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My 21st Century Workbench

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Blog entry by fineamerican posted 1487 days ago 2424 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

18 days, and more research Ive finally arrived at the time when its time to put blade to wood. In part 1 I uploaded my sketch up version I fashioned, only to change. Im sure this will change some more. Never followed instructions in school, so why should I follow my own here?
Included in this marathon of woodworking, will be a saw bench. I downloaded some plans for one from Christopher Swartz blog, Lost Art Press.

I’ve selected a bunch of Cherry that was given to me, yes sometimes even I live right and get a blessing. Anyway Ive got a ton of it, and its very blond, not something you would really want in a piece of furniture anyway, but great for my purposes and its FREE. Heres the selected planks that will be ripped (bandsaw) then dressed for glue up.


This is my layout for the ripping notch to be cut into one end of my saw bench.

Spalting in my cherry wood???

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina, www.thomaswoodworker.com



15 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#1 posted 1487 days ago

nice design, this thing looks HUGE!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View fineamerican's profile

fineamerican

150 posts in 1712 days


#2 posted 1487 days ago

Dave they will have to watch out for that, or shoot them out
This thing is huge, the top is roughly 30×96

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina, www.thomaswoodworker.com

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1283 posts in 2384 days


#3 posted 1486 days ago

Very nice and sturdy looking design. How wide is the top?

View Greedo's profile

Greedo

465 posts in 1558 days


#4 posted 1486 days ago

great looking bench plan!
though i wouldn’t close the ends of the bench, but leave it open in the middle.
it sort of takes away half of the advantages from the original design.

View swirt's profile

swirt

1935 posts in 1569 days


#5 posted 1486 days ago

Looks amazing. It is a cool design, essentially two separate benches separated by a tool well.

Just a few thoughts:

On the legvise / crotchet side, it seems to be lacking in the places for the holdfast / deadman pins. You sure you don’t want to plan in a sliding deadman?

On the legs, since the rear legs are not splayed like a Roubo, is there really a need for the dovetail tenon? On the Roubo they were”rising dovetails” that had to exist in order for the splayed legs to slide in right with the stretchers already in place. On yours their function seems mainly cosmetic (which is okay, a lot of people I see are doing this straight sliding dovetail).

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#6 posted 1486 days ago

Dave, the original design is supposed to be able to breakdown for transportation/moving – so the top broken down to 2 halves makes it lighter and move manageable to take apart and transport. if they are permanently glued together- there goes that concept out the door. although it may not be critical for this case.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View fineamerican's profile

fineamerican

150 posts in 1712 days


#7 posted 1486 days ago

I was wondering about open ends as well. I had found that design on some of the Roubo benches but had no clue why. I can see the knock down idea working well.

Swirt, I had planed on a sliding dead man, but hadnt drawn it in. I would agree with you that the dovetails on the back of the piece is for looks. I just copied the legs from the front and pasted them there. Do you have any links for the crochet, such as photos of the deadman pins, etc? Id love to take a look at that. This is why sketch up is great, no wood has been cut, Im getting tons of vauable feedback from you, so hopefully I can minimize mistakes that Ill have to live with.

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina, www.thomaswoodworker.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#8 posted 1486 days ago

Interesting design it looks pretty sturdy

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Greedo's profile

Greedo

465 posts in 1558 days


#9 posted 1486 days ago

well my workbench has open ends, it allows you to clamp your workpiece in the end vice and saw it vertically without damaging the bench. it is also more practical to insert clamps etc.
and by example when making drawers that are wider than one of the bench halfs, i can support the drawers on the bench by sliding them on the edge, is more more stable for routing or trimming, not to mention that it’s lower.
but there are many other occasions where the opening allows you to do things you couldn’t with a closed edge.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#10 posted 1486 days ago

FYI: more about the knock-down design – that’s also why the stretchers are connected via bolted dovetails on top, and a wedged tenon on the bottom (neither is glued).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View swirt's profile

swirt

1935 posts in 1569 days


#11 posted 1486 days ago

Lots of people just use a holdfast in their sliding deadman. Either the old variety http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005080/7084/Small-Holdfast.aspx or one of the more modern screw tightened varieties like the
Nordic http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005379/13692/34-DuoNordic-Holdfast-1-Pair.aspx
or one of the veritas options
Surface clamp http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/veritassurfaceclamp.aspx
Hold Down http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/veritasbenchholddown.aspx
This one here on LJ has a nice view of the crotchet and sliding deadman
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/26575

I’m no roubo expert or anything…mainly just trying to piece it together out of interest in the joints and eventually building one. On the Roubo the rising dovetails were only in the front, They were there because the back legs were splayed. The back leg had an angled tenon so the rising dovetail had to be used so that both the back and the front leg could enter the wood and shift forward at the same time. So it is not so much that the back ones are for looks only, its that on yours the back and front ones are for looks only (as far as I understand it anyway). Roy Underhill had a great episode on this a few years back and it is in his book Working Wood with Edge and Wedge. He also spent two shows building one (you can watch them here)
www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/2700/2705.html
www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/2700/2706.html

Here is a Sketch-up somebody did of a rising dovetail. They look like an impossible joint.
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=14cfebc4f0402530965a0470b8d17c
Here’s a post from FineWoodworking http://www.finewoodworking.com//item/6594/making-a-roubo-workbench-part-3

Interestingly, while looking for more info for you (and me) I stumbled upon the discussion of the joint you are using by Chris Schwarz
http://blog.woodworking-magazine.com/blog/AJ+Roubos+SlidingDovetailTenon+Joint.aspx
Chris had no good explanation of why the ordinary dovetail is used and even read the translated part from directly from Roubo. Though there was an interesting comment toward the bottom from Scott Keith that proposes one possible benefit to the joint. It is not to prevent side to side racking, but to aid in the prevention of back to front racking. The whole thing with the comments is an interesting read.

This bench here on LJ is a great illustration because the contrasting wood.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/29339

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1489 posts in 2358 days


#12 posted 1486 days ago

I’m actually getting more and more interested in Christopher Swarz’s 18th century workbench.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/roubo_workbench_tour

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View fineamerican's profile

fineamerican

150 posts in 1712 days


#13 posted 1486 days ago

Swirt-
Thanks a millon for all of that, I checked out your saw bench and was pleased to see that you too are passing on woodworking. My son is 3 and would stay in my shop all day if his mom would allow it. Thanks again for diggin those links up!

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina, www.thomaswoodworker.com

View fineamerican's profile

fineamerican

150 posts in 1712 days


#14 posted 1486 days ago

8iowa, that was very helpful thanks!

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina, www.thomaswoodworker.com

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1583 days


#15 posted 1486 days ago

Fascinating design. :-)

The first major project I build once we move into the new place is going to be a bench. I’m rather looking forward to the idea, but have not yet begun the process of drawing it out. Might have to do that “soon”. Though I do little-to-no hand planing (I plane my miniatures by hand, but I don’t need support for that! ) so our needs are dramatically different. Still, I’m going to watch this series.

30×96 seems very reasonable. It actually feels a little narrow to me, but I’m going to admit I have the luxury of space. I would not want a workbench less than 36” deep.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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