Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Waxed Paper 'Washers' For Finish Protection

If you attach anything securely to a painted or varnished surface, the attached thing is likely to 'weld' itself to the surface tenaciously, no matter how well hardened the finished surface appears to be. Future removal of the attached thing will result in damage to the surface underneath. That may or may not matter to you, but if you'd rather preclude such damage, install waxed paper 'washers' at the interface of the attached thing, and the painted or varnished surface.

I recently removed the mechanic's vise from my workbench, so I could refinish the workbench's hardboard surface with polyurethane. Where the vise base's mounting washers had been in contact with the bench, the washers had bonded themselves to the bench with a vengeance. The washers came away with great shards of hardboard stuck to them, like so.

I filled in the damaged spots on the benchtop, refinished the bench's surface and cut three waxed paper washers for the reinstallation of the vise.

And here we are with the vise's base bolted back in place.

The reason for placing washers underneath the vise's swivel-base mounting ears is to preclude breakage of  the swivel-base casting. Tightening down a cast swivel base directly onto a benchtop's surface is unwise -- irregularities in the surface, and/or the casting, can result in stresses that may break the casting. I've seen it happen. The washers serve to concentrate all the attachment force directly at the ears, isolating the rest of the casting from untoward forces.

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