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Yet Another Workbench #1: Planning

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Blog entry by A. Michael Wilson posted 04-06-2010 11:45 PM 829 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I want to build a bench. I don’t have a decent clamping surface in my “shop”. So here are my plans as the are now.

The material will be douglas fir 2×4 and the leg vise will be red oak 3/4”x8”. The screw will come from LeeValley. The sides will be drawbore mortise and tenon, and I’ll be using bed bolts for the long stretchers.

The dimensions are: 24”w 33.5”h 84”l
The legs are 4.5”x3.5”
The stretchers are 2×4”

Hopefully all of those edges won’t be visible when it’s built. The legs have double through tenons to the top.

The vise face has a sliding dovetail into the top, but not glued or pinned; however, it is pinned to the leg. The whole thing should come apart with the help of a heavy mallet.

From what I figure, the whole thing is going to run me about $150.



7 comments so far

View D1st's profile

D1st

290 posts in 2507 days


#1 posted 04-06-2010 11:51 PM

What program do you use to design? I like the neatness of it, my pencil drawings are horrible. lol

-- http://www.furstwoodworks.com/

View A. Michael Wilson's profile

A. Michael Wilson

7 posts in 2440 days


#2 posted 04-07-2010 12:01 AM

SketchUp

It’s free.

Definitely check out the tutorials. It’s completely bewildering at first, but once you know the basics, it’s pretty easy and fast—though I still make a mess of everything occasionally. I’m still very much a novice.

Also, you may want to take a look at Popular Woodworking They have a ton of stuff in the Google Warehouse. They also have an online SketchUp lesson. I think it’s 2 hour and 25$ or something like that.

View grumpycarp's profile

grumpycarp

257 posts in 3213 days


#3 posted 04-07-2010 12:05 AM

I have reservations about your choice of joints in this bench. I’d be happy to discuss them with you if you’d like. I have my own doug fir bench and would be happy to share what I’ve learned.

Best regards,
GC

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A. Michael Wilson

7 posts in 2440 days


#4 posted 04-07-2010 12:18 AM

Absolutely. That’s why I posted it.

I have another iteration that I’m working on for joining the top to the legs. Basically I would change the leg design and have a 1.5”x1.5” tenon joining to the top. Though I don’t think I would actually glue it or pin it, but I would just set the top on the tenons. The weight and with the nature of the motion, I think think I’ll have any problems.

The bed bolts are there to allow me to get it out of my basement if I ever need to—without drilling out some pins.

I checked out your projects and your bench looks really good. How is doug fir working for you?

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grumpycarp

257 posts in 3213 days


#5 posted 04-07-2010 01:30 AM

Hey I’m not doing anything right now. If you’d e-mail me the s/u file I’ll work on it and send it back to you. We do this all the time at work and it’s the best way to show results/differences rather than trying to explain them.

View A. Michael Wilson's profile

A. Michael Wilson

7 posts in 2440 days


#6 posted 04-07-2010 03:28 PM

Ahh, looks like I violated rule #2 of Chris Schwarz's 10 Rules for Workbenches

Think big when cutting the joints for your workbench. The small tenons are 1-1⁄4” thick and 2-1⁄2” long. The larger tenons are 2-1⁄2” thick and 2” long.

@grumpycarp I sent you my email via an LJ.com message.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 3140 days


#7 posted 04-07-2010 03:32 PM

Great start.

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