Its been a long time since I put up a written blog posting. For those of you that have been checking back once in a while thank you for hanging in there. Much of my effort goes into the Youtube channel work that I do and I only have so much free energy these days. For more current work you can follow me in the virtual world on Instagram and Facebook.
This particular post is related to YouTube activity as well. Some of you may know a fine gentleman named Keith Fenner. He has a YouTube channel that is responsible for getting me involved in making videos about metalworking, craftsmanship and the trades.
Every year now for the last three years Keith puts together a toolbox with the intent of finding a worthy apprentice/recipient to give it to. He calls this activity "What's in your box?" This has been hugely popular and directly supports young folks getting a foothold in the trades. Candidates or acquaintances of the candidate submit a video nomination for consideration. These candidates are voted on by some of the metalworking YouTube community and the box is awarded to the selected person.
Keith accepts donations during the year of tools and material to fill the boxes so there is an opportunity for lots of folks to participate and contribute to this great cause. A good portion of the tooling items he has put up himself. This it really a powerful demonstration of Keith's dedication to the trade and his willingness to teach and foster younger folks entering the craft. Check out Keith's website for more specific detail and rules for the toolbox giveaway.
As part of this years toolbox giveaway some of the YouTube machinists community have generously volunteered to actually make some handmade tools to contribute to this years TurnWright machine works toolbox giveaway. I think this is an incredible idea and allows many folks that support the trades and the toolbox giveaway idea to contribute something deeply personal like hand crafted tools.
Of course I volunteered to do a project as part of this years giveaway. I recently announced the fact on one of my weekly Meatloaf episodes . I let folks know that the project I intended to do was fully designed and ready for fabrication. I stopped short of actually telling what the project would be to the dismay of many viewers I'm sure.
My first problem was deciding what the project would be. There was no particular shortage of small projects offered up by the participants of this years event. The problem that I had was that most of the projects I have done at one point or another in my career. Sure I could do another one of these projects for the toolbox giveaway but I really wanted to do something unique that would be challenging and of high interest to the metalworking community. Also it needed to be small enough that any reasonably equipped shop could follow along and make their own with a little Yankee ingenuity. What follows is the description and plans for the 2015 toolbox giveaway project.
Who doesn't like a Wilton bullet machinist vise? I don't know too many folks that do not appreciate a high quality bench vise. Every shop should have at least one high quality bench vise in it. Until you have used one its hard to quantify the differences in performance and the sheer pleasure of using one.
Anybody that follows my work on YouTube, Instagram and now Facebook will know that I really love using and collecting tools. Bench vises are no different. I had the pleasure of using a good Wilton vise many years ago when I was learning the trades. Once you have gone Wilton you can never go back. Needless to say I have a minor collection in my shop. Here is a short history of the Wilton vise company written by kc-Steve over on the Garage Journal forum. The Wilton vise company is a real American success story.
Here is a link to a public dropbox file folder. You can download the PDF's of the parts of the baby bullet there. You do not need to sign up for dropbox unless you want to. It is a convenient way to get higher quality documents to the folks that want to build their own vise. Click on the link and select the file you want then at the upper right click on download. As feedback comes in during the build I will most likely add drawing revisions to the folder. These will be the normal drawing format of rev A, B, C etc. Hopefully I have captured most of what is needed to build the vise.
Baby Bullet Project PDF Drawing Link Click Here
I plan to build one of these vises complete on camera for the 2015 Keith Fenner toolbox giveaway. I have had a number of folks step forward and offer to volunteer their time and equipment to help with whatever project I finally decided on. Depending on the resources of the volunteers there may be an opportunity for many folks to participate in this really honorable cause and project.
I hope you follow along with the project and build your own vise for the pure fun of it. Please comment and test all the links for me.
Thanks for looking.