I like it.The Southern Mountain Rifle kit I ordered from Kibler Longrifles has shipped; it should arrive in a couple of days. Meanwhile I've been clearing a workbench for it, getting the necessary tools together, sharpening my chisels, etc. One thing I was lacking is a proper gun maker's vise, with soft swivel jaws.
So I decided to modify my favorite old beast of a bench vise, using whatever I had laying around the shop. I drilled and tapped the tops of its jaws for 3/8" bolts, cut up a scrap chunk of Douglas fir 4x4 for the swivel jaws, and drilled half-inch holes in them. I slipped the bolts into pieces of vinyl tubing, ran them thru the jaws with washers at either end, and screwed the new jaws onto the top of the original ones. The vinyl bushings worked out well. They provide a little grab, to keep the jaws from swiveling about needlessly.
Right now, the opening between the jaws is only 2 1/4". If that turns out not to be enough when the gun gets here, I have plenty of meat I can cut off them to widen it. Finally I'll glue a layer of leather on the face of each jaw, and should be good to go.
3/8" sounds small, but those are grade 5 bolts. I'm sure they'll handle whatever clamping pressures are needed for working on the rifle. And as a bonus, I can grab a ratchet and socket, remove the wood jaws in a New York minute, and use the vise in its original configuration.
View attachment 42180
Bob, can I ask what stain and Finnish you used?
Yes sir. Tannic Acid under Aqua Fortis, rubbed back for contrast then topped with Laurel Mountain Forge Lancaster Maple for pop. Topped with Bone Black to darken low rub areas and then finished with Jim Chamber’s Stock Finish. You can see a very similar process on Jim Kibler’s YouTube channel in his series on finishing both his kits.Bob, can I ask what stain and Finnish you used?