More About the X Link
I have finally gotten the first production X Link’s ready for shipment. Shown in the picture above is the X Link in black anodized finish. The 3/8″ diameter pivot pins are shown to the left and the shiney plates to the right are the wear plates. Some of the features and advantages of the X Link are described below and a YouTube video showing these features may be viewed by clicking on the link below.
The pivot pin for the X Link screws into one of the links and has a ground shoulder which pivots in a hole in the other link. This reduces the amount of play because the threaded connection has no play and the ground diameter of the pivot pin allows for a very close fit to the hole. Additionally the height of the pivot pin is very precise to prevent side to side movement. The link is CNC machined to hold the side to side movement to just a few thousandths of an inch.
One of the biggest advantages of the new X Link is the use of a spherical bearing for the pivot in the jaw. Spherical bearings have been used for years in race cars, helicopters and many other devices. It’s about time they see some use in woodworking vises! The spherical bearing in this application allows a very tight clearance between the pivot pin and the link while allowing the joint to pivot. This makes installation much easier because the drilled hole for the pivot pin does not have to be so precisely perpendicular. You could drill the hole at a 15 degree angle and it would still work! The other advantage of the spherical bearing is that it prevents binding and allows the jaw to move slightly to adjust to slightly out of square work.
An optional drill guide and extra long drill bit make drilling the pivot holes easy and precise. The drill guide aligns with the edge of the jaw or leg to automatically give you the proper setback. When clamped to the leg or jaw it allows you to precisely drill the pivot hole in stock up to 9″ wide without a drill press!
Check out a video showing all these features: