New Bench

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Blog entry by marcb posted 04-04-2009 04:09 PM 1386 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I built a bench last summer, but I’ve never been satisfied with it. For one thing I had to use some pretty junky wood. There’s some other issues with it as well, but this isn’t about that bench. This is about trashing that bench

So I need a new bench, and I ran into an issue of ShopNotes that I had picked up, skimmed and promptly never saw it again. It’s last Decembers Issue.

It has a pretty nice looking bench on the cover and I start reading it to check it out. Its a “traditional” cabinet makers bench.

A simple face vice and a really nice shoulder vise are part of the design. I’ve seen shoulder vises like this in action on Roubo benches, they hold things very well in a number of interesting ways. Lee Valley sells the hardware for about 40 bucks shipped. A video of a Roubo in action can be found here. His has a 350 dollar shoulder vise on it, but that’s not in the cards for me.

At the same time I finally found some Douglas Fir locally for a decent price. All this added together along with my Wilton 7” vice adds up to under 100 for this bench (minus some of the niceties that they show.)

A Google Sketchup model can be found here – If you follow that link there is a link to a little animation of it as well in case you want to see it without the bother of downloading a model.

I’ll be skipping the drawers and car siding for now. I will probably use some plywood instead of the car siding, maybe a nice oak veneer (unless I find some pre made siding on sale). Seems like it will help keep racking to a minimum.

I’ll finally have a good bench.

1 comment so far

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8536 posts in 3670 days

#1 posted 04-05-2009 03:58 AM

sweet, I think that if you’ll take the original plan, and fiddle around with it – maybe add an apron on all 4 sides on the upper part of the base, it’ll limit racking as well – thats what I did, and I made it out of BORG FIR 4×4 for the legs, and 2×4 for the aprons – it’s rock solid. I also added a shelf made of MDF panel on the lower stretchers which also adds to the ridgidity, and on it, I built 2 drawer cabinets (one is finished, the other is just the carcass, I still need to build the actual drawers , but there are other things on the projects pipe)

eventually I would like to make a nicer top though with shoulder vice as well, its a very versatile vice. there was a page in a woodworking benches book about a way to build the shoulder vice in a way that it’ll close flush with the table – something that most shoulder vices cant do- worth checking out. I’ll try to see if I can find the name of the book if no one else can remember it off the bat.

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

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