Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vising a String Trimmer

String trimmers are awkward machines to work on. They certainly won't stand up, and they like to roll and flop around on a workbench. I came up with a crude pair of jaw-pads for my woodworking vise, and now I have a secure way to hold my string trimmer at a convenient height and orientation.

A couple of pieces of 2" x 4" would serve for this. I had some scrap, thick plywood on hand to use. Here's a view of my material on the drill press. I'm about to bore through the centre of the two pieces edge-wise, to create shaft-gripping jaw-pads for the vise. (The bore diameter will be 3/4" to fit my Weed Eater.)

Note the piece of thin material in between the two pieces of plywood. That's there to lend an 'incompleteness' to the bore, so that it will clamp down firmly on the trimmer's shaft without the jaw-pads fully closing up.

Here's the bore all the way through, after some part-way readjustment of the drill press table's height.

And here's the result. (Note that the drill bit took a path-of-least-resistance, and wandered off at a bit of an angle. For my purpose here, that's not a problem.)

Now I can try this out, like so.

Not bad for a crude prototype. The jaw-pads grip the trimmer's shaft harmlessly but firmly, and hold the machine in such a way that I can easily work on it.

There's certainly room for refinement of this idea, up to and including a purpose-made, stand-alone string trimmer vise. But what I have here so far will serve nicely for the carburetor work that this Weed Eater is due for.

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