Pipe Clamp Bench Vise

I built this workbench in 2013 and the one thing it’s always been lacking was a vise. It’s never had a vise of any kind attached… and I decided to change that. I do more woodworking than anything, so I didn’t want a big metalworking vise. I wanted something flush with the top that could hold workpieces securely. Simple.

Now, a search around YouTube will find loads of homemade vise ideas. Many of them, like the John Heinz vise (which is great BTW) are way more complicated than what I need… but, a few years ago I ran into this video by Jay Bates. This was the first pipe-clamp vise I had seen and I thought it was brilliant! The only problem was it’s size. My shop is a narrow one-car garage and a 3 foot vice with two handles sticking out really cut into my usable space. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it is! This bench is only a bit over 6 foot long and it’s up against a wall. Taking up half of it for a vise just wasn’t an option.

So, I started dreaming up ideas for how I could do a single clamp vise. I had what I thought was a unique idea for the two side rails, then ran into this John Heinz video series.  He had a problem I didn’t think of using pipe flanges. So, I shelved the idea for a while.

I’ve only recently got the welder out and running, and suddenly I had a solution for attaching the runners. So, here’s the video.

I did a pretty terrible job welding those caps. I overheated the base metal and warped it pretty bad… about 3/16″ over the width of the plate. I cleaned up the welds and painted them at the advice of old Uncle Bumblef@#k.

“A grinder and paint makes me the welder I ain’t.” – AvE

The bad welding meant that when I screwed the plates down, the pipes splayed out at an extreme amount. This means that sliding it in the bench was not nearly as easy as I made it look in the video. I had to bore out the holes in the bench quite a bit to make it move smoothly, but even so, there’s very little play.


One detail that didn’t quite make sense in the edit, but I left it in anyways, was these two boards I laminated together for the back jaw. When I built this bench, I wasn’t really thinking about how I would use it in the future, so I just made the top hang over an indeterminate distance that I thought would be convenient for clamping. This meant that I needed to space that back jaw to some weird size that was larger than 2-by material, but not by some normal dimension. So, I laminated on a 1-by and then ran the sandwich through my planer until it was perfect. It’s just ever so slightly behind the front edge of the bench, meaning that the bench top itself is the clamping surface. I was going to try and notch the front lip of the bench and put a plywood back jaw on, but I think the front of the bench will work just fine. We’ll see over time.

 

Drilling holes in the pipe clamp was surprisingly easy. This particular clamp is sold by Harbor Freight for $10, so I wasn’t expecting hardened steel… but I would say it cut easier than mild steel. I attached everything with fine-thread, cap head screws and to my surprise, it works great!

You just need to reach under the bench a bit to hit the quick release and the vise slides freely. I will be making a push-button type release on the front of the bench soon. I’ll be sure to update the article when I do. For now, however, it’s very easy to actuate.

 

Overall, I’m really please with this little addition to my bench. If I had one thing to change, it would probably be the whole thing. I’d have just bought a vise. I had this stuff lying around, so it was worth it to me, but for $30 on Amazon you can get a pretty nice 6″ woodworking vise and be done. It won’t be a quick-release vise, but it also won’t take you a few days to mount it.

My homemade vise would cost me about $40  if I had to buy this stuff new, and it also required quite a few tools a budget woodworker doesn’t have… so yeah. I enjoyed the project, but it wasn’t really financially worth it. Spiritually though, it was a nice achievement.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the article. If you aren’t already subscribed to me on YouTube, I’d love it if you’d join me there. I post daily conversations and the occasional project like this one. Stop by and chat. I’d love to have you!

Anybody Out There?

Hello friends!

It’s been well over a year since I last spoke with you… and that needs to change. I’m kicking the dust off this place soon (like, today) and you’ll start seeing more of me around here. As my life settles down into more of a routine, I’m finding more time to devote to projects again, and I can’t wait to share.

If you are here because of board games, great. The thing is, I’m not really a game designer anymore. I haven’t been for quite a while. That’s part of the reason why the site went through an overhaul a year ago. I’d love for you to stick around even though I’m not going to be posting board game stuff very often.

 

If you are here for projects… wooden, electronic, 3D printed, welded… whatever. I hope you’ll come back for more. I’ll be posting build articles for all of my projects that I post on YouTube, so this will be a place for you to not only find out when I post a new video, but also find out more!

 

As in the past, I will not be linking my daily content here. If you are interested in my daily content, head over to thedailyshed.com and follow along there… or just go to youtube.com/cheveedodd and subscribe!

Thanks for checking back in. I’ll be back soon!

-Chevee

Winter Solstice Holiday Card

This year, I want to send out some holiday cards to special people that have supported me in 2016. I could go with “Happy Holidays” or “Happy New Years” but instead, decided to design my own. Celebrate this year’s Winter Solstice on Dec 21st with my by spreading Solstice cheer.

 

happy-winter-solstice

I’m releasing this design as public domain. Do whatever you want with it. Here are some files if you want to order standard greeting cards, or print your own fold-able cards at home!

Winter Solstice Card – 5.5″x4″

solstice-card-5-5x4-front

Happy Winter Solstice – Front

solstice-card-5-5x4-inside

Happy Winter Solstice – Inside

 

Winter Solstice Card – 7″x5″

solstice-card-5x7-front

Happy Winter Solstice – Front

solstice-card-5x7-inside

Happy Winter Solstice – Inside

Winter Solstice Card – Quad-Fold

Happy Winter Solstice - Quad Fold

Happy Winter Solstice – Quad Fold

How to Make a Soundboard

How to Make a Soundboard – YouTube

Every day, I record a show in my shop called The Daily Shed. I wanted a way to add some “live” sound effects, as well as play viewer messages during the live show. Using the Adafruit Audio FX sound board and an old pair of computer speakers, I put together a vintage-looking sound board. My goal was to make it look like a mid-century piece of lab equipment. I think I accomplished that goal.

This soundboard uses the Adafruit Audio FX to store and play the sounds. From the speaker unit, I use the speakers, amplifier, controls, and speaker grills. I had to un-solder some components of the amplifier in order to better mount the components in the box. After un-soldering, the components were re-joined to the board using jumper wires to make a sort of harness. I split the input voltage with a 5-volt regulator to supply power to the Audio FX. The box is made of walnut and luan with a shellac finish and brass hardware.
COMPONENTS:
Adafruit Audio FX – http://amzn.to/2fyJu5Q
Jumper Wires – http://amzn.to/2fyG4A3
Switches – http://amzn.to/2fyGx5e
Helping Hands – http://amzn.to/2g39Dhf
Heat Gun – http://amzn.to/2grP7DK
Heat Shrink – http://amzn.to/2fkf3VW
THE INSPIRATION:
Bob Clagget, I Like to Make Sutff: https://youtu.be/smhMLsP5fsM
Check out my daily YouTube show, The Daily Shed!
http://thedailyshed.com

MUSIC:
ID OneFourTea Mixtacular (Free 320 DL) by IndustrialDeath

The Daily Shed – On Patreon

I’ve decided to open a Patreon account. I’ve been doing The Daily Shed for 4 months now and I feel like I have contributed something to the world worth being proud of. So, I buried my pried, and started a Patreon to ask for help.

Support Me On Patreon – YouTube

I received my first 2 Patrons before I even announced the page, and that made me pretty great. Knowing that you care enough to support me is a huge motivating factor in continuing to do what I do.

THANK YOU!!!
-Chevee

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