Friday, 14 December 2012

Record sash clamps

I've  had one of these now tucked away in the corner of the workshop for years and never used it,  I bought two more  a couple of 30" old dogs, all rusty off  of e bay a few week back, I paid £17.00 including the postage  for the pair, bargain, you know the usual,  missing pins old bolts  thread all rusty difficult to use etc.

I don't like fiddling with bolts while I'm trying to clamp and assemble  something together with the glue setting off fast. I decided to refurbish them back to there original condition. After  a little research for Records replacement  pins with chains which costed out at £10.95  per clamp * 3  £32.85 nah.  I decided to source my own Material .

My first find was the tapered pins I used  2" * 11/32" *10  from e bay. I purchased a pk of 10 and there was thirteen in the packet (extras nice) £5 .  Quick trip to B/Q   2m  of chain  £4.40. Euro  fasteners for the split rings for each end of the chain  20  £1.60   enough materials to do  ten in number clamps total cost £11.

First a bloody good de-rust all roundand a quick coat of blue paint made them must more presentable, as seen above.

When the pins turned up they were slightly bigger diameter than I had anticipated, but no  problem   I re drilled all the holes  along the length of the clamps  using the variable speeds drill I recently refurbished (startrite) using a 8.5mm drill on a speed of 210 rpm the drill went through these clamps like slicing through butter.  To hold the pin  while I drilled through it I drilled a 6mm hole in the end of an off cut of oak,  taped in the  tapered pins till they just nipped in tight then clamped the oak in the drill vice as shown below.

The rest was straight forward cutting lengths of chain  feeding split rings on at both ends and then connecting them to the heals of the bottom shoe's through there pre-drill holes,  and the other end  through the new holes that I drilled in the tapered pins.  Here in this  photo it shows all three new pins  connected and finished with all the old and new bling left over.

There you go three old dogs refurbished, ready to use , that now leaves me to oil them all over and make a  rack to hang them on with enough space for a load more clamps still to come.

Finally  the hanging rack, simply made from off cuts of scrap  four slots cut  to allow for and extra  30" clamp to make up a complete second pair.  Enough space to the right to hang my 48" clamps and space in the middle to hang a set of 36 " clamps , but that's another thread.

ps .
Split ring used  were smaller than what was original used by record I found  some times they got in the way  when clamping and could  actual get caught up and get crushed  ending up  all bent and twisted and some times broken that why some of the pins were missing so I bought smaller rings,  mind you they are fiddly to fit but well worth the trouble.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

my bench

Finally after all these years, I've  actually got round to  starting my new bench. It's always been on my To-do list but as many of you will know when as you go through your married life,  mortgage,  kids car repairs you know the usual, a luxury like a cabinet makers bench just gets shoved to one side.

off cuts left for  tail vices etc
First I'll tell you a little about the bench I intend to make, I want to keep it as traditional as possible, but, with a difference, I am in desperate need of tool storage space and extra vices fitted.

I like to work around my bench from both sides and from the ends at times depending on what I'm working on. I've been pondering different designer  bench now for some time  My bench will be sort of a Heinz 57 version of some ideas pinched from them all  with a few  ideas of my own worked into the build as it progresses.

The new bench  will have two York (tail vices) and one York shoulder vice, a line of dog holes along both edges and possible other dogs hole  across the bench top for  cramping purposes.

This morning I made a start and machined  the core for the top, the pieces are temporarily clamped together overnight.

core boards cut  marked for biscuits
I decided to build the top from American Oak ( just my choice)  no other reason,  with a softwood base (still to be sourced), the carcase for the tools stowage to be  made out of 18mm and drawers from 12mm  birch ply.

Last week  I sourced some nice American  Oak pieces  2  @ 3.6m x 195mm x 80mm   plenty enough to make the top from, overall sizes approximately  2m x 600mm  with the core of the top being 50mm thick,  the edge skirt  somewhere about 70mm to give that  extra thick look, the oak arrived yesterday.

waiting for  assemble

I  ordered the ironwork from Axminster tools for the bench,  as mentioned above but these are out of stock till next week , but, that's not problem at the moment for me.

biscuits glued and waiting for assemble

25/11/2012    End of day today all 264 biscuits cuts machined out and ready for gluing,  I only have eight sash cramps, so I'm going to glue  the core boards up  in pairs  when I have  three pairs  all glued then I will glue  the first pair and second pair together, when there set, I'll glue the last pair to the first four boards this then forms the  main core to the bench top.

1st boards glued
Please note,  the biscuits cuts to  the outer edge of the 1st boards  this will be to glue the skirts around the main bench top core to house the dog holes, this I will deal with later in the thread.

26/11/2012   Showing in the foreground the second pair just glued up  on top yesterdays pair in the back ground the last pair later today or early tomorrow maybe, 22 biscuits  in a double row  it takes quite a lot of pressure to cramp these together.

27/11/2012   As seen above  the  final pair of core boards now glue together plus day 1 and 2  also  tomorrow  the final  glueing to the core boards.

I'm not going to  machine the  core top  to it's final finished level  yet till its fixed to the base unit, I'll deal with that later in this thread. Tomorrow I'll start machining the side  skirt boards for the  dog holes etc. 

First casualty today oops,  as seen in the above last photo    just giving that extra squeeze   in the final cramping and  ping, totally knackered one of a set of eight, bummer Grr. 

28/11/2012   Today another casualty  a second clamp broke not one of  those I used yesterday  but one of the heavy duty cast iron one as used in the lower picture  suddenly a chunk of cast iron flew  off t the back end of the shoe ,it's still usable  as yet not sure how badly damaged  the clamp is till I remove it tomorrow. 

All the core board to the top are now glued together,  remove clamps tomorrow and  start  a cutting list for the skirt and  various parts for the vices, got an e mail to day  telling  there's a three week wait for the iron monger y  on all three vices, now that could  be a nuisance. 


01/12/2012  Today, ooh... it was colder in theworkshop this morning than it was outside, I waiting for a few hours till the sun moved round and warmed things up a bit still cold in the workshop but not so bad when you got going. Machined the side skirts and boards for the dog hole.      02/12/2012  I machined the side skirt today, cut all mitres and machined a load more biscuit cuts, ended the day with a dry dummy run fitting the skirt boards to one side of the bench. I machined out the groove for the tail vice guide.

 05/12/2012 Dry run with both side skirts fitted. Finally arrived aboard a slow boat from china the ironwork for the three vice that will be fitted two tail vices and one shoulder vice for ease of use from all four sides of the bench.

Here are both the  York tail vice. I have never fitted one of these so I had better do some research first It's  quiet a complicated vice to manufacture and assemble, although fitting the iron work I think should be straight forwards enough.

The Chinese  engineering on these thread screws are to a very high standard I'm  very impressed  with them. Next to follow a shoulder vice  screw thread again never fitted one  but I feel it's a straight forwards to fit  as well.

Also ordered at the same time some bed furniture bolts  which the photo explains what there intended for.

Ok  it's back to the workshop this afternoon  after the Christmas and new year festivities.

I made as start  as seen in the above  photo on the bed bolts to hold the  oak  carrier that will  do several things really ie to help hold the bench top flat when fully glued, it primary use is to form part of the vice on the corner of the bench,   as seen in the  last photo  it still  only a dummy run,  those four biscuits  will be fitted  above the four bolts when all is glued together I used the same centre line  to line everything up nicely.   I'll  start on the same piece on the other end of the bench tomorrow.

As you can also see from the last photo  the oak carrier has been left long, the reason being that end will also form part of the  tail vice itself, it will have a tenon cut onto it  which will be  running through a groove  to help slide and hold in place the tail vice at the correct level/height to the bench top,  (more on that later in the thread.)


Friday, 6 July 2012

refurbing my other vice

My second vice is a record 52 1/2 in the same sort of condition as the other vice .

Before I make a start I want to show you all what I meant by the statement I made in my previous post.

Most of the cleaning is either old grease someone used in the past, or oil and dried sawdust which time clogs up the drive threads making it difficult to use your vice.


When I stripped this vice, I was shocked at what I found best described as years of neglect see for your selves. I have clean out the top two thread in the clutch housing just so you can see the thickness of grease and saw dust that has clogged up the clutch over the years making it very difficult to disengage the clutch to open or close the vice.

The clutch housing on this vice is enclosed, making it a poor design IMHO,  all the saw dust  gathers inside and it get stiffer to use the last owner just kept adding oil  to make it work again, After time the oils and saw dust becomes crusted, hence why it now left soaking in white sprites to soften till next week. In the mean time over the weekend start to clean the rest of the vice.

The re-build. Am I clad that all the cleaning is now done, the clutch housing design made it extremely difficult to clean  out, it was  very time consuming, don't want to do that again.Anyway it's done now.

Here we see on the left  all part cleaned, central  the clutch  actual now it has a spline, right looking into the clutch housing.

I made reference  in the other vice thread as to what was the difference between the  52/1/2e and the 52 1/2  that if you knew to let me know, well now I can tell you now.

The  52/1/2 has a manual hand operated quick release lever, the 52 1/2E has an  automatic  hand operated quick release lever, i.e. with the quick release lever move it to the left and the clutch disengages release the lever it  springs automatically back to the right and the clutch automatically re-engages  locking the clutch on the spline.

With this vice52/1/2 you have to move the lever to the left to disengages  the clutch and that is all that happens, to re-engage the clutch onto the spline you have to move manual the quick release lever back to the right to lock the spline, to re-engage the clutch onto the spline.

Left, vice  reassembled looking into the enclosed clutch housing, when lever is moved to the left the clutch has  disengaged from the spline, middle to lock spine move lever  back to the right as seen here with the clutch re-engaged onto the spline.  Right  vice now assembled and ready for painting, Now all you need to do is  replace split pin the the end of spline  your vice is now completed.

In conclusion .

The  record 52/1/2  is obviously the forerunner  to the 52 1/2E Now having  refurbished the two  vices which IMHO  is the better  of the two  vice, with any doubt at all  it's the 52 1/2E  with it's automatic quick release  lever . The latter vice  being a revamped version which is  a much improved version and far superior vice in all aspects.

Being a professional joiner I have always used the quick release vices and now after refurbishing a manual vice and seeing how it all works inside  I can't  see myself working with one automatic vice and one manual vice  fitted to the same bench.

The 52 1/2, I intensely dislike  the enclosed clutch housing on it.  I  don't like the manual lever at all and the way it's assembled inside the clutch housing, I suppose for someone say a DIY er or the occasional weekend worker  yes it would be fine for them, but not for me, ah well nothing ventured nothing gained.  enjoy. hc

Friday, 29 June 2012

Refurbishing my bench vices 52 1/2E

Well here I go again, my vices both are records, one is  52 1/2E the other is also a record 52 1/2 Slightly different in the shape design, but that's all I can see, unless you know different, I 'de be interested to know what the difference is, if any.

I'm refurbishing these now prior to starting my new workbench.

Here they are the one in the foreground Is already stripped apart. It's a straight forward strip, first you knock out the split pin in the end of the turn screw central bar, then remove two small bolt that hold the thumb quick release lever in place and slide it all apart, ready for cleaning and refurbishment.

Most of the cleaning is either old grease someone used in the past, or oil and dried sawdust which over time clogs up the drive threads making it difficult to use your vice but, as seen in the above photo the glide rods are rusted up and this definitely needs cleaning off, it's so when you use the thumb quick release lever to open your vice it will glide out and you don't end up having to tug struggling to pull it out.

Here are all the components cleaned up and lightly sprayed with WD40 to keep the rust off while I spray on the first primer coat to the main framework of this vice.

Primarily the most important part of the vice is the back half of it, the part that bolted under the bench and out of sight and forgotten about, really it's the vices gearbox and should be taken good care of. as seen here. With a refurbishment this is the most important part from here on, the six holes must be bare metal, ie: no oil, grease mucky sawdust and definitely no paint.

How many of you have actually checked on this, especially if it,s been bought second hand probably it's been slapped all over with paint, then and a ton of oil and grease splattered all over to get it to work somewhere near how it should be.


Another most important part shown left above here with the aid of two pencils, these are two machined faces where the clutch site snugly between, also to be kept as bare metal, Once these and the holes are all cleaned your now ready to do a partial rebuild. Before you go mad and totally rebuild your vice now assemble it to this stage only.


Just place the end spacer bar (blue) on the ends of the glide bars to hold them parallel to each other, do not refit the spacer washer and split pin.

Now leaving the front end of the vice on the bench with your right hand pick up the end with the spacer bar attached to about a thirty 30 angle keeping you left hand out of the way the back half of the vice should now slide smoothly to full length of the glide bars under it's on weight. if it doesn't then more cleaning is still required.

I have use a piece of wood to demo this but as you see the vice has slide the full length under it's own weight without assistants.

At this stage both glide bars and holes are perfect so on to the rebuild of the clutch. The clutch while it's engaged you can only wind the vice in or out by hand, disengaged the clutch using the lever, As you engage the lever it raises the clutch off of the main screw bar allowing you to pull it open, or push closed, when you release the lever the clutch re-engages stopping you pushing or pulling any further.As seen here.

Here  left in the photos shows the screw bar with the clutch sat snugly in the spiral screw, While in this position the clutch is engaged.
Middle the clutch is fully assemble and engaged note the flat bar is horizontal the pencils are showing the amount of metal shown above there points.
Here right, I am engaging the lever although it difficult to see in the photo the flat bar is raised on the edge nearest to you, but you can now see extra metal showing above the pencil tips, now the clutch is disengaged, and raised by a good 5 - 6mm, giving the clearance for the spiral thread to allow you to pull open the vice or close it.


Ok clutch sat in it's housing with the spiral thread underneath waiting for the main clutch housing to be bolted over it. Right looking straight on the end of the vice here you see the clutch housing bolted on, the end of the flat bar is in the horizontal position (clutch engaged) the left side of the bar is inset into the side of the shaft on the clutch which when the lever is engaged lifts the clutch, disengaging it, but, (NOTE) on the right side a finger of metal that is part of the clutch housing and must be under the flat bar this stops the flat bar from turning downwards thus giving the left side of the bar greater lift to disengage.

The assemble of the clutch housing, this is fiddly, bear in mine the lever has to be in about the 2 O clock position when the vice is in it's normal working position, when you move the lever to the 2 0 clock position it's now under pressure from the return spring situated on the rear of the face of the vice.

Now you have to hold that pressure while at the same time as your assembling the clutch housing trying to get it over the clutch shaft and at the same time getting that finger of metal under the flat bar It's difficult it's fiddly but can be done, you may need two pair of hand and it may take several attempt, you will swear at it to get it into the right place and bolted back together, good luck.

Now you can fit the two spacing washer and split pin, your now completed.

Just to prove it does run smoothly, blink and you will miss it. here  There you go, one down one to go.

 It's now painted and finished.