Saturday, February 25, 2012
Bench Leveler Feet - Mark II
I mentioned some time ago that I would post the shop-made leveler feet that I used on the benches at school. These are an improvement on the ones I posted about a few years ago. The main difference is that the whole jam nut adjustment system is gone. I went back to the original design (see link in first post) of embedding a nut in the leg. I also switched the hex bolts to carriage bolts, but I kept the shallow hole in the puck, just making it round instead of hexagonal. These are very simple to make and use.
This is all you need for each leveler foot:
Hockey puck, all thread connector nut, carriage bolt.
Here's the process:
Mark the center of the leg bottom:
Bore a slightly undersized hole:
I usually bore the hole to match the length of the connector nut, but I didn't have my Stanley 47 with me, so I used the much less accurate "tape system".
Then I used my favorite technique for removing chips from the bottom of the hole - just pass the straw between the fingers of your cupped hand and blow hard - no dust in face, eyes or hair:
Tap the connector nut into the hole with a hammer:
After starting it with the hammer, I switch to a heavy rubber mallet and a piece of scrap wood to drive it home:
If you drive the nut completely with the hammer, the threads can become distorted from the pounding and the bolt won't adjust smoothly. DAMHIKT.
And here's the bolt:
The hockey puck foot ready for boring:
Don't squeeze it too tight, or your hole becomes extremely oval when the puck is released from the vise.
Here's the finished foot:
This one is actually wrong - I forgot we reset the adjustable auger bit for a student's project, so the hole is too big. One important note: the hole needs to be deep enough to fully seat the carriage bolt head, but not so deep that the square shank is recessed as well.
And the finished bench leveler foot:
The foot is very simple to adjust - just slip an open-ended wrench over the square shank and turn. These new feet have made workbench leveling at our school shop about as easy as it can get. I think I might have to retro fit my own bench at home...