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Projects #10: John White FWW Workbench - Knock-down Variation

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Blog entry by Jeff posted 08-18-2007 09:50 PM 6193 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: John White FWW Workbench - Miscellaneous Tasks Part 10 of Projects series Part 11: John White Workbench - SketchUp File »

In some of the other posts in this series, Bob Babcock and I were bouncing around ideas about making this bench portable. I toyed with this and after coming up with some relatively complex ways to make the top removable, the obvious (or so I think) approach dawned on me.

The simple solution is to widen the crosspiece at the top of the leg assembly by 2 inches. Widening the bottom two supports that are part of the bench top assembly is also required. This allows for 4 to 6 bolts to be used on the “flanges” that are created by doing this. The bolting is done in lieu of screwing the two assemblies together with the deck screws as called for in the design.

Here is what it would look like when the top is separated from the legs. The blue element is top of the leg assembly that is widened by 2 inches (from 3” to 5”).
top separated from the legs


Here is what it looks like assembled.
top and legs joined with bolts
My rough bolt renderings don’t show the usage of washers but I would recommend it to avoid crushing the fibers.


A detail illustrating the “flange” created by widening the supports. The blue support is not widened, just the green one. The blue and green elements are still joined with deck screws per the original design.flange illustration


flange detail alternate view


The other aspect of making this a knock-down design is the easy separation of the stretcher from the legs. I didn’t modify the SU for this but it is a simple matter of using bed bolts rather than lag bolts. These can be purchased from a number of suppliers. Here is a link to the ones Lee Valley sells. (Ding! That’s an endorsement.)

I think if the bench is built this way, a person with limited room to work could move their bench around from season to season. When broken down, you have four pieces that can be easily stored (top, planing beam, and two legs). I guess it would really be 6 pieces if you count the two clamp bars the planing beam rides on.

I kinda wish I had built mine this way now. I would be much easier to move when we get a new house.

Whaddya think Bob?

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN



13 comments so far

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2736 days


#1 posted 08-19-2007 01:17 AM

Very, very cool…..That will definitely do the trick. The only thing I might add/change is to use big wing nuts to make it quick. I will be moving it frequently. Awesome job…I hope I can make one as nice as what you’ve done…..great Sketchup work too…:)

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2743 days


#2 posted 08-19-2007 05:24 AM

I didn’t think of wing nuts… Good idea. I wonder if T-knobs would be just as good and provide a better grip?

Thanks for the compliments my friend. You’re too kind.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2960 days


#3 posted 08-19-2007 12:59 PM

WEDGED THROUGH TENONS MIGHT BE AN EVEN FASTER WAY TO ASSEMBLE AND TAKE DOWN THE BENCH. GREAT JOB ON THE DETAILED DRAWINGS, JEFF!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2743 days


#4 posted 08-19-2007 03:38 PM

Thanks, Os.

You know, the wedged tenon brings up a good question. I’ve often wondered if those are meant to be wedged once and then left alone or if they were created with the intent to be used many times. My thinking is that over time with the slot or tenon will be damaged and the joint loosens. However, since it’s a wedge, you always have thicker stock with which to keep the joint tight.

Does anyone have any input?

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2949 days


#5 posted 08-19-2007 10:35 PM

Very nice Jeff, It looks to me that it should work fine.

I envy you guys with the sketch up skills.

I’m still in the dark ages, with my old drawing board.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2743 days


#6 posted 08-20-2007 04:20 AM

Thanks Dick. I wouldn’t knock that drawing board though. Honestly, I feel there are some things that can be done just as quick if not quicker with the old pencil.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2646 days


#7 posted 08-20-2007 06:15 PM

I think wedged tenons could be used over and over and over; wear (or damage to the tenons – or wedges) would be pretty dependent on the hardness of the wood.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2743 days


#8 posted 08-22-2007 05:15 AM

I agree. I think it might be a bigger issue with this design since it calls for fir. However, the fibers don’t crush indefinitely. Thanks for the feedback Dorje. I’ve already decided that the next bench I build will be sans mechanical fasteners. Just because.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2646 days


#9 posted 08-22-2007 05:32 AM

Yeah – Just because! That’s good enough reason!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2740 days


#10 posted 08-28-2007 04:34 PM

Portable looks like a great idea Jeff. However, we are all doomed anyway if we have to move our shops. I would have to hire a separate truck. How do you move a jointer and bandsaw?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2743 days


#11 posted 09-04-2007 07:26 PM

Yeah, that will be a bitter sweet day. I worry about the transport but look forward to the need to do it.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2638 days


#12 posted 09-04-2007 08:10 PM

Using wedges could creat one problem. If you knock them in too hard you might split the piece
you’re knocking it into along the grain.

You can prevent this by adding a couple of splines across the grain to strengthen it.

This is an exagrated version if the grain were running from left to right.
If the grain were running up and down you would run the splines perpendicular to the
way they are in the picture.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2736 days


#13 posted 09-04-2007 09:33 PM

Good stuff Gary and great use of Sketchup to illustrate. A little text and an illustration combined go a long way.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

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