STL199: In Defense of Tail Vises
Bob, Mike, and Ben discuss workbenches and vises, a listener's walnut dilemma, spline jigs, and their all-time favorite tools
You had me convinced that a tail vise was unnecessary, and that it would languish at the end of my bench, a $250 mistake, and that as I worked I would be able to do without it just fine. Well I say that’s “codswollop!” So often when I’m working I think to myself, “you know what I’d like right now? A tail vise.” How can I rectify this? It’s basically the same bench Mike and Matt built, so adding a tail vise probably isn’t an option since the apron is attached to the base the way it is.
I’ve been working on a new solid walnut bar-height dining table. The top is made up of edge glued flat sawn walnut. Everything was going well, glue-up of the panel is complete and I started to do surface prep on the top. Did some hand planing and scraping – just enough to remove all the glue and major defects. I still have a lot of sanding to go, but it’s fairly close. I was getting a little ahead of myself and wanted to preview the grain with a finish on it so I just wiped it down with some mineral spirits. While it looked just fine with bare wood (no light spots at all) the mineral spirits revealed a significantly lighter blotchy spot in one of the boards. It doesn’t really follow a grain pattern it seems – it kind of looks like there was wax or something on it preventing the mineral spirits from soaking in, but I’m pretty certain I’ve not gotten anything on it. (The apron below is just dried mineral spirits, that piece is fine, it’s just the table top)
- Was it ok to wipe down with mineral spirits or was this a bad idea?
- Is it safe to assume that if it did this with mineral spirits it will do this with the wipe on poly that I was planning to finish it with (I assume this is an ok choice for a finish? Is there a better choice?)
- Is there anything I can do to the wood prior to finish that would prevent this from being a permanent “feature”?
Segment: All-Time Favorite Tool
Mike: His new-to-him refurbished Stanley #4
Ben: Setup blocks
In May/June 2016 Stow and Go Sharpening Box article, Bob uses a jig with table saw and flat top blade to cut the spline grooves. Is this jig an accessory that somehow works alongside his amazing multi-use rip fence? Perhaps it hooks over a tall fence like the tenon jig attachment? Or does it just ride along the saws rip fence. It doesn’t seem to be a sled jig.
What jig do each of the STL crew use for spline grooves on table saw or do you use a router table? Any recommendations you would have for a jig for boxes of this size?
The Doug Stowe jig that Mike discusses can be found in this article:
A version of the over-the-top biscuit spline jig that Ben mentioned:
The biscuit joiner setup that Ben used for his splines:
Mike – Fastest Car on Netflix
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