87 comments on “Workbench: Episode 8

  1. Funny, I just leart a “power-tool”-tick from a Paul Sellers video. That angling of the power drill in order to remove the mid section between two holes is so much more efficient than trying to hit that narrow mid section straight down. Nice one!

  2. At 07:17, Paul’s comment that “I know nobody will see it but…” perfectly sums up the approach to woodworking I try my hardest to achieve, attention to getting even the bits right that nobody may ever see – and that’s partly because *I* will always know a fault or error exists if I let it happen.
    Of course as a relative beginner it’s almost impossible to produce something without mistakes or blemishes, but, I try anyway.

  3. Paul,

    It has been a serious amount of time
    since I have left a comment, way to long.

    Rest assured that I have warched and downloaded everyone of your videos.

    I have been sitting and waiting for the next video for this bench too.

    Again you have showed the quality you put into all of you projects. Congratulations on you update for your new studio as well. Keep them coming and if you don’t mind if you have not done it already earlier how much U.S dollars did the bench cost?

    Bob Young 👍

  4. That moment when the vise is in place, always a very satisfying moment! Out of curiosity: which vise is Paul using? (I checked the introduction to the videoseries, but it is not listed in any of the sections ‘description’, ‘tools used’ nor ‘equipment used’)

    In addition to Paul’s demonstrated steps in this episode, I’d recommend to check how flat your bench is BEFORE mounting the vise. From experience, I have built a bench which did not meet the quality/flatness like Paul manages, so I flattened the bench-top roughly first and then mounted the vise with 2 mm offset to the top. Final flattening took the bench top down by mere 0.5 mm whereas I would have ran into trouble if I had mounted the vise straight to the bench..

  5. Having never fitted and mounted a vise this was easier and much quicker than I imagined. I’ve been waiting for this episode in particular because I just happen to have this exact vise that I bought on a clearance sale last summer for half price. The only minor detail is I still need to build a bench. Spring can’t get here quick enough for me this year. Thanks Paul & crew.

      • This new minimal toolkit could have included a Padsaw.

        I’d use those other two mounting-holes. ‘U’-shaped ones appear wrong to me. They don’t help much with installation, and you’re relying on two small jaw-screws to prevent the whole vice, under load, from slipping out.

        Shame we didn’t get to see the last bit in real-time, or jaw-liners.

        • I dunno man if he’s been mounting vices like that without issue and using them daily what more proof do you need that it works? Anyway you can always cut more out of your apron if you want to. One of the other comments mentions another episode so you might get to see the liners yet. Personally I’d love to know how he puts a drawer into the apron because I really want that for my bench along with the end storage.

          • You fit two wooden runners at 90-deg to apron. Screwed under the bench-top. Fix ball-bearing drawer-slides on them. Add drawer.
            Alternatively, suspend a skeletal frame for supporting your drawer.
            Hole in Apron is larger than drawer, but smaller than drawer-front. When closed, the drawer-front covers the entire hole.

  6. Having purchased an Axminster 7 inch quick release vice I am about to fit this to my bench just waiting for
    the weather to improve…. The rear face of the vice has a draft angle of approx 4 degrees. The jaws are parallel. I will have to have to adjust the apron to accommodate. Great video keep them coming.

  7. Hi Paul and crew, I have a question about the vise. I have that exact same model. It is a great vise that I have been having for about 2 years now. Lately I’ve been having an issue when I open it up about half the way of its max opening. When I turn the handle counter clockwise to keep opening it, it starts to skip. I turn and turn and it just clicks and clicks. I can force it by using the quick release, but I just thought it was weird. Just wondering if you have seen this before and do you know a solution to fix it? Keep up all the great work.

    • @JOSHUASHEBERT, I have the opposite problem with the 10″ Eclipse vise. After opening with the quick release, when I turn the handle clockwise to apply pressure, sometimes it will start to tighten, then give a big clunk and lose its tension. If I continue to turn, the tension builds reliably afterwards. It never clunks twice, though. I’ve found that I can avoid this by spinning the handle counterclockwise half a turn to a turn before tightening. I suspect that gives the mechanism a chance to fall into place before tightening. So, the vise works, but it is inconvenient because sometimes I skip that step and then, sure enough, clunk!, and if I don’t have my hand on the work, it can fall. I wish I knew how to fix it. I’ll bet, despite the opposite nature of your vise problem and mine, that both are coming from the same thing. Overall, it looks like the mechanism is tighter on my vise than Paul’s seems to be, but I don’t see how to loosen it to facilitate having it fall into place, and lubrication hasn’t helped so far.

      • @Ed Frank mine does that as well. It is a common problem for the eclipse vise. I don’t mind that problem too much, but the skipping when opening up the vise is really frustrating. I have put in the question to eclipse as well to see what they say. Thanks for looking at my question, and happy woodworking.

        • I have a York vise from fine tools, which suffers from similar problems.
          The thing I found to be the cause is the half nut (that engages the thread but can be turned out of the way for quick release) clogs up with crud from saw dust and grease.
          It can be cleaned but you need to take the vise out and disassemble completely.
          After cleaning and lubricating, my vise is working as new.

          Now I’m pretty anal about saw dust and other debries that get on the threaded bar. I always clean it before closing the vise. I even use a rag when I’m sawing in the vise to prevent the saw dust from landing on there.

          Now the problem is pretty much not an issue anymore.

          Diego

      • I have that too, i think it’s the half nut not falling into place properly. I see it happening as the qr lever isn’t in position. Give it a push or a pull or a half counter turn, and it’ll toe the line.
        Normal behaviour imho, part of the simple mechanics.
        M

        • This happens to me my vice is old and I’ve tried cleaning and oiling it. I might have to dismantle the vice but I’m not sure what I’m doing so it’ll be guess work for sure. I will try the trick others mention of turning the opposite direction before tightening.

        • Mine’s a new Axminster 9″ with the same problem. Unfortunately it’s erratic and only happens occasionally. Under Murphy’s Law this means that the one time I forget to hold on to the piece is the time there’s a loud ‘clunk’ and the piece drops.

  8. Very nice workbench.
    In my 56 years working with wood I have had a few benches. Mostly plywood flat tops. Think it’s about time I had a Paul Sellers workbench. Going to enjoy myself making one.
    Thank you Paul and Team.

  9. To me, the hole could have been cut far more quickly and efficiently with a jigsaw or, if you haven’t one, a keyhole saw– at least for starters. I can’t quite see the point of using a battery-powered drill for a purpose for which is not designed and for which it is not suited. I remain, however, a fervent and grateful admirer of Paul and the crew.

  10. After seeing the workbench upside down, I still do not understand the choice of the wedges for keeping the legs in place.
    Wasn’t it enough to put the leg in a recess ?
    Can somebody explain ?

    • The wedges hold the legs tight into the apron, but allow the bench to be easily taken down for transportation.
      In addition to just holding the legs tight, the wedges actually tighten up over time, further holding the legs fast and mitigating any racking.

    • I believe that the issue is even the best recess as you call it cannot be flush enough AND allow you to fit the joint so that you can prevent rotation. The legs do not have any cross bracing along the length of the table and many of the working forces that the table experiences with are going to cause rotation about the bolts holding the legs. Without the wedge, really, only the flat surfaces are engaged with the forces from the bolts. With the wedge you engage an additional orthogonal force that locks any rotation.

    • The legs may shrink over time, so just a recess for a leg would not work so well. The wedge allows you to constantly keep tightness of the leg in the recess even if legs shrink ever so slightly.

      From time to time I use a crowbar to push the wedges down-tight.

      • The purpose of the wedges is two fold. Yes shrinkage may occur but if the wood is seasoned then this is less of a problem in short time after building. The real reason from my experience, is that the bolts and screws hold the legs on tight initially with little or no movement. Over time the bench is pushed and pulled through work and the screw holes between apron and legs will wear and will not provide the tightness. If you hammer a nail into a scrap of wood and then wobble it the hole opens, same principal. The wedges, under their own mechanics drop and tighten the legs and aprons as the bench moves, thus self tightening, the more it moves the more it tightens, thus maintaining a solid workbench.

        One point to note though with wedges, ensure that the wedges are not full depth of the apron, they need to be about an inch short of the apron/benchtop underside otherwise when they are seated and work tightened, they cannot be simply removed by tapping the bottom of the wedge. they will have to be removed with a chisel and replaced.

        Just my two cents worth….

        • Also, I know Paul has designed this bench to be friendly to a new woodworker. As that beginner, I’ll say I’m grateful the wedge system. Three of my recesses were sized perfectly, but my third was a just a hair larger than the others. Although the wedge dropped a little lower in the recess, the fit is ultimately just as tight, and my bench is very sturdy.

  11. Master Sellers is a fantastic woodworker… but Good Lord, those power drills must be weeping, heh heh!!
    When dealing with hexagonal bolts in tight spaces, spanners and a ratchet & socket set are your friends. You won’t risk stripping the heads, that way.

  12. Yep, I have an Eclipse vise and regularly have the skipping problem. I’ve more or less accepted it as a design “flaw” of some sort. It is more of a mental shock to me when it happens than anything. Clunk! Gah! Moving along…

  13. For those with a skipping problem I too have a quick release that sometimes gives a clunk and then normally catches (right after the piece I am clamping huts the floor). What I have got into the habit of doing is loosening the vice a turn before tightening on the piece. This just gives the teeth a chance to drop in place if they happen to stop out of step without a violent clunk.

    Great build series as always, enjoy watching the master at work and explaining the theory.

  14. Is this Quick-Release feature worth the skipping, juddering, jarring – keeping sawdust off the mechanism? You usually only open & close a vice a small amount. Half a turn on the Tommy-bar.
    How often are you swapping thick wood for thin, then back to thick?

    • Yes, it is worth it. Absolutely. I would not have the patience to deal with a non-quick release vise because I change the vise setting by large amounts frequently.

      It should be possible to fix this. If not, I’ll switch to the Veritas QR steel vise, which is a Jorgensen style rather than Record, but which I’ve used in the past without issues. I prefer the Record style, but there’s nothing wrong with the Jorgensen, and the Jorgensen style is probably better for anyone with smaller hands.

      In any case, as one person pointed out, all you must do is give a half turn before tightening. For me, that fixes it. The problem is that I sometimes am lazy.

    • Wouldn’t be without my original Record 53E, bought new probably in the late 1960s. Mine clicks and skips too but a quick turn of the handle and it clicks into place. It only happens when sliding the jaw in or out a long way, never when just slackening or re-tightening. A friend has a small vice, about 7″ jaws without quick release and it’s SO tedious make large adjustments.
      My engineer’s vice is also QR. Brilliant invention, whoever thought it up!

      • Thanks Ed / Roger. I guess I haven’t used my woodwork vice in that way yet, to desire or appreciate the QR benefit.
        I do see how Black & Decker Workmates could do with it. You have to spin both fiddly handles frantically in unison to see any movement. Like a submariner in a war-movie closing vents for crash-dive!

        • “Like a submariner in a war-movie closing vents for crash-dive!

          Haha.

          I have a “Scandinavian” (tag Frid) style vice with a tail and shoulder vise an that spinning is precisely what I do, but with only one screw.

          The screw are from Record and three turns per inch, and mom so easily that one finger will spin up to Speed and the vise will coast into place, then a quarter turn to lock down.

          Yeah, it requires regular waxing, but here is never skipping.

          The particular screws I installed 41 years go aren’t available ny more, but There are systems out there that will do that, specifically from Bench crafted
          https://youtu.be/yrphq_GTw9M

          and I think the English woodworker.
          https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/maguire-wagon-vice-every-ones-a-spinner/

          May have stopped making his version.

  15. How flat is flat?
    I remember this sentence in one blog of Paul. I have difficulties to have benchtop flat in all directions. I will still work on it before installing the vise to be sure to have enough margin. I would have been interested by the whole process to flatten the top.
    I think also I always want something better than my actual level. I use aluminium bar to check bu even this bar is not perfect.
    Across the bench I use my square to check but this show maybe to much defects…

    Also one side of the bench is 2-3 mm higher than the other side. Should it be corrected ? If yes by cutting the legs?

    • One of those things that’s quite hard to communicate by comment. You want to be able to put
      flat stock or projects on it without it rocking and be able to clamp to it without it possibly distorting the wood.

      Paul shows a lot of the flattening in episode 1. At this stage it is correction from possible movement and refining the surface.

      If one side of bench is taller, I would try to find the piece that is causing it and correct it there. I would certainly not take it from the leg unnecessarily. That may cause other issues.

  16. I have a Record #52 , 7 inch vise. It’s “new” – bought it years ago but it has sat collecting dust until now. Will it be adequate? I think it’s probably a good vise that I can fit according to Paul’s instructions, but does it have the capacity I will need for the projects here in Masterclasses?

    • It will certainly work, particularly with smaller projects. For larger projects, you may find it somewhat limiting, but there are usually work arounds. You can fit stiff wider jaw liners and use the clamp in the vice method for larger pieces of stock.

      Looks like the 52 opens up to 8″ depth with 7″ wide jaws. The Record 52 1/2″ which is the larger model opens up to 13″ depth with 9″ wide jaws. Just to give context of what the difference is.

      Hope that helps.

      • Greetings Phillip,
        It does, thank you.
        I hadn’t remembered Paul’s use of the clamp within the vice to hold large items. The vice has the retractable bench dog and I have a Veritas Wonder Dog and a couple of bench dogs so with all that along with the clamp in the vice, I think I will have my bases covered.

        I just wanted to say that I appreciate the opportunity to learn in Paul’s (virtual?) shop/classroom. When I was a young man I learned to work with power tools building sets in theater shops, but never learned the art of using hand tools. I left that behind 30 years ago to become a teacher and now retirement grows near.

        Coming back to woodworking is my “what’s next” and my focus will be hand tools this time around. This web site, the projects, your advice, Paul’s teaching, all are just what I need to move forward and carry on.

        Thank you for your help.
        Rob Foster

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