I chucked up a 1/2" straight cutting bit in the router table, attached a fence and stop block, and cut slots for wear strips.
I put a stop on the mitre saw and set it for the width of the routered slot, tested with scrap.
I then made a sandwich of milled scrap, transfer tape, and brass shim stock.
A trimming cut was made, then parts were cut against the stop block.
A 1/2" circle is drawn on the end, and the disc sander roughs it out.
The curve is refined by handsanding.
I've used dowels for hold down shafts before, but it's not long before they are burnished smooth and no longer work. For this pair I'm using Lee Valley's short Hold-Down Posts. They are steel, machined with barbed grooves.
I drill a 3/4" hole 3/4" deep.
Then 3/4" deeper with an 11/16" bit.
I threaded the heads on, and the fit feels secure. If they become loose in the future I'll epoxy them, or cross drill and pin with a brass rod.
Leather is then glued to the pads, and clamped to dry.
To replace the fluted dowel, I hacksaw a 1/2" brass rod into two lengths, 1/8" longer than the clamp bodies are wide. The rod is chucked into the drill press, and lowered against sandpaper. 120 grit is used to remove the saw marks, then I went to 800 to polish. A sponge is used to back the sandpaper, which allows the ends to dome.
The leather is trimmed and the wear strips are epoxied into place.
I'm having a hard time not thinking of them as "bench bunnies".
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