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A builder's bench : tools, vises, etc

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rp77469

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I am having a heck of a time locating a good articulated shop light like the one in the picture. Anyone have an idea where I can get one?
I bought two at a thrift shop for a couple bucks each. Some are made better than others, but if you can adjust the joint tension with fingers or a screw driver they all work. I have 1/2 inch holes drilled in places through out the shop. If you remove these lights from the bases, they all fit a half inch hole, so are very easy to move around. For surfaces I don't want holes in, like my table saw, I drill the hole in a 2x4 and and clamp it in place.
 

Bob McBride

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Yea, most any will stand there and hold up a light bulb but for a woodworking bench they are used for cross light and are adjusted back and forth back and forth and swing all over the place as you work and a chinese pos will not hold up to that for a week. Get a good one but i do love scrounging the garages sales or auctions for them.
 
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Doc Ivory

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I really should take a pic of my workbench. I've got more lights pushed around than I can count.
One articulated light I've had for better than 30 years, one halogen that my wife decided wasn't good for her desk anymore and a couple of incandescents found in yard sales.
There's always room for another lamp.
 

RB POWELL

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I bought two at a thrift shop for a couple bucks each. Some are made better than others, but if you can adjust the joint tension with fingers or a screw driver they all work. I have 1/2 inch holes drilled in places through out the shop. If you remove these lights from the bases, they all fit a half inch hole, so are very easy to move around. For surfaces I don't want holes in, like my table saw, I drill the hole in a 2x4 and and clamp it in place.
Still looking. Thanks.
 

tnlonghunter

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It’s the StewMac Guitar Vise. Same body as the WoodCraft Gunmaker’s Vise but red instead of green, a different crank, and a bit better gears I was told. Not sure about the gears. Great vise.
Stewmac has some neat stuff, but boy do they charge for it. Being a guitar builder (moreso than guns), I've spent my fair share of money there, and some things are critical; others can be made just as good at home. I’ll have to check out that vice though. I have yet to need one, but you can't have too many vices (I mean, I guess you can, but that's no fun).
 

Bob McBride

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Stewmac has some neat stuff, but boy do they charge for it. Being a guitar builder (moreso than guns), I've spent my fair share of money there, and some things are critical; others can be made just as good at home. I’ll have to check out that vice though. I have yet to need one, but you can't have too many vices (I mean, I guess you can, but that's no fun).
Its a great vise. I sure do agree on “can’t have too many vises”. I have 3-4 2-3” vises mounted to boards that fit in my 4-6” vises for small work and 4-6” vises mounted to boards that fit in my 9” vise. 🤔
 
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tnlonghunter

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Its a grest vise. I sure do agree on “can’t have too many vises”. I have 3-4 2-3” vises mounted to boards that fit in my 4-6” vises for small work and 4-6” vises mounted to boards that fit in my 9” vise. 🤔
Oh, vises. I thought you were talking about vices! That makes so much more sense. 😁
 

troy2000

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I'm almost done assembling a Kibler Southern Mountain Rifle kit. These are the tools I've used so far, not necessarily in the order in which they've been used...

A rough file. Half round, but so far I've only used the flat side.

A fairly fine mill file.

A triangular file, with a 'safe' side created on my disc sander.

An old flat screwdriver, used as a punch to crimp the edges of dovetail slots down onto the barrel lugs.

A 1/4" chisel - fanatically sharpened, and touched up often. I left the sides sharp after grinding the backside flat when I was tuning it, and held vertically it makes a good scraper for slightly enlarging a shallow inlet in the wood. I've also used it for scraping the bottom of an inlet sometimes, instead of trying to take thin shavings. I have a lot of other chisels, but so far I've had no urge to dig them out. I guess that's a testament to how little wood I've had to remove so far...

Prussian blue, (not really a tool, I guess. But I've used heck out of it).

A fat-handled stubby screwdriver, slightly hollow-ground so it engages at the bottom of the slot, instead of the top.

A round wood mallet, and a piece of dowel.

A pair of linesman pliers to cut pins from the supplied piano wire, and a small ball peen hammer to drive them.

A DeWalt cordless drill motor.

A couple of miscellaneous clamps.

An adjustable roller stand commandeered from my table saw, to place under the end away from the vice. I try to remember to throw an old piece of chamois between it and the wood, if I'm working on the stock.

A serious led light stand pointed over my shoulder, and an articulating desk lamp to fill in the shadows.

And that's it so far, folks, even though I have a fairly well-appointed shop. Aside from a pair of soft jaws for my vice, of course. I drilled and tapped the jaws on my old bench vise, bolted leather-lined wood jaws on top of them, and they work fine. They come off in a New York minute with a ratchet, if I want the vise for something else.

I suspect that if I were building some other kit instead of a Kibler, the tool list might be longer. ;)

add: ignore the wider chisel in the pic. I was levering it off my knuckle to open a bottle of New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger IPA, after work was done. And the block plane behind the mallet never got put away, after I used it to trim the leather pads.

add 2: forgive my non-technical description of the files. I'm still a third-generation woodworker more than a machinist, in spite of my current job.
 

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Everything you see in pic #1.... ;)

For a Kibler you don't need much really. An exacto knife or a few small chisels. Either a flat 1/8", 3/16", or 1/4" for Kibler. A few others for other kits. Pfeil is best quality but expensive. A Mill Bastard file for cleaning up the furniture. For other kits a minimum of a 10" #49/#50 Cabinet maker's rasp or similar. Sandpaper. Probably don't need a vise for a Kibler either but the 'Gunmaker's vise', or like mine, which is the same except for the color, handle, and gearing, a 'guitar maker's vise', is excellent for holding any shape. Which is handy. Taps and Dies for most kits. Not Kibler.


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Bob,

Since I had to move around a lot all over the country during my Marine Corps Career and after, I’ve had to build many workbenches and set up my shop over the years. Three times in spare bedrooms, four times in attached garages, once in a separate garage and finally in a basement. Yet I see some things in your shop, I sure wish I had thought about over the years.

Two things you have done makes me wish I had thought of them much earlier. I mounted a bench vise on a bench grinder about 3 decades ago to take to gun shows, but your pedestal mount seems more stable. May I ask what the base is below the pedestal?

Also, I never thought about a narrow workbench perpendicular to the main bench like you have until my Dad gave me an “L” shaped credenza top that I covered with thick plywood for a stable top. However, the perpendicular portion is a bit too wide to work on a long rifle or stock from either side, as it appears you made yours. So may I ask how wide that long bench under the rifle is and if after using it, you would make it wider or narrower, if you had to do it again?

I see a bunch of things you did that really took some thought. I LOVE that upside down “U” shaped wooden frame to hold chisels or screwdrivers, but can be moved around the bench.

You have a well thought out design in your work area and thanks for showing it to us all.

Gus

P.S. Good Tip about having rags or something soft between vise jaws when working on stocks. Yep, learned that the hard way decades ago myself. Grin.
 
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Bob McBride

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Bob,

Since I had to move around a lot all over the country during my Marine Corps Career and after, I’ve had to build many workbenches and set up my shop over the years. Three times in spare bedrooms, four times in attached garages, once in a separate garage and finally in a basement. Yet I see some things in your shop, I sure wish I had thought about over the years.

Two things you have done makes me wish I had thought of them much earlier. I mounted a bench vise on a bench grinder about 3 decades ago to take to gun shows, but your pedestal mount seems more stable. May I ask what the base is below the pedestal?

Also, I never thought about a narrow workbench perpendicular to the main bench like you have until my Dad gave me an “L” shaped credenza top that I covered with thick plywood for a stable top. However, the perpendicular portion is a bit too wide to work on a long rifle or stock from either side, as it appears you made yours. So may I ask how wide that long bench under the rifle is and if after using it, you would make it wider or narrower, if you had to do it again?

I see a bunch of things you did that really took some thought. I LOVE that upside down “U” shaped wooden frame to hold chisels or screwdrivers, but can be moved around the bench.

You have a well thought out design in your work area and thanks for showing it to us all.

Gus

P.S. Good Tip about having rags or something soft between vise jaws when working on stocks. Yep, learned that the hard way decades ago myself. Grin.
Hey thanks Gus for the complement. Yea, after remodeling my shop from the studs up I had time to consider everything I had always wanted to do with my shop. It really turned out well. The blue vise is mounted on a arched caste iron base 25” wide and filled with 50 lbs of lead. I got it premade from my brother in law so I’m not sure what he made it from. Very stable for file work but it can be moved easily. I can put a foot on it if I need to get really aggressive. The peninsula bench is 20’ wide. I may have made it 17” if I had it to do again but it’s pretty close to perfect. It is c-clamped to the main bench so it can be moved. The chisel stand is from necessity as I was tired of having them laying on the bench when working. I have gouges on one side and chisels on the other and I can see which is which through the bottom so I can easily find the one I need. It’ll hold a dozen so the ones I use for gun work will all fit. I made a similar stand against the wall but 3’ long with drilled holes that will hold bits, cold chisels, jewelers saw blades, and other stuff. The stands on either side of the light on the shelf are adjustable spice racks from Wally. Handy.

Bob
 

troy2000

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Very nice, Bob. If you ever get bored, look me up and you can come organize my shop for me. My go-to excuse has usually been, "well, I'm too busy making things, to spend the time it would take to make making things easier... and besides, it's well known that Woody Guthrie was a total slob." ;)
 

Boston Bill

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The forum has youngsters who visit it as well as people who strongly object to what they consider as profane words so, it tries to keep threads free of them.

Because someone strongly objected to the use of the word, "bastard" in a thread, the forum Administrator decided that word should be added to the software's list of censored words.
thats all it takes today. 1 person.
 

Artificer

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Hey thanks Gus for the complement. Yea, after remodeling my shop from the studs up I had time to consider everything I had always wanted to do with my shop. It really turned out well. The blue vise is mounted on a arched caste iron base 25” wide and filled with 50 lbs of lead. I got it premade from my brother in law so I’m not sure what he made it from. Very stable for file work but it can be moved easily. I can put a foot on it if I need to get really aggressive. The peninsula bench is 20’ wide. I may have made it 17” if I had it to do again but it’s pretty close to perfect. It is c-clamped to the main bench so it can be moved. The chisel stand is from necessity as I was tired of having them laying on the bench when working. I have gouges on one side and chisels on the other and I can see which is which through the bottom so I can easily find the one I need. It’ll hold a dozen so the ones I use for gun work will all fit. I made a similar stand against the wall but 3’ long with drilled holes that will hold bits, cold chisels, jewelers saw blades, and other stuff. The stands on either side of the light on the shelf are adjustable spice racks from Wally. Handy.

Bob
Hi Bob,

Thanks very much for the width dimension of the peninsula bench and your suggestion for a slightly smaller size. I didn't realize it was C Clamped to the Wall Bench until you mentioned it. I bet that's handy when you have to move it. Good thinking. BTW, I noted on the top of that bench and the shelf underneath, that you ran the boards across and screwed them down for extra stability. Real good idea there so it is plenty stable when standing alone and you have to do aggressive rasping/filing on stocks.

Gus
 

Artificer

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Bob's Mill bastard file has now returned to the living.

I had a devil of a time trying to tell Angie what the problem was because every time I used that word the forum software would change it to read, "guy".
That ended up with my post reading something like, "Angie. You need to restore the word guy so it will read guy. Right now, it's being changed by the software to "guy" so a members post that should say "Mill guy file" says "Mill guy file".
In order to actually write the word so she would understand what I was talking about, I ended up putting a space between each letter.
Computers are so stupid. :)
Hi Zonie,

Thanks for getting the historically correct word/adjective "bastard" back on the forum.

Besides an adjective for a particular file, the word was used in at least the following examples in our period, as well.

Bastard Musquet or Musket was commonly used in the 17th century through early 18th century to describe a type of English Matchlock and later Early Flintlock/Doglock Musket that was handy enough to be carried and used without a support "stick." Bastard Bore also referred to a caliber size.

Bastard was one size of artillery gun barrels during the period.

Bastard Shot was one of many different sizes of (Rupert type) small shot imported by both the English and French here in the 17th and 18th centuries. Other names included but not limited to Royal, Half Royal, Pigeon, Dove etc. for different sizes instead of the number sizes we are used to today.

Bastard was an oft used adjective during the 17th and 18th century for more things than I listed above. While it could mean a specific size or type, it was also used to describe something that was different or unusual.

So for better historical understanding and accuracy, I applaud your action.

Gus
 

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