Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Project Update: A Deadman in the Shop

After a couple of unforeseen and unintended delays, I'm back at it. First, I asked a friend, Darrel Wallen, for a little help machining some of the hardware for the workbench. Darrel is a retired Navy machinist who kept at it after his years of service and has a metal shop at his home that's quite impressive. Darrel cut down the hardened screw - one piece 18" long and two pieces 9" each. The one piece will attach to the leg vise chop/leg and the other two are for the Moxon vise. He also machined down the screws and placed the handwheels and he lathed the enormous hex nuts for mounting the washers, which my next door neighbor, Mike Crane, brazed onto the nuts with some brass.

At this point, I believe all of the hardware necessary is completed and ready for installation.

Now, I just have to figure out how to get everything installed properly. It should be interesting.

Before installing all of these parts, I'll go ahead and make the deadman. This is a vertical board 1 1/2" thick that rides the length of the bench face between the legs; it contains dog holes that will allow me to place dogs or holdfasts to support any long board I put in the leg vise. You can see an example of one in the photo below.

Why do they call it a deadman? I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure there's a good story behind it.The top of the deadman rides in a slot routed into the bottom of the bench top and the bottom rides on a funky pyramid shaped structure that I have yet to add to the front stretcher. I'm hoping to at least get the dead man completed this week.

On a couple of unrelated notes, I was able to slice up some nice koa for Darrel using the Laguna SUV as thanks for helping me with the machining. It went well, yet I can see that I will need a better resaw fence should I choose to do more of this kind of work.

My wife and I also made our monthly pilgrimage to Astoria, Oregon where we visited Astoria Vintage Hardware and I found a No. 5 in pretty rough shape for $10. It has a lot of rust on it, but, frankly, I've seen worse. I oiled it up and will start grinding rust off when I need a deadman break this week.

Until next time...

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