Wedges coming loose

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  tenjin 10 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #548417

    tenjin
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’ve been using my workbench for a couple of months now, and noticed recently that there was a small amount of movement when planing rough stock.

    I checked the wedges and sure enough all of them were loose.

    I believe the wedges are meant to fall deeper into the slot when the bench moves, but this isn’t happening in my case.

    I have two questions:

    1. Can anyone suggest any tweaks I can do to try to make the wedges drop under their own steam?

    2. It’s hard to get to the wedges to hammer them in now that the top is glued on. What do you do if you need to re-seat your wedges?

    Thanks

    Darren.

    #548421

    Ecky H
    Participant

    Hello Darren,

    I suggest the following tweaks, if you didn’t already try it yet:

    • add a tiny space between the the wedges and the bars, which prevent the wedges from falling off theirs housing, eg. with a washer between the bar and the apron (which adds weight to the bench 😉 )or remove some material from the bar
    • smooth every surface where the wedges contact other parts of your bench
    • add weight to the wedges, eg. put some screws in the top and bottom end of the wedges
    • put some wax on the contacting surfaces to minimize friction

    Hope that helps…

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    #549641

    Stefano Passiglia
    Participant

    I made my wedges from plywood, they are dimensionally more stable and don’t suffer expansion or contraction as standard wood. I made them pretty tight in the beginning and they haven’t moved a millimiter.

    Attachments:
    #550537

    David White
    Participant

    Hello Tenjin,
    In Paul’s old bench video he has just the solution to keep the wedges from falling out. He made a toggle to flip down over the wedge to keep it in place. Here is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyDjZWo3b3U andI it about the 11 minute mark where it is mentioned.

    I hope this helps and fair winds
    Dave

    #552636

    tenjin
    Participant

    Hi,

    Thanks everyone for the tips. I’ve been making a few tweaks to my wedges, and wanted to leave it a while before I gave an update.

    Here’s what I have learned:

    i. My wedges were binding ever so slightly, rather than meeting fully face to face. I spent a lot of time flattening them as much as possible.

    ii. The recesses I’d cut in the aprons were not as straight as I thought. They were a mil (or just under) out in places. I didn’t want to take the bench apart to sort that out, so I tweaked the shape of the wedges to account for it.

    iii. I added some brass fishing weights to the bottom tip of the wedges for extra weight. Photo added, with No 4 plane for size reference.

    iv. I recessed in a small ledge in the side of the wedges that would receive a thick hole punch so I could hammer the wedges home. That worked really well.

    v. I sanded all mating sharp edges from the wedges and recesses.

    vi. I made sure the apron bolts were tight. Pine tends to compress over time.

    All in all, this seems to have sorted the problem. The wedges don’t come loose now, and the bench seems really stable.

    Thanks again everyone, you were very helpful!

    Regards

    Darren.

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