Some of you might have seen an earlier post on the construction of my new bench. It ended with a note that I still had to complete the installation of drawers in the open space underneath. Well, the photos below show that I am halfway home on that score.
About 6-8 months ago, I happened to be in Burnaby, stopped at Lee Valley, and loaded up. Among the purchases was one box each of their stamped metal toolbox trays. For a variety of reasons they were never used for the original project in my wife's sewing room. However, when I came across them again the other day, I realized they would serve well under my bench. (I like a lot of shallow drawers, because it's so much easier to see and find things.)
As I puzzled over how best to install them, I discovered that in the bottom of each box is an instruction sheet, and that this is actually a very clever system. Run a 1/16" saw cut at 1 1/4" intervals, and you can switch the drawers around to your heart's content. Even better, since my 3 boxes consisted of 5x1", 5x2" and 3x3" trays, they combined to fit exactly in 4 vertical rows. I used some of the 1" birch ply left over from the top for the uprights, and some scrap particle board faced with maple for the case.
I set the box in place so that the faces of the drawer pulls were back just enough to provide clearance for the removable bench jack.
Now to make 4 large wooden drawers to take up the remaining space.
You will find that any "usual" load in a shop quickly causes these drawers to slip out of their sawcut moorings.
The drawers are stamped from roughly a 22 gauge metal and quite springy as the corners are not fixed. They easily slide out of the slots under any realistic load.
Not particularly good value for the money and they are not cheap.
Nice vise you have there...is it the real deal or a modern version? How did you find installing it? Difficult? I happened upon an Oliver version of the pattermakers vise at an auction and hope to install it an a yet to be made bench in the spring?
My vise is a Taiwanese clone of the Emmert. I've installed it on 2 different benches. The first time was a bit confusing becasue the vise seems so complex. The second time was a snap. I think I can find a detailed set of instructions and if so will e-mail it to you.
However, there are really a few steps and they're easy if you take them one at a time:
1) unscrew the front face from the rear to reduce weight;
2) set the rear face against the face of the bench and mark where the hinged portion has to be recessed into the top.
3) make a cut-out from a piece of scrap and use it with a straight pattern bit to make the 3/8" deep mortise. Saw out the face mortise for the hinge barrel.
4) find a tin can with the same diameter as the barrel of the vise and use it to draw the arc of the barrel on the face of the bench. Mark the end of the barrel on the underside of the bench - mine was 4" in from the face. Now chisel it out.
Mounting is simply a matter of a couple of bolts and some screws, and reassembling the face. The mounting positions of the clamps for tilt and swivel are obvious once they're assembled.