Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key

Some days the small accomplishments prove the greatest in satisfaction.

I’ve been on vacation recently and only tonight spent time in the shop, mostly cleaning but also deciding which task I should approach next. The Roubo won out, partly because I have a few things left to do and mostly because those things are simple or so I thought.

The last two pieces I have to put in place to truly say I am done, is to drill the holes in the leg opposite the leg vise for the hold-down and then sand and apply the finish. So I assumed that I could drill the holes no problem with my brace and 3/4 bit.

However, for some reason, whenever I would insert the bit into the brace, it wouldn’t “lock into place”, i.e. not turn. It didn’t matter how tightly I turned the chuck, it still would spin as soon as I began to drill. This was driving me bananas. I had a seemingly identical 5/8 bit that worked fine.

My first thought was that the base of the bit was too big and wouldn’t fit, so I sanded it down slightly. Turns out it was too small to engage the 4 sides in the bottom of the chuck.

So I took the plunge and broke out the grinder. I figured if I ground down a small amount on the end of the bit (say 1/8″ or so) it would seat properly into the base of the chuck. Here’s a shot of the 3/4 bit after grinding:

And a comparison shot of the 5/8″ & 3/4″ bits:

And of interest to me-the basic parts of the disassembled brace:

With the grinding done, I seated the bit into the brace and voila, it worked! In less than 10 minutes I had the three holes drilled out in the leg and the Veritas hold-down inserted and ready to go.

Here’s a few parting shots of the bench. Only thing left is a final sanding and then applying the finish:

Once the bench is finished I can make my move this weekend on the dining room table. Things are moving right along.

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