Mini V8 Workbench Build #1: Beginning

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Blog entry by Ocelot posted 04-17-2015 03:50 PM 1775 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Mini V8 Workbench Build series Part 2: Continuing Prep of Frame Lumber »

A borrowed photo of Paul (Shipwright) Miller’s V8 workbench.

I’ve been admiring Paul (shipwright) Miller’s wedge-driven vises and, honestly, all his other work for some time.

I have been thinking about building a workbench. The other day, I suddenly realized a wonderful benefit of having an entirely shop-built wooden vise: It’s scalable. So, I decided to build a child-sized version of the V8 bench as a precursor to building a full-sized one for me. Paul graciously offered to advise along the way.

The photo above is copied from his thread at.

First, I downloaded the excellent Sketchup model that another LJ made for this project.

Scaling is easy. Bring the model up in Sketchup, perform a “select all”, invoke the “scale” tool, grab a corner, type in 0.625. Done!

Now I’ve got a 5/8th linear scale drawing. That’s about 1/4th volume scale.

Instead of building with 3/4 plywood, I’ll build with 15/32 plywood.

Instead of the main slabs being 6 feet long (not counting the frame), they are 45 inches.

I plan to make a couple adjustments to the scaled bench.

When you scale the tool tray to 1/4th volume, it won’t hold many real tools. I want to be able to lay a Stanley Bailey No 3 or No 5 1/4 down in the tray without having them project above the bench top.

So, first, I’m adding 2 1/2 inches right down the centerline of the bench. Doing this in sketchup is not so easy, so I’m just making the adjustment in my head as I go. There are only 6 types of pieces which cross the centerline, and a few instances of each of these pieces.

These are
1) The end frame parts (2 of ‘em)
2) The bottom panel – which I’m going to make another change to also.
3&4) Two types of pieces in the leg structure on the wagon end. (5 total parts)
5&6) Two types of pieces in the leg structure on the leg-vise end. (5 total parts).

So a total of 13 parts will have an extra 2.5” inserted in the middle.

Secondly, I want the tray to be a bit deeper, so I’m planning to leave a hole where the tray should be – at least in the part between the legs. Then, I will apply an extra tray bottom to the bottom of the bench – giving me a tray 2 1/2” deep, which, since Bailey No 3 and No 5 1/4 planes are 2 1/8” wide, is enough to lay them on their side in the tray.

Lots of words here and no (original) photos yet.

I started last night to build up some lumber for the project. There are a few parts that are made from 1 1/4” lumber, 3 3/4” wide. I have lots of rough-cut lumber about 7/8” – and don’t want to buy lumber, so I milled up some of that to face glue to make the 1 1/4” material I need. It turned out to be cherry, although I thought I had some pecan, but couldn’t find it.

So I looked at my rack and selected this board.

It’s a bit more than 12 feet long.

9 1/2 inches wide.

It has some knots that I have to work around.

The beneficiary sits nearby watching.

Quick cut with the circular saw.

After cutting around the knots (keeping in mind the lengths I need to produce), I have 4 boards 28, 28, 26 and 38 inches long.

This wood is not very well milled – varies in thickness from side to side and along the length. To prepare thicker lumber, I ripped these 4 boards down the middle on the bandsaw to produce boards about 4 3/4” wide, which I’ll plane and face join.

After planing each piece on both faces to the thickest good board I could get, I put together the pairs as if folding the original board on the centerline. This should produce reasonably stable boards when face glued in these pairs.

More later.


5 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1360 posts in 1556 days

#1 posted 04-17-2015 06:00 PM

It’s gonna be a good ‘un! Bing reduced in size will a child use it or is it adult height and just shorter? Interesting.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Ocelot's profile


1459 posts in 2062 days

#2 posted 04-17-2015 06:34 PM

It will be child height. The full-size bench Shipwright built is 34” tall. This one will be 21 7/8”. I expect it will be OK to use up to about age 9 or so. I could add thicker feet and a larger roller on the leg vise to bring it up 3 or 4 inches later, if needed.

My youngest children (twins) are about 6 months old, so I figure it could be used by somebody in my household for the next 9 years at least.


View shipwright's profile


7095 posts in 2222 days

#3 posted 04-17-2015 11:49 PM

Good to see you off to a start Paul.
Bon voyage.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View whitebeast88's profile


4086 posts in 1614 days

#4 posted 04-18-2015 02:30 PM

Looking good Paul.glad to hear your gonna have help in the shop.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Ocelot's profile


1459 posts in 2062 days

#5 posted 04-20-2015 01:44 PM

Thanks for looking in, Paul and Marty.

Hey Marty, I’m right over in the Huntsville area. We’re neighbors!

This blog will probably be mostly boring beginner stuff, but I’m putting it out here anyway in case somebody else might find it of any use, and also for my benefit.


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