning woodcarving class at a school I have not taught at before – The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in beautiful Rockport, Maine. This school has a wonderful atmosphere of creativity and the students did a great job carving acanthus leaves, camellia flowers and even a Tudor rose! And the setting is simply pristine. Here are some highlights:
I had an opportunity to escape the 100 degree temperatures with 90% humidity in Charleston, SC and actually leave the windows open at night to feel a cool breeze (what was that strange feeling?) I really can’t get enough of the Maine climate and beauty.
So… next month I will be coming back again to teach another beginning class at Lie-Nielsen August 23 & 24. Then the following week I will be filming an intermediate woodcarving DVD (the beginning carving DVD should be out soon, so keep your eyes open for that).
I also had the pleasure of finally meeting Chris Pye, who will be teaching an advanced carving class at the school for the next 2 weeks. It’s a small world out there when it comes to woodcarving, and I knew I would meet him along the teaching “circuit” somewhere. He has written several woodcarving instruction books and also has an online school. I could consider him “competition”, but ultimately if our end-goal is to teach this art that we both love, then whatever we do and however we do it will lead to sharing this wonderful art.
Just a little something to drool over — the holly knob and tote are by Bill Rittner; the engraving is by Catharine Kennedy. – Megan Fitzpatrick p.s. I’m out of the office this week…and can’t seem to turn the pic on my phone. Sorry.
Reader Charles W. Luetje sent me a link to this New York Times story that features Zach Braff sitting on a fantastic workbench with a beautiful deadman. I will definitely be stealing this form for a future bench.
From the wear marks on the bench, it looks like the deadman panels are stationary – not sliders.
Braff’s bench is quite similar to one I discussed in my 2007 book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.” That bench was featured in the August 1882 edition of Carpentry and Building magazine (see page 58 of that book for details).
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Workbenches
Christopher Schwarz, from the Lost Art Press blog:
The central idea in my next book, “The Furniture of Necessity,” is that there is a type of furniture that escaped the whims of fashion and has remained unchanged through the centuries because it is useful, simple, sturdy and (in a way) beautiful.
One of those types that Chris mentions is the Windsor-type stool. On my recent trip to Singapore, I kept seeing this type of stool. There is variation on how the stretchers are set up, but one thing all these stools have in common is that the legs are set into the top.
In addition, stools and benches with this sort of construction were ubiquitous when I went to China two years ago. It’s interesting how a furniture form can be truly global.
However, I spent about an hour Sunday night reading woodworking blogs. I would say that between 15 and 20 of those blogs were fairly new (all amateur) and many featured a woodworker about to sell his table saw. Now it’s not my place, but I am wondering why.
Don’t misunderstand me, if another woodworker doesn’t want to use a table saw it means little to me. The way I see it, there are a handful of really good reasons to stay away from a table saw: Safety, dusty, noisy (not always, depends on the saw), and they can take up a lot of space. But most of the blogs I read last night seemed to imply that the table saw was keeping them from doing good work. I’m wondering how that conclusion was reached.
It’s been my experience that having a poor tool isn’t all that helpful, but never has one caused me to do bad work. If my work is bad, and sometimes it is, I can’t really ever recall the tool being the blame, in particular if the tool was in working order. Maybe how I used the tool caused some problems, but that is another matter. A dull chisel will do poor work, or a table saw with a defective motor or rip fence, but that isn’t necessarily the fault of the tool.
So I’m hoping that if a woodworker out there reading this blog is also considering selling his table saw because he or she feels it hurts the work being performed, if you don’t mind I would like to hear your thoughts on why. Thanks.
July is typically not the time of year that you’re thinking about school, but then again semesters at Shannon Rogers’ Hand Tool School is not your typical learning environment.
If you’re not familiar with The Hand Tool School this is a great opportunity to visit and maybe take advantage of this great offer: 30% off any semester or bundle deal from now through July 31st.
According to Shannon’s recent email “Act now and get lifetime access to your semester(s) of choice plus the every growing archive of live sessions. And you get free shipping!!!”
To take advantage of this opportunity to become far more proficient in hand tools, through tutorials and projects, just use the coupon code “remodel14″ at checkout to claim the discount.
Hurry up and claim this discount code before Shannon starts up the next semester and changes his mind (not to mention the fact you help my show out by using the links on this website and I earn a little commission to keep the lights on.)
Yesterday wasn’t terribly productive in terms of how much I got done, perhaps just slightly ahead of “watching paint dry”, but I’m happy with how things are coming out. It was about 85 degrees outside, and my wood shop feels like it’s ten degrees hotter than outside. It’s weird, because the other building where I have my metalworking junk is probably 10 degrees cooler than outside. Maybe I should only do metalwork in the summer…
I decided to do a little more scroll saw practice, but after a couple of cuts I decided that I was good enough on the shallow curves, and that the tight curves were too unpredictable. The really tight turns also seemed to show up mistakes more, and if I got off the mark it was harder to correct. So I did the only reasonable thing — I changed my design to avoid the tight turns.
Not by much, mind you. I just changed the radius on the really tight turns to be a standard fractional drill size so I could drill out the ends and concentrate on connecting the lines in between. I had to scale up the piercing a bit to make it look right, but I think it’s good. I printed out my templates, and headed out to the shop. Here’s how it went down:
First, I laid down blue tape on the wood. I discovered that the “Super 77″ spray adhesive I’m using is just too sticky and it makes a mess getting it off of the wood. This way the pattern sticks to the tape instead and the whole mess just peels right off when I’m done.
You can just see the centerline I laid out on the tape, I carried this over the top edge of the wood so I could use it to align the pattern with a “tape hinge”.
I included center marks on the new pattern so I could accurately drop in the drill locations. This is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Then I drilled the holes for the ends of the design elements. For the “Star Trek Communicator” shapes I just drilled a 1/8″ pilot hole, far enough away from the line so I could nibble away the waste and start exactly on the line. I thought about dropping in a tangent circle at the tightest point in the arc for another drill but decided I could cut that without panicking. I think I will do that for the other skirt though.
I’m using a “#5 Flying Dutchman Ultra Reverse” blade, high enough blade tension that the blade makes a nice high pitched “twang” when plucked and a relatively low blade speed — maybe 1/3 of the maximum speed. I’m also wearing a #5 Optivisor so I can see the line and going relatively slowly, maybe half the speed I could theoretically push the board through the saw. Seems to work.
The cuts aren’t perfect but they aren’t far off either. There are a couple of little burs where I transitioned between the drilled holes and the sawn areas, but they are all undercuts (e.g. I left a little extra material instead of cutting outside of the line, or over cutting). There are a couple of little undulations as I sawed slightly to one side of the line — I tried to split the line, or cut to the inside of it, but this difference is just barely visible. I can clean all of this up with just a little sanding.
I’ll see if I can get an hour in the shop tonight and saw the matching skirt like this one. I already updated the pattern for the other skirt to add the tangent holes for the ends of the design. That design is significantly simpler too, it should be less challenging to cut. A little file and sandpaper should smooth out the piercings nicely, then I need to figure out how to round over the edges. I can do it with sandpaper I know — and probably will, as I want sort of an organic rounded shape anyway.
Last weekend I attended the Lie-Nielsen Open House at the company’s factory in Warren, Maine, and got to hang out with a lot of contributors to Popular Woodworking Magazine and work together on an unusual Dutch Tool Chest. What’s a Dutch Tool Chest? Check out the October 2013 issue to find out. Every year, Lie-Nielsen opens its doors to the public a la Willy Wonka to show off the factory, […]
This letter was sent to me by an old friend.
May I give you a story, as promised?
The story is told that if you were a young person in medieval France embarking on a spiritual quest, if you were fortunate you might meet up with someone older, perhaps a teacher, who would say this to you: I think I understand what you are seeking. Let me give you the name of someone I know, a cobbler, in Dijon. I think that it might work out well if you were to become his apprentice. If that happens, let me give you one piece of advice. Don’t talk with him about spiritual matters; just let him teach you how to make shoes.
So, time passes, and you find yourself in Dijon, and you seek out the cobbler. Sure enough, as it works out, you become his apprentice.
Years pass, and you learn how to make shoes. Year after year, you measure people’s feet. You watch them walk. You listen as they tell you about their work, their daily activities, their lives, their yearnings. You make their shoes, you modify their shoes, you repair their shoes. Your shoes tell stories. You make wonderful shoes that enrich people’s lives.
More time passes, and one day, the cobbler says to you, You have become a fine cobbler. Your fingers listen to the leather, and your heart listens to the people who will wear your shoes. I am growing old, and soon I will reach the end of my life. I want to leave this shop in your hands.
You begin to protest, but the cobbler goes on.
Now hear me. One day, a young person will come to you, on some kind of spiritual quest. If it works out for this person to become your apprentice, let me give you one piece of advice. Don’t talk with him about spiritual matters. Just teach your apprentice how to make shoes.
Warmly, Herman F.
When I visited Peter Follansbee in his shop at Plimoth Plantation in 2012, it looked as if his shop had always been there and always would.
I wouldn’t call it cluttered, exactly. It was quite tidy. But it was filled with 20 years of tools, work and the bits and pieces that come with a joiner’s life. (For photos from my visit, go here.)
But after 20 years, Peter has left Plimoth to strike out on his own. On one hand, I could not be happier for Peter. Walking away from any organization with its meetings, internal politics and hassle is liberating. But it’s also the end of an era at Plimoth. It appears that Plimoth will not replace Peter.
Peter said they were talking about adding a candle-dipper and soap-maker in his place.
While I have nothing against candles or cleanliness, this is a step backward for woodworking research into the 17th century. Peter, Jennie Alexander and a few others have been at the core of exploring and understanding the lively and robust furniture and tools from the 1600s.
(This isn’t a commercial for his book, but if you don’t own “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” and like green woodworking, you are missing out.)
No longer will you be able to visit Plimoth and watch Peter dismantle oak trees with sharp tools and a sharper tongue.
But there is a bright side to all of this. Peter is not slowing down or retiring from joinery. I spoke to him a bit at the Lie-Nielsen Open House last weekend about his new life and he’s keeping quite busy with commercial work, carving spoons and bowls and (I hope) finishing up a book for Lost Art Press.
That book, tentatively titled “Joiner’s Work,” will focus on the tools, methods and typical pieces of a joiner from the 17th century. He’s been at work on the book for some time – now he just needs the shop space to finish it up.
So if you love Peter’s work like we do here at Lost Art Press, you can lend a hand by following his excellent blog, picking up a copy of his book or DVDs from Lie-Nielsen or perhaps buying a spoon or bowl from his web site. Peter’s no charity case, but every little bit helps when you are starting out on your own.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Hey Peter, sorry about the title of this post. I couldn’t think of a good Bob Dylan song to go with this post. Hence, Elvis.
Filed under: Make a Joint Stool from a Tree
I bought three #151′s via eBay recently to show what could be had for under £10 knowing the steel cutting iron, cast body and associated adjusting mechanisms will be original Sheffield steel of quality rather than an Asian import under the banner of say Irwin or Stanley or whatever. In this series I want to dismantle comparisons of say the wooden spokeshave with the #151 or the Veritas spokeshaves. Some say the wooden ones are superior, but I want to show something a little different from the furniture maker’s perspective rather than the chair maker’s and the joiner’s from say the instrument maker’s. Anyway, I hope to both inform and educate you and at the same time entertain you. We also have videos out that help with the whole and this series of blogs will bring absolute clarity to this most useful of tools.
My spokeshave restoration process is simple enough with nothing more than common sense and common materials and oil needed, although I will as always be using diamond plates and diamond hones for the sharpening, flattening and so on. In place of these you can use any other sharpening stones and abrasives or files.
It’s best to derust and degrease first and so disposable rubber gloves keep your hands clean and give good grip through the processes. Any abrasive paper works for derusting and for starting and often finishing I use 250-grit or thereabouts. Grease is not usually a problem but a brass wire brush will work for most if not all of this. I don’t really like to use solvents but there are several greener solutions for this step too.
Remove all loose paint and find a paint to match the original if you in fact plan on getting the tool to a near original state. The Record blue and red can be had from B&Q here in the UK in a small section of the paint department.
One of these pots will restore about fifty spokeshaves and for under £4 that’s inexpensive. These spokeshaves are quite dirty with some grease to boot.
In this case I used the end of an old knife as a scraper to fit into hollows and then followed with the wire brush in all the nooks and crannies. I tend not to use wire wheels and brushes in power tools unless the tools are way off because of deep rust. Remember I restored some Old Record vises some time back and I did use an angle grinder to get through the mass of work for that, but these spokeshaves should take only minutes of time to derust, degrease and remove flaking paint.
In this case the handles have paint flaked on the handles front, back and underside so I sanded over the whole. On the convex surfaces I padded the flat face of a stick with a cotton rag wrapped around several times. Wrapping the sandpaper around the whole meant no flats but gentle curves that gave me an even surface cleanness ready for applying the first coat if paint.
I checked the spokeshave bed for high spots that cause the blade to bend in the body when the pressure is applied through the cap. The best tool ever for this is the diamond stone and hone medium grit from EZE_Lap.
It gets right into the throat and does the whole surface very accessibly and creates the flatness I like. Notice here some indicated points showing high spots that were never corrected by the former owner. Why they didn’t is lack of someone showing them. These small bumps result in flex that can cause chatter marks in the surfaces being planed or shaped. The image aboe shows a more than adequate level of evenness for a spokeshave of this type.
Before painting I flattened the sole of the flat spokeshave and sanded the round bottomed one.
I taped off the areas I want to be paint free with masking tape because it’s easier and quicker to apply the paint and prevents paint from clogging or gumming up.
Even so, I still try to apply the paint exactly where I want rather than daubing it on. The paint I am using is a low-VOC, water-based gloss? paint that is amazing as far as drying, hardness and final appearance. It costs just under £4 for this tub, which would be expensive penny per litre but for small projects like this it’s unbeatable. Used a disposable foam brush which washes out easily or you can wrap it inside the rubber glove to choke off air and apply subsequent coats before cleaning with water.
On this spokeshave I applied two coats to get the thickness, fullness and evenness I wanted. I then touched up any areas that I saw where the paint drew back from tighter edges and such; to ensure even colour.
I cleaned out all of the threaded parts with the brass wire brush and applied a drop of oil before reassembly. Some parts can be chucked in a drill driver and spun into the wore brush locked in the vise. The knurled parts too benefit from this.
The post Restoring a #151 Record, Marples or Stanley Spokeshave appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.
As I begin working on the 1707 Philadelphia Escritoire (the English also call this a scriptor, if you lack confidence in your French pronunciation), I have been scrambling to find material of sufficient thickness. The case parts on this are really heavy and so are the bun feet. At 4 1/2 inches in diameter, these feet have to come out of a substantial block of walnut. Unfortunately, our inventory of seasoned walnut only goes up to 4 inch thick stock – we are not timber framers after all. When Hurricane Irene shoved through Williamsburg three years ago we ended up with quite a bit of walnut to be sawn and seasoned. At the time, Mack Headley decided that we ought to have a few heavy timbers cut and set aside for those unusual projects that come along now and then. So out there in the stacks are some really heavy boards (8 inches square) and some less heavy, heavy boards (5 inches square). That is good news for my feet, but you know the rule for air drying lumber: one year for every inch of thickness. Hurricane Irene was in 2011, it is now 2014, this board is 5 inches thick, and it has been at the bottom of the stack – raised off the ground, but next to the soggy Williamsburg earth nonetheless – sucking in moisture while it is losing moisture.
Well I think we’ll be able to use one of these five inch boards, but I need to treat things a little differently than usual. Because the feet are independent of the case itself, it should be reasonable to work them somewhat green and have them get along with the more seasoned wood in the case. I wanted to get this stuff inside and cut up as soon as possible then do something to retard the drying somewhat. Here are some shots of how I am handling this.
In other words, I got some material that looks sound and inherently stable. I have roughed it out and will now leave it in the shop environment to adjust. Because there is such a big risk of checking, I took steps to reduce it (sealing the end grain and packing them in shavings). If this doesn’t work, the odds are that I will find out when I take them out of the box and not after I have turned them…I hope.
When back in the city last week I disassembled and loaded my first real workbench, a 5″ thick torsion-box mounted on an oak base unit, and brought it back to the mountains when I returned.
Reassembled and in its rightful place — it was designed and is intended for use in “the middle of the floor” rather than against the wall — its diminutive size makes it a near perfect fit almost anywhere, and the space between the Roubo bench in the window and the planing beam makes it an integral part of the shop activities. NOW The Barn feels like home. It was home-y before, now it is home.
I built this bench in 1986 as I recall, using a pair of “Closeout table” vise screws from the local Woodcraft for the full length twin screw face vise, which is unbelievably handy. The Emmert was mounted a few years later, and I remember listening to the debates prior to the first Persian Gulf War on the radio as I was rasslin’ the beast into place.
The only real downsides to this bench are three. 1) it is really small, as was dictated by the space I had back then. At 24′ x 48″ for the core unit and 32″ x 54″ overall, it does limit the kinds of work you can do, but I have managed to do a lot with it over the years. 2) With the 90-pound Emmert vise hanging outside the trestle base, it does get kinda tippy especially when you put something heavy in it. I found that using the base as a lumber storage rack pretty much solves the problem. And 3) there was no end vise function, which I solved by designing and building the face-mounted end vise on it, a project that was featured in Popular Woodworking.
This bench has served me superbly for the better part of three decades and uncounted projects ranging from planing window trim to being a toy hospital to fabricating parts and even entire replicas) for priceless antiques and everything in between. If you have a severe space restriction for your working area, you might want to give something like this a thought. If so, I will be delighted to provide any insights and counsel I can to help you along.
But tread lightly when contemplating acquiring an Emmert. If you do try one out, be forewarned that a complete one in excellent shape often costs a fortune. In addition you will have to suffer the discomfort of kicking yourself non-stop for not having one before. There is also the continued annoying (to other woodworkers) habit of comparing everything to an Emmert from this point on. Frankly, nothing else measures up. Thanks to Benchcrafted and others we are living in a Golden Age for woodworker’s vises, but this standard is what keeps me looking for improvements all the time. Even when we get to fabricating Studley vises, this will probably remain my “go to” tool.
The walking cane is the only project I can think of that uses a single mortise and tenon joint. It is however a very visible joint and can add or detract from the cane.