Shop Tools

Tool box refurbishment 1.0

Slight diversion from a week or two ago. Old Craftsman tool box I had, Dad bought it for me eons ago. Hadn’t really used it since the early 2000s, it was oil, grease, grime and who knows what soaked inside and out.
Forgot to take before pics. Paint was lifting off in some places and pitch/dirt/mold/grime covered and faded in others.
Bought a wire wheel for the angle grinder and went at it. Have been using up some 4 or 5 year old spray paint a buddy gave me a while back, picked a color and went at it.
Not sure why I didn’t do it in red and white to match my truck…. Just felt like blue I guess. Lol.
Not sure I really have any use for it now, but at least it’s clean and a solid finish now.
As you can see in close ups I didn’t have it as smooth over the old paint that I left as I thought I did… And the ancient paint didn’t flow/self level like it should have either, didn’t coat the rough areas as it should/could have. Good enough though, who looks that close anyway? 😉

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Categories: Automotive Work, Customized, Damages, Modifications, Repairs, Sentimental, Shop Tools, Tool Boxes, Wrenching | 1 Comment

Shelf Track Bench Dogs

“Shelf what??” Your saying, right? 😉 

Bench dogs are pins, or flat jaws, that slip into dog holes– holes in the top of a work bench, for holding thing on the bench top. 

You clamp the work piece between the dog and the vice at the edge of the bench, or a bar clamp/C clamp or two. With a large grid of holes, you can hold just about anything in any position. 

I like the concept but hate the idea of having all the holes in the bench. Seems a great way to ruin a layout surface,  and a place to lose hardware. 

Then I saw this trick/tip that a fellow sent in to this month’s issue of Woodsmith magazine;

It uses cabinet shelf support rails and clip brackets as simple in line dogs for the vise; GENIUS! 

After pricing the track and clips, $3 for 6′ of track, and about $3 for 12 clips… Yeah, no brainer dude! 😉 

15 minutes with my router, and I have bench dogs!   Was a little fiddly to do, only have a 1/2″ straight cut bit, but the tracks are 5/8″ so I had to cut each channel twice for width. Track is 3/16″ thick, wanted it at least flush, I cut about 7/32″ deep to garantee it can’t catch on anything when not in use. 



Clips in place;


Then I just made the old front jaw front the vise into the cammed over jaw insert needed. Great to use that vise to make things for the vise! (Really have no idea how I survived so long without that vise!)

It works!

A few strategically placed screws makes a storage spot for the vice jaw under the end of the bench. 

And the left over ~11″ of track made a clip storage rack. 


Can’t beat simple, cheap and easy, especially if it works! 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Modifications, Repurpose, Shop Tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

Pipe clamp bench vise 1.0

Needed a good easy place to clamp some large pieces of wood to the bench to work them for an upcoming project.   Reminded me I’d wanted to build a traditional woodworkers bench side vise.. 

While digging around online, I found this concept on youtube. Not as traditional or elegant as the all wood single screw style I had in mind, but it’s easier, faster and would cost me nothing; perfect! 

Few feet of 2″x4″, some 1″x8″, some screws, and a set of pipe clamps I wasn’t using, and about 2 hours;

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After a few days on there, the front jaw board warped on me.  In its defense I ripped it down from a 12″ width, so it was used to haveing more support… 

Others building these are laminating up to about 2″ or 3″ thick, but I  figure I don’t need that stability, nor want to take the time for it now.  Now it seems I might have to just to stiffen it up. 

I then put a new face of oak on it. Should be more stable and warp less. Later I’ll laminate it up to 2 or 3 thicknesses if I need to. 

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I honestly don’t know how I ever got anything done before,  it’s so wonderfully handy to have!

Categories: carving, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Shop Tools, Uncategorized, Woodshop, Woodwork

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