Mixing And Applying Beeswax

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that contain alcohol. It's not the finish to use lor a bartop.

To repair a wax finish, or to clean up a surface with too much wax on it, dampen a clean, lint-free rag with pure turpentine, and rub. You'll find chat tile Wax quickly levels out. It's normal to rewax about twice a year, and it you do, the surface will just keep getting better and better. A

is a furniture designer iiwl teacher with studios in Connecticut.

Like butter. Stir turpentine into the beeswax until you get the consistency of soft butter.

Polish. Apply beeswax over the shellac, let it dry, then buff it vigorously with a clean doth.

A M IT a I c A N WOODWORKER

by Jerry Beall

by Jerry Beall

Easy to use. A quick throw of the lever on the underside of the vise releases or locks the vise. The magnetic mechanism is simple, foolproof, and easy to fashion.

Do you remember playing wiih magnets as a kid? I certainly do. It was fun and fascinating to take a pair ol magnets and tool around with their polarity, watching them spin about in response to mysterious attractive and repellent forces.

My wooden vise relies on the magic of magnets to "power" its quick-re lease mechanism. Throw the lever on the underside of the J vise one way and the vise can pull open ro accommodate slock up to I 2V2 in. wide. I hrow the lever in the opposite direction, and a | hidden, magnetically activated dog engages the nearest shoulder in the vise stem. This locks the vise head position so you can screw £ the workpiece fast. The mechanism even has a ratchet feature: In ; "locked" mode, you can close up the vise to clamp narrower work. g Release the stem and head assembly, putt it free, and you can _ reposition it to work in vertical clamping mode.

AMERICAN WOOI1WOR KE K A I tJ N E I 99«

My vise is as quick and easy to adjust as any factory-made model would lie, but it's nor designed to apply the extreme clamping pressure you'd be able to achieve witb a metal version. In this article, I'll show you how to build your own model.

How the Magnetic

Mechanism Works file vise consists of two assemblies. The slide box is mounted underneath the benchtop, and contains the magnetic mechanism. The movable part of the vise is the stem, head, and screw assembly. The stem moves back and forth inside the slide box. It's notched to engage the magnetically activated dog that fits in a cutout on the underside pf the slide box.

The dog in the slide box is a simple wooden rectangle with a single magnet epoxied into a hole on its underside. Acting on this single magnet are two magnets in the release lever that's screwed to the slide box. One of these magnets is oriented to attract the dog magnet; the other is oriented to repel it. (See pig. 2.) Move the lever to one side and the dog is pulled down, allowing the stem to move freely in and out. Shift the lever and the other magnet's reverse polarity pushes the dog up, where it can engage the notched stem. You can push the stem inward because the ramped surfaces of the notches force the dog downward. Hut thanks to the strong repellent force of the magnets, the dog will pop up and lock against the nearest notch shoulder as soon as you start to pull the stem outward—that's the ratchet action 1 mentioned earlier.

if you want to make a vise like mine. Start oft with some clear, dry hardwood. 1 choose beech tor the stem, head, and slide box, but hard maple, birch, and ash are also good choices. 1 turned the hub, hand!« ends caps, and ratchet lever handle Irom bub ill ga.

Making the Stem

The stem starts out as a blank that's square in section (1-^ in. on a side) and 21^ in. long. Mark rhe shoulder lines tor the notches at l-V^-in. intervals, starting 8 in. from rhe front, or head, end. If you want to be able to use the vise vertically as well as horizontally, extend these layout lines across an adjacent side.

AMERICAN WOODWORK.EH A I U N E HM ft 3

FIG. 2: ELEVATIONS AND OPERATION

Side, bottom, and end views show how the three magnets are located—one in the dog, two in the release lever. Pivoting the release lever against a limiting dowel positions one of the two release lever magnets directly under the dog magnet, so the dog can be either pulled down {allowing the stem to move freely) or forced up (locking against the nearest stem shoulder). As shown below, make 83" cuts (7° off square) for the stem notches, and for end cuts in the front bottom piece and dog. Round over the opposite end of the dog to help it move up and down easily. Epoxy the magnets in predrilled holes, so that they sit just below the wood surface.

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