Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Benchcrafted Moxon Vise Kit - Cleaning Up Drawers

Tonight I decided to get back to those drawers I was making, oh, awhile ago :)

I never had a decent place to plane drawers; typically I'd clamp the drawer to the side of the MFT with a milk crate under it acting like a deadman 'platform'.  No wiggle since the MFT is anchored to the wall.  But it was slow to adjust the drawer and definitely not as stable on the side far from the MFT.

So... I made that little table on the back of the Moxon vise for my dovetail saw, chisels, and rubber chicken.  It is 24" wide by 11" deep measured from the front of the fixed jaw.  Turns out that I can easily straddle the table and clamp the drawer on the outside of the right acme screw. It's easy, very fast, and super stable.  This. Was. A. Winner.

Note that I scooted the vise over so the table portion was hanging off the side.  The piece of Maple you see sticking out the inside of the drawer is the piece that is normally clamped to the bench to hold it stable.  With the table being 11" to the back, I could take care of one side of the face, flip, repeat very easily.  Only the narrowest drawers for the top couldn't straddle as they are 8" wide.  For those, I clamped it in the jaw with the drawer out in front of the vise.  The 2" thick front jaw gave enough stability to clean them up, too, with care.

In these pictures, I'm showing planing the back.  Note how I have two pieces of scrap in the middle of the vise sticking down.  I did that to prevent the vise from moving back as I planed forward.  Thing is, I didn't need it; I removed them after the second drawer and it didn't budge at all.  If you look in this picture, I clamped the vise to the bench from underneath there.
What I also did later was take a piece of similar thickness scrap and set it in the vise above the far acme screw to set the parallel thickness (remember this needs to be done since we are on the outside of the rightmost screw).  I just left it there and could easily scoot in and out the drawers quickly and cinche them in place with a quick quarter turn.

This is the first time I enjoyed cleaning drawers.