Hate is a very strong word, but we all have jobs that we hate and today was one of those hateful days full of jobs I hate. To top it of, I arrived at the workshop to find the drains had blocked up … again. One more hated job to add to the list of hated jobs.
I decided to start with the worst job first as that way things could only get better. So notching out for wagon vice it is then. Seriously, I hate doing this more than rodding out drains!
Cutting out the notch for a wagon vice’s dog block is a pretty simple task in laminated tops as you can just laminate it in during the glue up, however since this was more of a slab based top that wasn’t possible. I’ve done this dozens of times yet unlike the hundreds of other processes in building large benches, I haven’t managed to find an easier or more efficient means. I start by clearly marking the notch out on both the top and underside, carrying the marks down the end grain. The fact that the pencil is also the same colour as oak doesn’t help… so instead I use a biro.
I take the coarsest rip saw that I have and cut to the lines – no life changing method here. This is the main reason that I hate this particular job so much; there’s no room for error. I have one shot to make two perfectly straight and square cuts in some very thick wood or I’ll have a very scruffy, stiff wagon vice.
Once I’d given my arm a bit of a rest I drilled out to release the waste and chopped back to the line with a chisel, again trying to be neat.
Its is important for the walls of the notch to be as smooth as possible as I don’t want any unnecessary friction on the dog block so I smoothed out the saw marks with a scraper.
With that done I suppose I better go find my gloves…