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Box clamping jig

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bob the builder25/11/2007 12:41:00
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Good idea just started making it myself. Any quick pointers
Woodworker25/11/2007 12:58:00
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Hi Bob, probably the most important thing to think about before you make the jig is what size of boxes you'll be working on. You might find this affects the ideal size of your jig. Best of luck...
bob the builder26/11/2007 20:34:00
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Thanks just finished making the jig. it turned out pretty well. I had alot of trouble trying to find the bed bolt so i used a long bolt and cut out a slot with my router so the nut stayed still. i went along with the measurements you had avaliable thanks this jig will realy help me in making boxes.

Woodworker26/11/2007 20:38:00
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I'm glad it's worked out well. I only used bed bolts because they were lying around at the time. That's the great thing about jig making, you can just keep improvising!
Dust Busker04/01/2008 08:14:00
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15 forum posts
Threaded dowels (the little metal cylinders that hold the bolt) are readily available from Screwfix for a modest price. 
Woodworker04/01/2008 12:50:00
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Probably more expensive than Screwfix but I've also found brass bed bold nuts at Axminster:

Brass bed bolt nuts

Dust Busker04/01/2008 13:08:00
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The Screwfix ones are much smaller than the Axminster ones (but big enough for jigs and small joints) and only £1.80 for 50 at the moment. You will need to buy the bolts as well.  Incidentally, a small mitre clamp would also be good for holding an unfinished box - or anything with a right angled joint - for planing or finishing. 

Here is the Screwfix link

http://www.screwfix.com/prods/84353/Fixings/Furniture-Fixings/Cross-Dowel

Ben, which Axminster bench did you buy a few years ago? Is it one of the benches that is still currently available from Axminster?.  If so, what's it like?  I am sure quite a few people would be interested becasue there aren't many reasonably priced benches available in the UK.  Axminster are just about the only suppliers of affordable (relatively speaking) benches, I think, unless you count the very flimsy Chinese benches that sell for around £90 on ebay.   Otherwise it's Sjobergs, Hofmann & Hammer (from Rutlands), EC Emmerich from Emir and Wittman from Classic Hand Tools Ltd, all of which cost a bomb for a full-size bench.

I have been eying up the Axminster "heavy" bench but have never seen any reviews and would like to know more before spending that much cash.  Has anybody used one of these benches? If so, what's it like? Any comments appreciated.

Andy Brough05/01/2008 17:34:00
27 forum posts
Talking of benches why not make your own?  Unless you spend a serious amount of money all the ready made benches I 've seen are not really sturdy enough.  I made mine in 1972/3 out of 3x2 soft wood with 32 mortice and tenon joints all the important ones pegged with dowels!  The components were made with hand tools in my bedroom at my parent's house and finally assembled at my girl friend's house.  It has 3 drawers for hand tools and two full depth shelves with doors to keep the dust out.  The top is two layers of 30mm ply with a 3x2 ash edge all around for the wonder pup and dogs.  Woodworkers vices are fitted at both ends and I use the Zlyss vice for most of my bench clamping requirements when normal vice or bench dogs don't work. It has served me well for all this time and you could stand a car on it!  I'm sure it would be cheaper than a cheap bench and very much better.
Dust Busker05/01/2008 18:47:00
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You are completely right, Andy, and yes I am seriously contemplating building my own bench.  This will probably work out cheaper than even the less expensive commercial options, but more important the ability to build exactly what I want and not pay for stuff that won't be used or will get in the way.  I use power tools quite a lot, especially routers, and need the bench to be able to clamp all sorts of workpieces quickly and securely, so lots of bench dog holes are a must.  No tool tray. At least two vices, one of which should have bench dog holes. Can't decide whether to emulate the classic european benches and build a solid beech top, or aim primarily for functionality and just build a softwood frame and cover it with two or three layers of good quality plywood.   I will probably go for the functional option and put a full width twin screw vice at one end and something like a Record 52 on the front.  As for the supporting frame of trestle, I can't see what's wrong with softwood, especally if the top is ply. 

All this has come about because last year I bulit a new shed to house a workshop and the usual garden tools, which means that at last I have space for a real bench!!

Andy Brough05/01/2008 20:33:00
27 forum posts
Go for it!  My frame with its softwood 3x2 and the fact that it has a another rail 2/3 of the way up forming the drawer front rail which goes all the way round adds the the strength  of the bench.  Softwood is fine.  I did include a tool tray in fact two one at the left hand end and the other at the back.  Useful to push all the tools into to clear the top! Several layers of MDF with a ply cover would make agreat and cheap top.
Woodworker06/01/2008 23:14:00
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles

Hi Dust Busker, I've just spent some time tuning up my workbench. It started life as an Axminster solid beech bench. I bought it several years back, but they still do something very similar. I remember paying around £300 for it.

Axminster solid hardword bench

My bench has a 2 1/2 inch solid beech top with 4 inch skirts. Infact, the whole bench is solid beech apart from the bottom of the toolwell which is beech faced ply. The fundamentals of the bench are great, good quality top and a solid hardwood underframe with good dimensions.

However, there are several elements to the bench that don't come up to scratch. But the good news is, their easily remedied. Firstly the vices are very basic. I replaced the front vice with a Record 52 1/2 qucik release vice with solid ash jaws. I learned my craft with one of these vices so feel very much at home with it.

Bench tune-up photos

The supplied end vice was not suited to the task because the vise screw wasn't inline with the dog holes. This caused the vice to rack when using it to secure boards to the bench top ~ not good. I've just replaced this with a Veritas twin end vice which has completely transformed the bench. It's quite expensive but well worth the investment in my view. I've made up some heavy laminated ash jaws for the Veritas vice to do it justice.

Another problem with the bench was the lack of diagonal support across the width of the underframe. This is very obvious when planing across the width of the bench. I've remedied this by cutting two MDF panels and screwing them to both ends of the underframe to create the necessary support ~ it's worked very well. Combine that with fixing the bench to floor with long screws and the whole this is very solid in use.

My preference is for beech or maple worksurfaces. These need truing up with a try plane once a year but provide a lovely surface to work on. I don't put any finish on the surface, I just use a scraper to clean up any marks.

All I need to do now is drill two new rows of dog holes to take advantage of the full width Veritas end vice.

Woodworker06/01/2008 23:25:00
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles

Also, there's a good thread here on making your own bench ~ something I've been looking into recently.

Workbench ~ buy or make?

Cheers,
Ben

Dust Busker07/01/2008 07:09:00
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Thanks Ben for a very full and helpful answer.  I will put my reply on the "Workbench - Buy or make?" thread.

Dust Busker

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