Workbench #4: The Finale

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Blog entry by john2005 posted 04-02-2014 at 11:25 AM 1192 reads 2 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Base Part 4 of Workbench series no next part

I will mostly post pics in this one. By now, if you have followed at all you have gathered that I suck at blogging. A writer I will never be.
Some technical data. Final dimensions are 81 1/2” long, 27 1/4” wide and 35 1/5” tall. Species are Walnut and Birch. Pulled off the double through tenons, albeit not perfectly. Nothing a few little wedges couldn’t fix. I feel the bench to be a good reflection of me. A little unusual, not too crazy, has some flaws, functional but looks good. Ok, I miss the looks good part, but it fits my style. A brilliant anti-racking device was inspired by LJ Widdle. I used LJ Boatman53 Jim’s chain drive. Works amazing and very easy to set up. Nice clean look. Very nice job Jim. The end vise is a quick release from Lee Valley with a 20” chop. Works real nice, but took some adjusting to get there. Single row of dog strips are 3” in from front. 3 more holes for holdfasts in the back and a fourth that lines up with a dog hole at the far end for a planning stop. The leg vise is shaped after many (and brought to my attention by LJ Mauricio), like a Stanley lever cap. Finish is Danish oil also recommended by the crew at the smackdown thread and appreciated. I had envisioned planeing the whole thing by hand, but that birch loves to tear out. My final pass was with a #4 that I put a back bevel on. That worked better then anything else. I still sanded a few spots (something I hate and was hoping to avoid). Thanks for looking!

Any questions or comments are appreciated. Thanks!!

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

24 comments so far

View Airframer's profile


2416 posts in 590 days

#1 posted 04-02-2014 at 12:07 PM

Hell Yeah! That is one nice lookin’ bench! Now time to get to work putting some dings in it :D

-- Eric -

View AnthonyReed's profile


4579 posts in 1077 days

#2 posted 04-02-2014 at 12:22 PM

Fricken awesome John. You did an outstanding job man.

-- ~Tony

View JayT's profile (online now)


2194 posts in 848 days

#3 posted 04-02-2014 at 12:42 PM

Geez, John, I cannot believe you would build and post such a hideous, awful creation. It is completely lacking in every significant way and you have major regrets every time you attempt to use it. Since we want to keep a clean environment, proper disposal is essential.

I know that JayT’s Recycling Service could take care of that for you for a minimal charge and put you at ease about your error :-)

Oh and by completely lacking, of course I mean amazingly designed and by regrets, I mean smiles.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Slyy's profile


1091 posts in 292 days

#4 posted 04-02-2014 at 01:02 PM

Absolutely fantastic work John! As much as I love all the walnut in that thing, the grain the birch on the top really sets this thing apart. You should be very happy and ecstatic with the bench you crafted here. Looking forward to some frat things getting made on that bench. Outstanding!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View 7Footer's profile


1012 posts in 585 days

#5 posted 04-02-2014 at 01:12 PM

Awesome looking bench John!

-- If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did." -

View CL810's profile


1972 posts in 1625 days

#6 posted 04-02-2014 at 02:53 PM

John I really like your bench. Everything about it screams function and great design. You’ll be using it for a long time. In fact, that may be the only downside to this bench. You’re going to have a hard time justifying building a another one! :-)

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View BigRedKnothead's profile (online now)


4797 posts in 619 days

#7 posted 04-02-2014 at 04:24 PM

It’s got a lot of character man. Well done.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View ShaneA's profile


5290 posts in 1235 days

#8 posted 04-02-2014 at 04:27 PM

Mighty fine looking bench.

View theoldfart's profile (online now)


4082 posts in 1088 days

#9 posted 04-02-2014 at 04:37 PM

John, outstanding build, wood selection and design.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View shampeon's profile


1360 posts in 820 days

#10 posted 04-02-2014 at 06:52 PM

Again, great job on the bench. It’s a looker, and is going to shepherd some outstanding projects to completion, I’m sure.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1168 days

#11 posted 04-02-2014 at 07:48 PM


-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View john2005's profile


924 posts in 815 days

#12 posted 04-02-2014 at 08:15 PM

Thanks boys, I owe a lot of the motivation and design ideas to LJs so hats off to you all. Special thanks to those of you who answered specific questions.

JayT, you’re right I do feel ashamed about what I’ve done. I think for now I will suffer through and live with it so as to motivate my not repeat my mistake. ;)

Andy, a new bench can always be justified. Maybe someday I will get a bigger shop or something. Or maybe I’ll take JayT up on his offer…...

Thanks again all

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View summerfi's profile (online now)


1010 posts in 324 days

#13 posted 04-02-2014 at 08:24 PM

John, you did yourself proud on that thing. It’s beautiful. Almost too beautiful to use. Really really nice job!

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- "Of all the tools I own, my favorite is a good sharp pocket knife." - My Dad

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


9832 posts in 1255 days

#14 posted 04-02-2014 at 08:27 PM

Wow, it’s a beauty Ll right! So much to look at, and will probe to be a joy to work on. Congrats, and Well Done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View widdle's profile


1397 posts in 1636 days

#15 posted 04-02-2014 at 08:46 PM

Glad the widdleracker helped, although im sure there’s a better way..Really like the color combos, Is that a spalted birch ? Good job..

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